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Mahoning Valley opens the 2019 Fall Meet featuring the Best of Ohio and honoring Cheryl White.
Austintown, OH (October 24, 2019) – The Best of Ohio stakes extravaganza returns to Mahoning Valley Racecourse on Saturday, October 26. Five full fields of Ohio-breds will take center stage and contest the $150,000 divisional events. Mahoning Valley Racecourse will offer, an all-stakes Pick Five covering the Best of Ohio, in races 4 through 8.
Two-year-old fillies begin the Best of Ohio in the John W. Galbreath The Galbreath is carded as the 4th race on the 8-race program. With divisional honors on the line, it appears that Moonlit Mission (8/5) is the filly to beat. Moonlit Mission is coming into the Galbreath on a three-race win streak. After knocking down the Tad Dah stakes at Belterra Park, she recently beat the boys in an allowance race at Thistledown. Ricardo Mejias will be back aboard the Charlie Williams trainee.
Two-year-old boys will follow in the Juvenile Stakes. It is carded as the 5th race on the program. Liberate (2-1) is looking forward to returning to the Buckeye state. He was undefeated in three Ohio starts, including wins in the Hoover at Belterra and Cleveland Kindergarten at Thistledown. Liberate shipped to Monmouth Park in September where he suffered his only defeat in the $100,000 Sapling Stakes as the 7/5 favorite. Liberate is owned by Winstar Farm LLC, Blazing Meadows Farm LLC, and Michael Lewis. Gerardo Corrales will be the pilot for trainer Tim Hamm.
Altissimo, believed by many to be the best Ohio Bred competing, will be on display in the six furlong Best of Ohio Sprint. He will be looking to defend his Sprint title in the 6th race. Altissimo is coming off a huge effort in the $250,000 Grade III DeFrancis Memorial Dash at Laurel. He just missed despite experiencing a troubled trip. Prior to that, he was upset at Thistledown in the Honey Jay after going off at 1-20. Which Altissimo will show up, last year’s nine length Sprint winner and 2018 Buckeye Horse of the Year or the 2019 Honey Jay runner up? Trainer Richie Zielinski named regular jockey Christian Pilares to ride for owners Nancy Lavrich and Ron Zielinski.
The most wide-open race on paper is the nine furlong Best of Ohio Distaff carded as the 7th race. Magna Rose has been installed as the tepid 4-1 favorite. 2018 winner Takechargedelilah defends her championship. Mayas Queen Neetee looks to reclaim the crown she wore in 2017.
The day’s final race is the Best of Ohio Endurance. Forewarned returns to Ohio after finishing 4th in this event last year. Since that effort Forewarned has transferred ownership to Trin-Brook Stables Inc. and landed in the Uriah St. Lewis barn. He has spent his year on the East Coast competing against some of the best horses in the country. He raced in back to back Grade I stakes at Saratoga. Mo Don’t No (4-1) doesn’t figure to give his title away easily as he is looking to win the Endurance for a fourth consecutive time. He started his Endurance streak at Mahoning Valley Racecourse in 2016 and tallied victories at Belterra and Thistledown in subsequent seasons. The Jeff Radosevich trained six year old is approaching one million dollars in earnings for Ron Paolucci Racing LLC.
The first race of the day will be raced in honor of Cheryl White. White was the first African American female jockey in the United States. White has a highly successful riding career culminating in her induction into the Appaloosa Hall of Fame. White was employed at Mahoning Valley since the tracks opening in 2014 as a Racing Official. White died on Sept. 20th at age 65 after a brief illness. White’s family is creating a permanent memorial foundation in her honor to help inspire and introduce at-risk and underprivileged children to various horse racing related activities.
Post time for the eight-race card is 12:15 PM.
OHIO CONNECTIONS IN THE BREEDERS’ CUP
Two fillies with Ohio roots will compete in the Grade 1, $1 million Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint. Heavenhasmynikki is a four-time Ohio-bred stakes winner of $423,730. She races for Ron Paolucci Racing LLC and Leigh Anderson. The striking chestnut filly, she is a daughter of Majestic Warrior out of Floral Park by Forest Wildcat and was bred by Langsem Farm and brought a final bid of $150,000 at the 2019 Fasig-Tipton October Sale.
Kentucky Oaks winner Serengeti Empress is owned by O.T.B.O. member Dr. Joel Politi. Since that classic win she ran second in the Grade 1 Acorn and Grade 1 Test. She enters the race with 5 wins from 11 starts and earnings of $1,282,120.
CHAMPION OHIO BARREL RACER SELLS OHIO SALE TOPPER
Cathy Gale has earned plenty of blue ribbons and engraved belt buckles over the years and now she can add leading consignor to her resume. She is the NBHA’s National Barrel Horse Association Champion rider for Ohio in the Senior 3 D level and may well be on her way to the Nationals. Cathy and her husband operate Phantom Farm and their yearling colt brought the highest bid at the recent Ohio Mixed Sale at $11,500.
The bay colt was purchased by Michael Evans II and is a son of Cowtown Cat out of Surviving New York by Survivalist. Surviving New York has a 2-year-old full brother in training and is currently in foal to Ohio’s 2018 Stallion of the Year Mobil.
Full Sale results are posted on this site under Sales and Results on our masthead.