Best of Ohio Series Promises Champions at ThistleDown Racino



Ohio’s finest will line up for combined purses of $500,000 as the 2013 Best of Ohio series comes to ThistleDown Racino, October 12. 


All eyes will be on the females of the species in the $100,000, 27th running of 

The Best of Ohio Distaff (One mile and 1/8th). 


Ohio racing’s newest millionaire, Pay The Man, trained by Ricardo Feliciano, 

returned to form when winning the Scarlet and Gray Handicap at ThistleDown 

Racino last time out. She now faces her young nemesis, Caviar N Champagne, who has beaten her three times in stakes races in 2013. 


Pay The Man entered the winners circle for the first time in a year when 

winning the Scarlet and Gray last month. Notably, the race was over a one turn six 

furlongs. In three starts this summer at one mile or over, she has not shown her 

finishing power of old. The veteran nine-year-old goes for her third straight win in 

the Distaff and for the fourth time in her career, having also won in 2008. 


Although Caviar N Champagne came up short in the Scarlet and Gray, her 

stakes record this year is impressive collecting the Rose DeBartolo Memorial, The 

J.W. Petro Memorial and The Mike Mackey Handicap. Significantly, two of those wins 

were over one mile and one sixteenth and there is every indication she will get the 

half-furlong further trip.  


You can never ignore the combination of trainer, Jeff Radosevich and jockey, Scott Spieth (who comes into town from Keeneland). They team up many times through the afternoon. 


The $100,000 Best of Ohio Endurance (One mile and a quarter) is a wide open 



Silver Tongued, trained by Jeff Greenhill (who has had a very successful meet 

at Indiana Downs), won The Cleveland Gold Cup in early July but was disappointing 

in the Ohio Derby. However, his second place in the Governors Buckeye Cup was 

promising. Crucially, this horse’s running style can be fairly described as being tailed 

off until zooming over the final two and a half furlongs can be assured of a fast early 



Governors Buckeye Cup winner Bold Captain is one of two in the race trained 

by Miguel Feliciano, who is also represented by Pyrite Personal, who was third in the same race). Bold Captain is a horse who can lay back off the early pace. However, he faces the deepest quality field he has come across in some time. 


Trainer Carl Deville brings Only Boy back to ThistleDown Racino, having 

won the Best of Ohio Endurance in 2012. Unplaced in a $100,000 stakes race at 

Gulfstream Park in December, Only Boy clearly needed the race when fourth (beaten two and a half lengths) in a $17,500 Claimer at Louisiana Downs in September. 


An interesting proposition is Raise The Reward. Although fourth in his last 

two efforts, Raise The Reward is the only horse in the field to have won over one 

and a quarter miles at Thistledown in 2013. 


The $100,000, 22nd running of the J.W. Galbreath (One mile and one sixteenth 

for two-year-old fillies) should present Needmore Flattery with an opportunity to 

maintain her 100 percent record on dirt. 


Although she did not take to the Tapeta at Presque Isle Downs on her last 

start, her four stakes wins over the summer were hugely impressive. On each 

occasion, she galloped out well. Trainer Tim Hamm teams her up with her usual 

jockey, Irwin Rosendo, and they will doubtless be prepared for the two-turn race. 


Blacksilkstockings was very impressive when beating Natural Bling and 

Crafty Blue Kat (who she faces again) last time when breaking her maiden over one 

mile and forty yards at ThistleDown Racino last month. Jockey Christian Pilares can 

let this horse settle in the middle of the pack before making a move as they turn for 



Tim Hamm’s Natural Bling has trailed the two principles by a total of nine 

and three quarter lengths. However, only two and a quarter of those lengths were 

when she tackled the two-turn one mile and forty yard trip. Again, her only bad 

effort was on the Tapeta at Presque Isle Downs two starts ago. 


More two year olds get their turn in The 46th running of The Juvenile Stakes 

($100,000, one mile and one sixteenth.) and trainer Tim Hamm has a double 



Hamm saddles Natural Bling (one of three fillies taking on the boys), who was 

second to Blacksilkstockings over one mile and forty years on her last start. She is a 

filly that should always be in the top three who can make a late move. 


The other Hamm entry, Countess Bling, needs to improve to win but this is 

the horse’s first start on traditional dirt. 


Many people will be looking closely at Looch’s Only Son, the 

Radosevich/Spieth team partner-up. Although we have not seen the best of this 

horse (he was fourth behind Blacksilkstockings, Natural Bling and Crafty Blue Kat 

last time), he did enjoy the longer trip. 


Obsessionsoptimist was second in the five furlong Michigan Sire Stakes 

($50,000) at Mount Pleasant Meadows last time out and was previously third 

behind Needmore Flattery and Spring Song in the Cleveland Kindergarten at 

ThistleDown Racino in August for trainer Robert Cline. 


James Acquliano brings Spring Song back to ThistleDown Racino. His best 

performance was a narrow second behind Needmore Flattery in the Cleveland 

Kindergarten. He did not do so well on the artificial surface at Presque Isle Downs 

and did not run his best at Finger Lakes last time out. 


Eleven go to post for the $100,000 24th running of The Best of Ohio Sprint 

over six furlongs. 


Mike Rone’s Diavoletto goes for three stakes wins in a row having defeated 

Sneak A Cold Treat in the $50,000 Honey Jay Stakes at ThistleDown Racino in 

August. He followed that up with a win in the $75,000 New Castle Stakes at 

Delaware Park last month. A horse that likes to sit just behind the top two or three, 

at the time of writing, no jockey has been appointed for the ride. 


Sneak A Cold treat (again the Radosevich/Spieth combination) was second in 

the Honey Jay behind Diavoletto. But last time trailed behind Urban Renewal, Fuzzy 

Dee Jay and Classic Reward. Sneak A Cold Treat will need to return to his best 

previous form to contend. 


Urban Renewal, who was a distant eighth in the Honey jay, won an Allowance 

race here last time and is reunited with Federico Mata. Fuzzy Dee Jay, who finished 

sixth in the Honey Jay, has Mountaineer’s top jockey, Deshawn Parker, on board. 


Classic Reward will have to improve but cannot be discounted. In-form jockey 

Walter De La Cruz takes the ride on front-runner Sin and Redemption, but will have 

his work cut out to hold off rivals. 


The Best of Ohio series runs from race three to eight on an eight race card 

with a first post time of 12:55 p.m. The scheduled post times for the Best of Ohio 

races (featuring a 50c Pick Five and a 50c Pick Four on races four through eight) are as follows: 


Race 4: 2:35 p.m.: The 22nd running of The John W. Galbreath. $100,000, one mile and one sixteenth. 

Race 5: 3:11 p.m.: The 24th running of The Best of Ohio Sprint. $100,000, six furlongs. 

Race 6: 3:47 p.m.: The 46th running of The Juvenile Stakes. $100,000, one mile and 

one sixteenth. 

Race 7: 4:23 p.m.: The 27th running of The Best of Ohio Distaff. $100,000, one mile and one eighth. 

Race 8: 5 p.m.: The 27th running of The best of Ohio Endurance. $100,000, one mile and a quarter. 


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Older Comments about Best of Ohio Series Promises Champions at ThistleDown Racino...

ThistleDowns was one of my regular tracks for 17 years. It was sad that they cancelled the Ohio Derby one year & this year's OH Derby attracted mostly 20K claimers. The new revenue stream is working.
I am glad that the slots monies are fueling purses and helping both the breeding and racing industry in Ohio. Both the standard bred and thoroughbred industry are being reinvigorated by these purses.
Pay the Man is trained by Miguel Feliciano and ridden by Ricardo Feleiciano. The DreamTeam of Scott Spieth only made a brief appearnace at Keeneland, but they are regulars at The Big T. Jeff Radosevich has his main string here, and will be the one to be all afternoon. It looks to be a great card, and I am anxiously looking forward to it.

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