ACCREDITED-BRED BUSTER’S BOY MUCH THE BEST IN $75,000 HOWARD B. NOONAN
Buster’s Boy became the new poster boy for joining in on the Ohio breeding program when he dominated the black-type field in the Howard B. Noonan Stakes at Mahoning Valley Race Course on April 14. The Accredited-bred son of Ohio stallion Twinspired out of Maggie’s Pleasure turned away challenges from three different restricted Ohio-breds to draw away by 4 ¼ lengths in the 6-furlong affair. Charlie’s Magic (Jump Start), owned and bred by Ron DeWolf was safe second and Blazing Meadows homebred Indian Fever (Colonel John) owned in partnership by Michael Friedman secured the third spot.
Bred by Gary and Jennifer Holland’s Pine Ridge Farm, the steel grey gelding is owned by them in partnership with Jim Rumford. While he was slightly overlooked in the wagering by his multiple stakes winning stablemate, 2017 Ohio Filly Champion Tango Run, he led at every call and wove his way home easily. Now undefeated in three lifetime starts, with an average win margin just short of 5 lengths, he has earnings of $80,880.
“From day one I knew this was an extremely talented horse – and the fact that he is an Accredited Ohio-bred is the icing on the cake,” said conditioner William “Doug” Cowans. “He’s still a little quirky and you could see it in the stretch today as he ducked a little in and out late in the race for no apparent reason. As he matures he’s going to be real nice and he gives you all the signs that he’ll go long on turf or dirt – anything you want.” As for the favored Tango Run, “She was the only filly in the field, but as good as she has been going we had to take a shot.” Cowans reflected, “If you watch the head-on, she got eliminated by the horse outside of her and was pretty much bottled up on the rail the rest of the way.” Both horses came out of the race well and he is looking forward to the season ahead. “I have to admit, as an Accredited-bred, Buster’s Boy has a lot of options on the table and I’m pretty excited about it.”
The Cowans’ barn had quite a day on April 14, winning three races for three different O.T.B.O. members. He started the afternoon card with a solid maiden-special-weight tally by Canyon Creed for John Kropp, a Cincinnati attorney, who used to gallop horses for his wife Mary. He followed that by capturing the $75,000 Austintown Sprint with Mike Foster-owned Flame Mingo who was bumped early and chased the pace to easily draw away by 5 lengths over a solid field who shipped in from five different tracks for the race. “I do recognize it as a good day, and I’m going to enjoy it with good friends at the end of the day,” admitted Cowans. “You have to enjoy the good, because anyone who has been in this game knows you have to take the good and be prepared for the bad – it’s just part of it.”