FIVE $100,000 BEST OF OHIO RACES DRAW 50 ENTRANTS INCLUDING NINE STATE CHAMPIONS
The Best of Ohio Series will highlight an All-Ohio ten race program at JACK Thistledown on Saturday, October 8. At least 10 Ohio Champions will compete through all of the Best of Ohio races including two two-time Horses of the Year – Altissimo and Mo Dont No.
The Juvenile races start the series in the 6th race with the $100,000 Ohio Cleveland Kindergarten. Undefeated Hoover Stakes winner Esplanande will be the only filly in the field going six-furlongs. The WinStar Farm and Blazing Meadow Farm homebred is trained by Tim Hamm. The same connections have the undefeated Alexandria in the following 5 ½ furlong $100,000 Best of Ohio Miss Stakes. She captured the $75,000 Jim Morgan Tah Dah Stakes in her last start at Belterra Park. Charlie Williams Gonnabegood was the runner-up to Alexandria in both of her career outings.
A field of ten will match strides in the $100,000 Best of Ohio Honey Jay, a race that features three Ohio Champions. The two-time Horse of the Year Altissimo, a winner of$791,658 is a multiple Champion Sprinter and two-time Horse of the Year; Liberate was the 2019 Champion 2-year-old and Diamond Dust was the 2019 Champion 3-year-old.
Four champions are scheduled to be part of ten distaffers in the starting gate for the 1 1/8 mile $100,000 Best of Ohio Pay The Man. Leona’s Reward, a multiple champion during her six seasons of racing, continues her march to $1 Million as she enters the race with $960,306. Drillit was the 2-year-old champ in 2018 and she returns to the dirt after her first try on the grass and the 2019 3-year-old champion Totally Obsessed enters off her fastest effort at two turns. It is a very competitive event that also includes last year’s winner Cali Dream ($338,202) and recent Vivacious Handicap winner Distinctive Flower.
The anchor race of Saturday’s Best of Ohio Series is the $100,000 1 ¼ mile Governor’s Buckeye Cup. The purse has attracted Forewarned out of his base at Parx. The last time the east coast based runner raced in Ohio he won the $150,000 Best of Ohio Endurance at Mahoning Valley. The earner of $424,613 comes into the race off a third-place finish in the Grade 3 Westchester Handicap at Belmont Park. Two-time Horse of the Year, Mo Dont No ($987,110) has won at the rare 10-furlong distance five times and 2019 Accredited Male Champion Mobil Solution ($467,770) will try to win this race two years in a row.
Patrick Ellsworth and his Thistledown Racing Office team did an exceptional job of recruiting Ohio-bred runners to fill the entire card. The first five races of the day offer lucrative purses for Buckeye-breds with purses that average $29,060. The day starts with a 12:20 post time and the weather forecast is for a sunny day. Throughout the day the 2019 Ohio Divisional Champions and their connections will be recognized.
ENTRY DEADLINE FOR OHIO MIXED SALE – AUGUST 29 – FORMS AVAILABLE AT WWW.OTBO.COM
CALIFORNIA CHROME’S FIRST WINNER OUT OF 3-TIME OHIO BROODMARE OF THE YEAR
Two-time Horse of the Year California Chrome who bankrolled $14,752,460 during his storied career, was represented by his first winner at stud on Saturday July 18, when Sunkar Time won a maiden race at Krasnodar Racetrack in Russia. Sunkar Time prevailed in a 1,400-meter race (about seven furlongs) in 1:30.1 under jockey Myrzabek Kappushev, winning on debut for owner Rustam Mantikov and trainer O.S. Samokhina. Sunkar Time sold to Mikhail Yanakov’s Olympia Star at the 2019 Keeneland September Yearling Sale, and he was exported to Russia to compete under the new ownership.
The colt was bred by O.T.B.O. Treasurer Bruce C. Ryan, out of the multiple stakes-placed Left Banker mare Kiosk, who became the only three-time Ohio Broodmare of the Year 2013 – 2015. Trained by former O.T.B.O. President Tim Hamm, she raced for four seasons 2002-2005 and in stakes races she placed in five outings and retired with a four-year record of 31-4-9-5 for earnings of $115,649.
Sunkar Time may reside in Russia, but his pedigree goes back for generations in the Buckeye State. Kiosk was an accredited-bred by Left Banker who stood at the Eutrophia Farm of Mr. & Mrs. Quentin Alexander who bred Kiosk. Bruce Ryan purchased her at the 2001 Ohio Sale.
Kiosk’s second dam was the multiple stakes winner Grand Glory ($135,899) who had seven foals to race, all of them winners. Her first foal was Ohio-bred Lived It Up ($100,288) who campaigned for the Alexanders and won the Governor’s Buckeye Cup. Her dam, Phone Switch, by Phone Trick had seven foals to race including the graded stakes-placed Ohio-bred Sousaphone ($119,160).
Kiosk’s third foal was the multiple stakes-place Ohio-bred Monetary Reward ($86,329), her fifth foal was the precocious Kiosk’s Cause who had two wins as a 2-year-old capturing the Hoover Stakes and finishing third in the Cleveland Kindergarten. In between those two was Needmore Flattery. The Flatter filly, like her dam, raced for four seasons and starting with her juvenile season went on to win 17 times, with 8 stakes victories and 2 stakes-placed performances for earnings of $732,103. She was crowned Ohio Horse of the Year in 2013 and 2014. Before her retirement this year, Kiosk produced an Ohio-bred full sister to Needmore Flattery.
2020 OTBO FALL MIXED SALE ENTRIES POSTED ON-LINE
To download an entry form for this year’s sale just go to the masthead and click on SALES & AUCTION and will will take you to Sales Information section where you can download your forms. All details are there – DEADLINE FOR ENTRY IS AUGUST 29
MOONLIT MISSION AND VERISSIMO EXCELL ON THE TURF IN CINCINNATI
You can’t keep a good woman down. Last year’s top 2-year-old filly Moonlit Mission is back to her winning ways and she looked bigger and better than ever in the $75,000 Tomboy Stakes at Belterra Park on July 17. She took on older rivals in her 2020 debut in the J.W. Petro on June 18 and ran third behind older state champions Drillit and Leona’s Reward.
The striking daughter of Shackleford returned to face ten 3-year-olds and try turf for the first time in the 1 1/16 Tomboy. Three in the field raced as an entry out of the Robert Gorham for barn for Mast Thoroughbreds and the public took advantage of the angle and made his runners the 4 to 5 choice. Gorham had an additional starter owned by Marion Gorham. Charlie Williams’ Moonlit Mission was sent postward as the second choice.
The Gorham group came out of the gate as though they were working in company with Penny Shots keeping a short lead over Tiz What who was just ahead of Edge of Night. Moonlit Mission had to break from post position 9 and jockey Erik Barbaran did a nice job of getting her down near the rail to save ground, while ahead of only one filly at the ½ mile marker. Barbaran angled her out around the turn and roused her to move from 10th to 3rd as they entered the stretch behind Tiz What and Penny Shots. Moonlit Mission continued her momentum and surged past Penny Shots by ½ length at the wire with pacesetter Tiz What holding on for the third spot.
Charlie Williams has handed the title of trainer to his longtime assistant Silvano Gonzalez. “We’ve worked together for 15 or 16 years,” said Williams from his home in Detroit. “The whole team is what makes it work. We work together. Sandra Marie Adkins, who trained champion Ohio Gold for us is there, we’ve had the same grooms and Jill Ross is not only our van driver, but she is our pony girl and hotwalker. Everyone knows their role and what has to be done. I’m still there at 6:00 a.m. several days a week, that drive from Detroit to Thistledown isn’t an easy one, so I know Silvano has everything under control on the days I’m not there.”
Williams purchased the filly for $18,000 from the Fasig-Tipton October Sale in October 2018. The daughter of Shackleford out of Moonlit River by Maria’s Mon was bred by Belvedere Farm. “She always was well put together but coming back this year she’s much bigger and stronger, a little heavier and stouter,” Williams continued. “She does put her game face on when it’s race day and we now have to have two people walk her over. Well, now we know she likes the grass, too. So, we’ll just keep her happy until the Best of Ohio Series at Thistledown.” The win in the Tomboy pushed her career record to 8-5-0-1 for earnings of $234,550.
VERISSIMO REMAINS PERFECT IN TURF STAKES
In Belterra’s $75,000 1 1/16 mile Buckeye Native Stakes, only three of the eleven starters had won over the turf course at that distance. When all was said and run, they ended up finishing 1-2-3. Verissimo, captured the Horizon against 3-year-olds last season; Funnel Cake upset the field in this race for accredited-breds last year at 25 to 1 and Birdacious won the Vivacious against fillies and mares in 2019 and finished a strong second in this year’s Vivacious, only a week prior to the Buckeye Native.
Verissimo was making his third start of the season, with his second-place finish to Mobil Solution in the George Lewis Memorial being his last start. Breaking in the middle of the field. jockey Luan Machado let his mount get easily into stride, improving his distance towards the leaders at every call. He made a 4-wide swoop around the turn and caught pacesetting Funnel Cake through the stretch to draw off by 2 ¼ lengths in 1:41.29. Funnel Cake held a fast finishing Birdacious off by a neck to round out the top three. Favored Mobil Solution was poised to pounce on the pacesetters, getting to 3rd in the lane, but failing to fire and finished fifth.
The winning 4-year-old gelding hails from the talent laden barn of Jeff Radosevich, who has started him exclusively in stakes events since the August 11 Horizon last season. The win pushed him beyond the quarter million-dollar mark in earnings with a lifetime record of 17-6-6-1. Bred and owned by Richard Spicer and William Spitler, Verissimo is a son of Vertiformer out of Blue as the Nile by Spunky Rascal. O.T.B.O. board member Robin Murphy was welcomed in for the winner’s circle photo as her Poplar Creek Horse Center stands both Vertiformer and Birdrun, sire of Birdacious.
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