2020 BEST OF OHIO SATURDAY AT THISTLEDOWN
FIVE $100,000 BEST OF OHIO RACES DRAW 50 ENTRANTS INCLUDING NINE STATE CHAMPIONS
The Best of Ohio Series will highlight an All-Ohio ten race program at JACK Thistledown on Saturday, October 8. At least 10 Ohio Champions will compete through all of the Best of Ohio races including two two-time Horses of the Year – Altissimo and Mo Dont No.
The Juvenile races start the series in the 6th race with the $100,000 Ohio Cleveland Kindergarten. Undefeated Hoover Stakes winner Esplanande will be the only filly in the field going six-furlongs. The WinStar Farm and Blazing Meadow Farm homebred is trained by Tim Hamm. The same connections have the undefeated Alexandria in the following 5 ½ furlong $100,000 Best of Ohio Miss Stakes. She captured the $75,000 Jim Morgan Tah Dah Stakes in her last start at Belterra Park. Charlie Williams Gonnabegood was the runner-up to Alexandria in both of her career outings.
A field of ten will match strides in the $100,000 Best of Ohio Honey Jay, a race that features three Ohio Champions. The two-time Horse of the Year Altissimo, a winner of$791,658 is a multiple Champion Sprinter and two-time Horse of the Year; Liberate was the 2019 Champion 2-year-old and Diamond Dust was the 2019 Champion 3-year-old.
Four champions are scheduled to be part of ten distaffers in the starting gate for the 1 1/8 mile $100,000 Best of Ohio Pay The Man. Leona’s Reward, a multiple champion during her six seasons of racing, continues her march to $1 Million as she enters the race with $960,306. Drillit was the 2-year-old champ in 2018 and she returns to the dirt after her first try on the grass and the 2019 3-year-old champion Totally Obsessed enters off her fastest effort at two turns. It is a very competitive event that also includes last year’s winner Cali Dream ($338,202) and recent Vivacious Handicap winner Distinctive Flower.
The anchor race of Saturday’s Best of Ohio Series is the $100,000 1 ¼ mile Governor’s Buckeye Cup. The purse has attracted Forewarned out of his base at Parx. The last time the east coast based runner raced in Ohio he won the $150,000 Best of Ohio Endurance at Mahoning Valley. The earner of $424,613 comes into the race off a third-place finish in the Grade 3 Westchester Handicap at Belmont Park. Two-time Horse of the Year, Mo Dont No ($987,110) has won at the rare 10-furlong distance five times and 2019 Accredited Male Champion Mobil Solution ($467,770) will try to win this race two years in a row.
Patrick Ellsworth and his Thistledown Racing Office team did an exceptional job of recruiting Ohio-bred runners to fill the entire card. The first five races of the day offer lucrative purses for Buckeye-breds with purses that average $29,060. The day starts with a 12:20 post time and the weather forecast is for a sunny day. Throughout the day the 2019 Ohio Divisional Champions and their connections will be recognized.