Trainer Mike Maker won his 3,000th career race Friday at Ellis Park when Palatial Times bounded across the finish line in the fifth race.
Owned by Paradise Farms Corp. and David Staudacher and ridden by Gerardo Corrales, Palatial Times captured the one-mile claiming event by 2 ¼ lengths after pressing early pacesetter The Boss Factor from second then taking over in the stretch for the milestone victory.
Time was 1:36.54. Palatial Times, a 4-year-old son of Palace Malice, returned $7.22.
Maker started out training on his own in Michigan and tallied his first winner on April 28, 1993, at Detroit Race Course with Rauros. He then went to work for D. Wayne Lukas’ Midwest division at Churchill Downs and Lukas assistant Dallas Stewart, starting out as an exercise rider, then became barn foreman and an assistant trainer. When Stewart left in 1997, Maker replaced him. He went back out on his own in 2003 and is a leading trainer throughout Kentucky.
During his tenure with Lukas, he handled a number of prominent runners, including Cat Thief, Cash Run, Spain, Orientate, Surfside, and the 1999 Horse of the Year and dual classic winner Charismatic.
On his own, Maker trained 2011 champion 2-year-old male Hansen. Among other Grade 1 winners he trained are Bigger Picture, Fire At Will, Furthest Land, Stately Victor, and Zulu Alpha.
Maker’s 15,105 starters have also come in second 2,362 times and third in 1,927 races. Overall, his runners have amassed purse earnings of $137.9 million through August 5.
This year, Maker has a 122-111-113 record from 702 starters that have bankrolled $8,570,926, ranking him fifth by purse earnings among the nation’s leading trainers and 10th by races won.