There will be plenty of horses you’ve seen run at River Downs vying for championship honors in the state when they run “The Best of Ohio” Saturday at Thistledown. The series starts in the 4th race with a .50 Cent Pick Five and the 5th race will offer a Pick Four for .50 cents. The Regular Guy conferred with Thistledown Handicapper Rich Ruda and John McDulin of the Daily Racing Form and here are their views on the day’s races. Rain is predicted for the area on Saturday.
Race 4 – John W. Galbreath for 2-year-old fillies. All agreed Motega is the “single” to start with. She’s 4 for 4 and has won in the slop. If for any reason she would scratch – the Tim Hamm entry is a no-brainer in her place.
Race 5 – The Ohio Distaff - McDulin and the Regular Guy feel Pay the Man could be another “single”. She is 14 for 19 at Thistledown and has 6 wins at the distance for $749,526. Rich Ruda says to be wary of Muir Woods, winner of the Queen City Oaks here this summer at the 1 1/8 mile distance. After setting the pace in the Rose DeBartolo she was caught by Pay the Man and finished a strong second. She remained in Cleveland and has a bullet work in her last effort.
Race 6 – The Oho Endurance – Ruda is backing “Ohio’s Superman” Catlaunch to win the race and score his 3rd Ohio Horse of the year crown. As much as The Regular Guy wants that to happen, I believe his form was best early in the season and will throw his backing to Bold Captain. He won the Governor’s Buckeye Cup there and prepped for this race September 24 against open company – the horse that beat him, Black Belt” is running in a $500,000 race on Friday at Charles Town. “Johnny Mac” is backing That’s a Heckofacat who likes Thistledown and set a lively pace for Bold Captain in the Governor’s Buckeye.
Race 7 – The Ohio Sprint – Another difference of opinion among the ‘cappers in here. Mr. McDulin believes the pace scenario is what will set it up perfectly for Perfectly Played, he’s the closer in a race full of speedballs. Rich Ruda likes Klassy Korbin on the rail. He beat Perfectly Played when they last met at the distance and he prepped against open company to finish second to Fire Chief, a horse who is a “Monster” according to Ruda. The Regular Guy will go with 10-time Thistledown winner Sneak a Cold Treat, winner of the Honey Jay Stakes in his last start. The question that remains are – why hasn’t he started since August 20. Things that make you go h-m-m-m-m-m.
Race 8 – The Juvenile – The boys could not come to a consensus here and all agreed this is where you need to spread your ticket out and may end the day with a price. Not an Alter Boy was very impressive in the prep for this race. He beat four he will face Saturday and it was at a mile in the slop. The Juvenile is 1 1/16 miles. Diavoletto faced open company in his only race and flew out of the gate to run a strong second. T.D. Houghten (43% in limited mounts) is scheduled to ride this 12 to 1 shot. Another 12 to 1 worth watching is Kipling Boy who is shipping all the way from Evangeline Downs for his Ohio debut and after two turf routes will add blinkers. The final two to muddy the mix come out of the always feared Tim Hamm barn and will run uncoupled. Brass Buckle disappointed in his lone start, but will get first blinkers and lasix in here. His dam, Barnsey, was a nice stakes winner. On the outside is License to Bling who ran second to Not An Alter Boy in the prep and gets first lasix today.
The Best of Ohio is always an enjoyable day of racing with connections familiar to the bettors at River Downs. The .50 cent bets are enticing, so get the change out of the couch and get to the River Downs RaceBook for a fun-filled day of action!