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.