A majority of the horses in the stable of 49-year-old Charlton Baker are New York-breds, including Moonlight Song, winner of the John Morrissey Stakes earlier in the meet for owner Albert Fried Jr. He won two races from 10 starters heading into today's card, the same number of winners he posted in 2014 and 2013.
Baker is a third-generation horseman who got his start and still maintains a presence at Finger Lakes, Baker has racked up stable earnings of $1 million or more for 12 straight years.
Baker took The Special's Annise Montplaisir through Barn 58 on the Oklahoma Training Track grounds last week and talked about his string.
Moonlight Song: "He's the best horse I have in the barn, really. He just won the Morrissey. And we're not sure where we're going next. We're just looking at all the options in the state and even outside the state. Last year we run him in the Morrissey and didn't get a chance to run him until Empire Showcase day (in the Hudson Handicap Oct. 24), so we don't want to do that this year. But ..."
Expression: "She's a nice filly. Claimed her a few years back (January 2012) for $35,000 from a maiden race. She's gone on to make almost $400,000, got a couple graded stakes placed. This is her last year, not sure where her next start is going to be."
Make The Moment: "New York-bred filly. She also came out of a claiming race. We claimed her for $20,000. She has done really good for us. She runs in stakes, New York-bred stakes, finishes second or third. Been doing good, nice little filly. (Finished seventh in last week's Union Avenue Stakes)"
Joking: "We claimed him for $20,000. He's as game as they come, just a nice horse, tries all the time. Just ran (in an Aug. 8 allowance), didn't run too good. He's a pretty honest horse."
Manofmanyvirtues: "I claimed him two starts back for $40,000 from Brian Lynch. Trained the mare, she was all dirt. This horse is by Kitten's Joy. The dam, she won five stakes for me, New York-bred stakes, for Mr. Ken Ramsey. And this horse has run on the turf. I'm definitely thinking about trying him on the dirt just because I trained the mare and she was all dirt. He's going to make a start next week on the dirt. His first dirt start. Hopefully that's good there."
Prize Taker: "She just finished third in an a-other than (Aug. 14). She's a check getter. She doesn't seem like she wants to win, but she gets checks. She's second and third, second and third. She finished second two in a row (at Belmont Park) and then she finished third. But she's a nice filly. She tries."
Atlantic's Smile: "She just won (the July 31 Arctic Queen Stakes) at Finger Lakes. She's going to be entered in for the Union Avenue coming up here Thursday (finished eighth). Make The Moment's going to be in that same race. ... Atlantic's Smile is a trying filly, got her stakes-placed last year in New York and now she won a stake. It's good for the family. She's from a family of all stakes winners."
Cosmic Tale: "Then we've got a little maiden here, just run the other day for maiden 40, finished fourth. But she's OK. She'll be alright on the grass. She's by Cosmonaut. She's a 3-year-old, run a few times already."
Whitegate: "I've got a 2-year-old that I really like, he's by Desert Party. This year we bought him at the 2-year-old sale for $47,000. I own half of him with a friend. He should be making a start maybe in a couple weeks. I'm thinking a couple weeks here before the end of the meet. He's doing okay, so I'm kind of not high on him but I'm excited about him getting to the races."
Sonic Surprise: "She's a 2-year-old that I bred by one of my own mares. The first one that I'm going to have bred, hopefully race and own. She's by Giant Surprise. I raced the mare, Sonic Sound, she was all grass. And she's shown enough potential, so she should be OK. She's a 2-year-old, New York bred."