Mike Maker

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    Mike Maker
    record at keeneland
    total wins:152
    stakes wins:8
    First Grade 1 Win:
    2009 Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile at Oak Tree at Santa Anita with Furthest Land
    First Stakes Win:
    2004 Labor Day Handicap at Mountaineer Park with Freefourinternet
    First Graded Stakes Win:
    2004 Hawthorne Gold Cup (G2) at Hawthorne with Freefourinternet
    First Career Win:
    February 7, 1969 in Garden City, Mich.

    At Keeneland (through October 2016):

    • Leading trainer during the 2016 Spring Meet with 13 wins, including the Dixiana Elkhorn (G2) with Da Big Hoss.
    • Leading trainer during the 2013 Spring and Fall meets. Set a Spring Meet record with 25 wins. Bulk of winners raced by leading owners Ken and Sarah Ramsey, including Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup (G1) winner Kitten’s Dumplings and Elkhorn (G2) winner Dark Cove.
    • First Keeneland win came during the 2004 Spring Meet.
    • First Keeneland stakes win was the 2010 Toyota Blue Grass (G1) with 40-1 longshot Stately Victor.
    • Leading trainer during the 2008 Fall Meet.
    • Seven stakes wins also include the 2012 Dixiana Breeders’ Futurity (G1) with Joha.

    Starters in the Toyota Blue Grass (G1):




    2016 Twizz 14th
    2015 Pepper Roani 8th


    Harry’s Holiday



    Fear the Kitten






    Gung Ho






    Joes Blazing Aaron



    Stately Victor



    Love Dubai




    • Breeders’ Cup wins (2): 2009 Dirt Mile with Furthest Land; 2011 Juvenile with Hansen.
    • North American career earnings were more than $64 million with 1,737 wins through Sept. 19, 2016.
    • 2015 earnings were $7,611,262 to rank 11th. His 184 wins included the Louisiana Derby (G2) and Risen Star (G2), both with International Star.
    • Honored as 2015 trainer of the year by the Kentucky Thoroughbred Development Fund. 
    • ​In 2014, was seventh among leading North American trainers by wins with 216 and ninth in earnings with $9,554,222. Highlights included wins by Vicar’s in Trouble in the Louisiana Derby (G2) and Super Derby (G2).
    • Won 228 races and earned $8,357,325 in 2013 for a career-best season. Maker was fourth by wins and eighth by earnings among North American trainers. Also won the Grade 1 Secretariat at Arlington with the Ramseys’ Admiral Kitten.
    • Posted career win No. 1,000 on March 16, 2013, at Fair Grounds with Magical Season.
    • Earnings in 2012 were $6,864,949.
    • Won two Grade 1 races on Oct. 6, 2012: Dixiana Breeders’ Futurity at Keeneland with Joha and Jamaica at Belmont with King David.
    • Earnings in 2011 of $6,721,836 and 158 victories ranked him 10th among North America’s leading trainers.
    • Trained his first Eclipse Award winner in 2011: champion 2-year-old male Hansen.
    • Won four stakes on Sept. 24, 2011: Ontario Derby at Woodbine with Derby Kitten, Distorted Humor Kentucky Cup Distaff (G3) at Turfway with La Gran Bailadora, Speightstown Kentucky Cup Sprint (G3) with Matthewsburg and Bluegrass Cat Kentucky Cup Juvenile with Hansen.
    • Multiple leading trainer at Kentucky tracks.


    Mike became involved in racing because his father, the late George Maker, was trainer in Michigan. Mike cleaned stalls and walked hots, and exercised horses when he became a teenager.

    After training on his own in Michigan, Maker went to work for D. Wayne Lukas’ Midwest division at Churchill Downs and Lukas assistant Dallas Stewart. He started as an exercise rider then became barn foreman and an assistant trainer. When Stewart departed in 1997, Mike replaced him. He was ready to go back out on his own in 2003.



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