Belterra Park hosted the Best of Ohio series on a warm partly cloudy day in Cincinnati on Saturday, October 7th.
The Best of Ohio series consists of five stakes races each worth $150,000 for Ohio-breds.
Missap kicked off the stakes action scoring an easy five length gate to wire victory in the $150,000 John W. Galbreath Memorial for Ohio-bred 2-year-old fillies.
Jockey Dean Sarvis expertly rated Missap through a slow opening half before drawing away through the stretch in the 1 1/16 mile event over the main track while covering the distance in a final time of 1:46.06. Ucantkeepup rallied late to gain the place a length in front of 8/5 favorite Tango Run who held third after chasing the winner to midstretch.
Kellyn Gorder trains Missap who scored her second career victory in three starts for her owner/breeders Beckett Team LLC.
Even money favorite Awaken survived a stretch long duel to score a game half length victory over Tiz a Rush in the 1 1/16 mile Juvenile Stakes which carried a purse of $150,000 and was restricted to 2-year-olds bred in Ohio. Charlee’s Magic who chased the winner to the stretch held on for third.
James Graham rode Awaken who was headed by Tiz A Rush in upper stretch but fought back gamely to score his third career victory in five starts for trainer Tim Hamm. Awaken, a chestnut colt by Super Saver is owned and bred by Win Star Farm LLC and Blazing Meadows Farm LLC. His career record now stands at 3-1-1 from 5 starts with two stakes victories good for $175,500 in earnings.
Hijo de Sheltowee rallied along the rail and got up in the last jump to score a 10/1 upset victory three time defending champion Rivers Run Deep in the $150,000 6-furlong Best of Ohio Sprint by a nose in 1:10.18.
Pablo Morales rode Hijo de Sheltowee to the victory which was the 5-year-old gelded son of Devil His Due’s fifth in 10 starts in 2017. Trainer Nabu Morales claimed Hijo de Sheltowee for owner Michael Friedman for $7,500 in July, 2016 and with Saturday’s victory he has now earned over $220,000 for his connections since that claim.
Rivers Run Deep lost nothing in defeat as the millionaire Ohio-bred fought gamely to the wire after overcoming a bit of a slow break to take the lead entering the stretch but was outnodded by the winner in the final stride. It was another 4 1/2 lengths back to Nuttin’ Faster who finished third.
Owner Loooch Racing Stables, Inc. and trainer Jeff Radosevich pulled off a stakes double capturing the final two stakes of the day the $150,000 Best of Ohio Distaff and the $150,000 Best of Ohio Endurance.
In the 1 1/8 mile Distaff it was Mayas Queen Neetee who overcame a stumbling start to score a widening 5 1/2 length victory under jockey Luis Colon. School Board President, who trailed for the first half mile, rallied to finish second 1 3/4 lengths clear of 93/1 shot pacesetter Flashy G who held third.
The victory was the 6th in 9 starts in 2017 for Mayas Queen Neetee, a five-year-old daughter of Speightstown, who now boasts career earnings of $230,292.
2016 Ohio Horse of the Year and defending champion Mo Don’t Know scored a popular one length victory at odds of 3/5 in the 1 1/4 mile Endurance. Ricardo Feliciano rode the winner for trainer Jeff Radosevich and owner Looch Racing Stables. Cake Pop rallied to gain second at the wire a nose in front of Let’scalliteven.
Mo Don’t Know covered the classic 1 1/4 mile distance is 2:03.32 in scoring his fifth straight victory.
Mo Don’t No is a 4-year-old gelded son of Uncle Mo and now sports an ultra impressive career record of 14-4-0 from 20 starts good for $651, 255 in earnings.