Thistledown Hosts Successful Best of Ohio Card

Five $100,000 stakes for Ohio-breds and perfect weather led to a large on-track crowd and all sources handle of over $1.3 million as Thistledown hosted its 2021 Best of Ohio racing program on Saturday, August 14th.

The 10-race card kicked off with stakes action as Richard Wilkinson and Bobby Cline’s Thedayofthegrey ($20.00) scored a gate to wire 1 3/4 length victory in the Cleveland Kindergarten Stakes for Ohio-registered 2-year-olds.

Thedayofthegrey, a gelded son of Ohio stallion Twinspired, covered the 6 furlongs in 1:12.06 holding off Tandrum who rallied along the rail for the place. The victory under jockey Sonny Leon was Thedayofthegrey’s second win in just three lifetime starts.

2-year-old fillies were up next in the $100,000 Miss Ohio Stakes which was run at 6 furlongs. Pacific Coast ($15.60) put away her pace rival in upper stretch and drew off to an impressive 6 1/2 length victory under jockey Jose Bracho in the Miss Ohio.

Co-owners WinStar Farm and Blazing Meadows Farm bred the daughter of Exaggerator who won for the second time in three career starts. Candlelight Hours rallied for the place in the final strides. Pacific Coast is trained by Tim Hamm and covered the 6 furlongs in 1:11.88.

Circus Rings who won the 2020 Pay The Man stakes via disqualification was a repeat winner but once again the victory was not without controversy. Circus Rings ($16.40) stalked the pace to the second turn, dueled around that bend and through the stretch and held sway to score a neck victory over Sally Strong in the 1 1/8th mile Pay The Man. However, shortly after crossing the wire the inquiry sign was on the board and both the riders of second place finished Sally Strong and third place finisher Market Success lodged claims of foul against Hector Berrios who rode Circus Rings alleging interference as Circus Rings drifted out through the stretch under steady left handed urging.

After a lengthy review of the video tapes the stewards let the original result stand. Circus Rings, a 6-year-old daughter of Wilburn, is trained by Valerie Shanyfelt for owners Knights A to Z Racing. The victory was the 10th in Circus Rings career and sent her career earnings over the $350,000 mark. She covered the 1 1/8 miles in 1:53.48.

Magna Man ($29.20) overcame a stumble at the break and a wide trip to score a game head victory over Forewarned in the 1 1/4 mile Governor’s Buckeye Cup.

Chelsey Keiser rode Magna Man to victory for owner John Hoctel and Ron Treadway. Trainer Ivan Vazquez has Magna Man, an 8-year-old gelded son of Magna Graduate, in the best form of his career having crossed the wire first in his last four starts, although he was disqualified from one of those wins and placed second. Magna Man covered the 1 1/4 miles in 2:04.24 in winning for the 11th time in 45 career starts.

The stakes action wrapped up with Dougie D Oro tracking the pace to the stretch before drawing clear to a 2 3/4 length victory in the 6 furlong Honey Jay Stakes defeating two former Ohio Horse of the Year winners in the process.

Ricardo Feliciano rode Dougie D Oro to the victory for owner-trainer Jerry Sparks. The win was Dougie D Oro, a 5-year-old gelded son of Mio d’Oro, 6th from just 8 career starts and his first stakes score. Dougie D Oro covered the 6 furlongs in a rapid 1:09.62. 5/2 race favorite Nick Can Fix rallied to gain the place.

Thoroughbred Industry Employee Awards Nomination Deadline Approaching

There are just five days left to submit a nomination to the 2021 Thoroughbred Industry Employee Awards, nominations close on Monday, August 2nd. You can learn more and nominate online at

TIEA is an opportunity to let those who have helped keep businesses afloat know that they are appreciated. We know many racetrack workers have continued to show up every morning to take care of their horses and other responsibilities to our industry. This is the steadfast commitment and passion we want to recognize through TIEA.

If you know of someone deserving of recognition for their dedication to our industry, please nominate them now at

There are seven Award categories, with three finalists recognized in six categories and prize money totaling $128,000. While things are slowly getting back to normal, we know now more than ever the importance of recognizing and rewarding individuals who work tirelessly in our industry. Again, nominations close August 2nd. You or anyone you know can nominate now at

Thistledown to Host Three Race Sprint Series

Thistledown will be conducting a three race sprint series for claimers beginning April 26th with legs worth $20,000 and $25,000 and a $30,000 final. Later in the meet we will also have a three race route series. Below are the details for the sprint series.

Jack Thistledown Racino
Sprint Series
Presented by the OHIO HBPA

Horses must run in either of the 1st two legs of the Sprint Series (April 26th or
May 26th) in order to be eligible to run in the Sprint Series Finale on June 26th.

1st leg (April 26th 5F $20,000) is a $5,000, for each $500 higher in claiming price an
additional 1 lb.

2nd leg (May 26th 5-1/2F $25,000) is a $7,500, for each $500 higher in claiming price
an additional 1 lb.

3rd leg (June 26th 6F $30,000) will be run under open weight conditions and
restricted to horses that have run in either of the 1st two legs of the Sprint Series.

Preference for the Sprint Series Finale will be given to horses with the highest points
accumulated in the 1st two legs of the series. Point system is as follows;
1st – 5 Points, 2nd – 4 Points, 3rd – 3 Points, 4th – 2 Points, 5th – 1 Point.

(Preference to horses with highest points accumulated in the series. Tiebreaker will be
determined by highest earnings in 2021)

Belterra Park 2021 Meet Information for Horsemen

Set up for assigned stalls from April 12 to April 14. First day for horses on
the grounds April 15th. First day of training April 15th.

Racing Office will be closed Sundays and Mondays
With the exception of opening week of live racing and the office will take
entries Monday 4/26 for Thursday 4/29 race day

SCRATCH TIME: 9:00am day of race

Entries close no earlier than 10:30am as follows:
Enter Saturday for Thursday
Enter Tuesday for Friday
Enter Thursday for Tuesday
Enter Friday for Wednesday
Entry days may be added or changed if the race week changes from the normal
Tuesday – Friday race schedule, ie: racing on Saturday

Training Pre-Live Racing will be Monday – Saturday from 7am to 11am starting on
Thursday 4/15
Gate Schooling Pre-Live Racing will be offered the opening week of live racing,
starting at 9am, Monday 4/26 to Wednesday 4/28

Training for Live Racing will start Thursday 4/29 from 6am to 10:30am, with ½
break from 8am – 8:30am
Gate Schooling for Live Racing will be offered after the break at 8:30am,
Starting Thursday 4/29
Gate Schooling during live racing will be offered Tuesday – Saturday at 8:30am,
starting Tuesday May 4th

Mahoning Valley Barn Quarantine Lifted

The horse in question had a negative PCR test and as a result the quarantine on barn 1 at Mahoning Valley has been lifted. Training hours will be 7am to 11am Friday morning for all barns.

Penn National management is currently maintaining a band on all shippers from Kentucky and Maryland due to confirmed Equine Herpes Virus cases in thoroughbreds in those states.

Mahoning Valley Update March 11 PM

Here is the latest information we have.

A horse in barn 1 died this morning. While EHV is not the suspected cause of death the horse did exhibit some neurological signs prior to dying. Because of this the horse was sent off for a necropsy as well as having blood pulled.

The results of the EHV testing should be back tomorrow. Out of an abundance of caution barn 1 has been quarantined until such time as the EHV testing results come back.

Training on Friday will be from 7 to 10 am for all barns except barn 1 with the gate open from 8 to 10. Training for horses in barn 1 will be from 10 to 11am.

Also due to a positive EHV at a training center in Kentucky, Penn National management has decided not to allow any horses shipping in from Kentucky until further notice.

We will post additional information here as we have it.

Ohio HBPA, Farm Bureau Continue Strong Partnership

COLUMBUS, Ohio (OFBF) – In a continued effort to strengthen ties within the agriculture community, the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation and the Ohio Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association are advancing their partnership. Ohio HBPA represents nearly 2,500 owners and trainers who race thoroughbreds at Ohio’s three commercial thoroughbred race tracks.

Ohio HBPA is donating to the Ohio Farm Bureau Foundation, focusing on bringing more young people to careers in agriculture, as well as offering $5,000 in scholarships for incoming college freshmen pursuing agriculture-related majors.

“Those of us involved in thoroughbred racing have long enjoyed a solid relationship with Ohio’s agricultural community,” said Dave Basler, executive director of Ohio HBPA. “Our ongoing commitment to the Ohio Farm Bureau and its foundation bolsters the link between our organizations and our industries.”

In addition to commitments made to the foundation, Ohio HBPA also announced it will be a sponsor of Ohio Farm Bureau’s annual meeting and will purchase Farm Bureau memberships for some of its members and staff through OFBF’s group membership program.

“Our partnership with Ohio HBPA has been characterized by generosity and shared priorities and its continuation speaks to how connected our organizations are,” said Michael Bailey, vice president of strategic partnerships with Ohio Farm Bureau. “We value their commitment to our vision and appreciate their ongoing investment in our foundation to support our mission throughout the year.”