THRILLING FINISHES IN MIKE ROWLAND MEMORIAL AND TOMBOY STAKES
SPINNING TOP RECORDS HUGE UPSET WHILE BREAKING HER MAIDEN IN $75,000 TOMBOY STAKES ON THE TURF
There were several “firsts” for the winning connections in the grassy Tomboy Stakes at Belterra Park on May 13. Not only was it the first stakes victory for Spinning Top, it was the daughter of Data Link’s first career win. Trainer Troy Green has recorded wins in the equine world – but those came with Show Horses and Quarter Horses – this was his fist stakes tally with a Thoroughbred.
“I wish I got into the thoroughbreds a long time ago,” Green said from the winner’s circle. “Looking at her pedigree, I thought she’d run better on the turf, she’s by Dialed in, a son of War Front.” Green currently keeps his horses at Ashwood Training Center, located in Lexington behind the Fasig-Tipton sales thoroughbred facility. Troy Green is a firm believer in the importance of a good foundation for every horse with balance, rhythm, and self-carriage being key. A good foundation equals longevity. Troy has won over two dozen All American Quarter Horse Congress Championships in western pleasure, versatility, reining, halter and western riding, and has coached clients to over 50 Congress championships.
In racing there is a old adage, “There is no such thing as a sure thing.” That certainly came into play in the Tomboy. Loooch Racing Stable, who has become a dominant force in Ohio entered Heavenhasmynikki. If you followed the story line, Ron Paolucci tried to get her entered in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies last year, but was denied the chance to run as she would be a first-time starter. As if to make a point, he brought in Javier Castellano to break her maiden as a 2-year-old by 5 ½ lengths at Mahoning Valley.
In her 3-year-old debut she scored an impressive $75,000 optional claiming race at Gulfstream Park. She then set the pace in the Grade 3 Forward Gal and faded to 4th. She came back a month later and finished third in the Grade 2 Davona Dale. After a freshening, trainer Anthony Quartarolo decided to start her in the Grade 1 Kentucky Oaks and changed her running style, having jockey Calvin Borel take her off the pace and she ran 9th in the 14-horse field. Off her class edge, the bettors made her the 2-5 favorite in the Tomboy.
Beckett Racing Team’s Misshap, winner of the $150,000 Best of Ohio Galbreath Memorial last season shot to the lead in the Tomboy and was rated nicely by Dean Sarvis. Heavenhasmynikki raced in second for most of the 1 1/16 miles and took a shot at the leader at the quarter pole, but Misshap re-broke to lead by 2 lengths. Looking like a winner at the 1/16th pole, Misshap was suddenly overtaken by longshot Spinning Top by ½ lengths in the final strides. Keep the Ring, the only filly with a turf win was ¾ length behind Misshap.
Spinning Top was bred by Imagine and is a daughter of Data Link out of Ultimata by Tale of the Cat. She came into the race after four starts with $2,801 in earnings and left with $47,801. She toured the 1 1/16 in 1:41.45. It will be interesting to see what the future holds for her and trainer Troy Green.
A FAMILY AFFAIR TAKES $75,000 MIKE ROWLAND MEMORIAL FOR THE SECOND CONSECUTIVE YEAR WITH BUCKEYE BULLET
Patience pays for the Ruberto family. They watched their homebred Buckeye Bullet grow up on their farm, a son of their stallion Dark Kestrel out of Buckler by Concerto. Trained by Sharon Ruberto and eventually Louis Ruberto in 16 starts the now 5-year-old gelding has now won 8 of his 16 lifetime starts for earnings of $248,099.
He had an amazing run from late 2016 through the Spring of 2017 reeling off five consecutive victories, cumulating with that season’s Mike Rowland Memorial at JACK Thistledown. His year concluded in June while stretching out in the George Lewis Memorial and finishing third. The Ruberto homebred didn’t resurface at the races until April 30 this year after a series of well-planned workouts, when he wired the field, that included Ohio Horse of the Year Mo Dont No, by seven lengths in a state-bred $32,100 allowance test at Thistledown. He recorded a career high Beyer figure of 89 in that race, winning the 5 1/2-furlong dash in 1:04.
As it was in 2017, Buckeye Bullet was sent away as the odds-on favorite in the 6-furlong sprint. It was no walk in the park this year for Buckeye Bullet as the shadow of the wire drew near. Regular rider Luis Quinones looked like he put his mount in a spot to cruise to another hand ride win in the race and he guided him through brisk early fractions, but “company was coming!” From the back of the field Bubba J and Eightthehardway were unleashing a furious final furlong. Less than a length separated the top three at the finish line. The final time was 1:11.28.
The Michael Rowland Memorial is named after a man was one of the all-time leading jockeys in Ohio. His life ended too early from a head injury at Turfway Park in a unforeseeable incident in February of 2004. He was an extremely talented reinsman with a personality the size of the infield and a smile that made you have a great day.