Eight Michigan Sires Stakes finals were contested at Hazel Park on Saturday night, including two raced between races as non-betting affairs. There were no surprises in each as the 2-year-old filly pacer Super Soph remained undefeated in eight starts and the 2-year-old colt pacer That'll Be The Rei cruised to his ninth consecutive win. Also, the 3-year-old filly pacer Tropical Breeze, who was recently purchased and sent to Ontario, returned to her home state to post a big victory.
Super Soph, a full sister to the standout Admirals Express, romped to a 9 3/4-length win in 1:57.1 for driver Jason Merriman and trainer Greg West in the $39,682 final for freshman filly pacers. The daughter of Admirals Galley is owned by Ryan Morefield, Brian Campbell and Mark Wamp. Her latest score brings her career earnings to $58,716.
In the $39,816 final for first-year male pacers, it was a 7 3/4-length romp in a career-best 1:56.3 for That'll Be The Rei, who opened his career with a second-place finish but hasn't been beat since. The son of Cheyenne Rei is trained and driven by Mike Micallef. That'll Be The Rei was purchased by brothers Dan and Tom Courtemanche in early August. The win brings his earnings to $55,871.
Tropical Breeze won the $42,786 final for 3-year-old filly pacers with a 1:54.3 effort for driver Ronnie Wrenn Jr., besting her peers by 6 1/4 lengths. The daughter of Canyon Wind was recently bought by New York-based owner Frank Bellino and sent to Ontario-based conditioner Tony O'Sullivan.
Another open-lengths winner was Natural Forces, who coasted to a 7 1/2-length win in 1:57.4 in the $43,486 final for 3-year-old colt trotters. Skip DeMull was in the bike behind the son of Lockeeper has he won for the seventh straight time and 11th in 2012. Ginny St. Charles trains and co-owns Natural Forces with ECS Racing.
The other winners were: $36,970 2FT--Kendall Marie (Keystone Nordic), 2:01.1, driver Peter Otten; $41,592 2CT--Zeplin (Hard Rock N Roll), 2:03.2, driver Kelly Goodwin; $41,886 3CP--Big Jer (Cheyenne Rei), 1:55, driver Brad Kramer; $43,136 3FT--Olympic Jersey (Coventry), 2:00.4, driver Mike Micallef.