GOVERNOR APPOINTS KIM WILLIAMS TO ADVISORY COUNCIL AND TRACKS OPEN NEW MEETS
On April 20, Governor John R. Kasich announced the following appointment:
Kimpton E. Williams of Waynesville (Warren Co.) has been reappointed to the Ohio Thoroughbred Race Fund Advisory Council for a term beginning April 20, 2018, and ending January 31, 2021. Kim has served in a variety of capacities over his long career as a thoroughbred farm owner and breeder. He has been represented on the Board of the Ohio Thoroughbred Breeders and Owners and the Ohio Horsemen,s Benevolent and Protective Association.
Kim and his wife Lori operated Fair Winds Farm in Waynesville, Ohio. The winners of 16 Ohio Stallion of the Year titles have resided there over the years, including nine-time winner Mercer Mill. The stallion roster is currently headlined by Grade 2 winner Kettle Corn.
JACK THISTLEDOWN RACING SEASON OPENS APRIL 30
Best of Ohio Series Returns
“Return” is the theme of JACK Thistledown’s 2018 race meet that opens Monday, April 30, as Thoroughbreds and horsemen come back for live racing and a celebrated racing series makes a stop in Cleveland.
Racing Secretary Patrick Ellsworth will card eight races each Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday through Oct. 20. First post each day is 1:40 p.m. ET. The schedule features 20 stakes races for Ohio-breds, including the return of the Best of Ohio Series to the North Randall track Oct. 13. The five stakes that make up the series together offer $750,000 in purses, annually heading Ohio’s richest day of racing as the series moves from track to track.
Highlighting the JACK Thistledown meet are the $500,000 Grade 3 Ohio Derby June 23 and the $200,000 Lady Jacqueline Stakes Aug. 18, the latter awarded listed status for 2018 in just its third year on the schedule.
As its 2017 contenders continued to race, the Ohio Derby confirmed the renaissance that began when it regained graded status last year. Runner-up Girvin won the Grade 1 Haskell Invitational in his next start and the winner, Irap, went on to win the Grade 3 Indiana Derby and place in the Travers and the Pennsylvania Derby, both Grade 1. The show horse, Untrapped, won the Grade 3 Oklahoma Derby two starts later.
Leading Trainers Return
Cleveland native Gary Johnson, who returned to training last year after nine years away to help raise his granddaughter, began with a handful of horses last spring and will have nearly 60 in his stable this year. Trainer Jeff Radosevich, who has topped the standings for at least 10 Thistledown meets, returns with his powerhouse stable to defend his title.
Doors to JACK Thistledown’s racing floor open at 11:30 a.m. Wagering windows open at 12:30 p.m. Admission to the races and parking are free. Children are welcome if accompanied by an adult. The minimum age for wagering on horse races in Ohio is 18.
Race fans will enjoy special events throughout the season, beginning with the track’s Kentucky Derby party Saturday, May 5. In addition to Thistledown’s live races that day, fans can watch and wager on the full card from Churchill Downs, including the 144th Kentucky Derby. The day features brunch and dinner buffets, a Derby hat contest, face painting and balloon artists for the kids, live music and souvenir glasses brimming with the Derby’s signature drink, the Mint Julep. The wagering floor and windows open at 10 a.m. on both Kentucky Oaks day, May 4, and Kentucky Derby day, with first post from Churchill Downs at 10:30 a.m. both days. Advance wagering on Friday’s Oaks card and Saturday’s Derby card is available beginning Thursday, May 3. More information about Kentucky Derby day events and buffet reservations are available by calling (216) 662-8600.
The Thistledown racing season is technically four consecutive meets, each named to honor a track important to the history of racing in Northeast Ohio: Summit, named for the county that was home to Ascot Park; Thistledown; Randall, honoring the track that sat across from Thistledown; and Cranwood, nodding to nearby Cranwood Park. Racing at the four racetracks consolidated at the present JACK Thistledown facility in the 1960s.
More information is available at jackentertainment.com/thistledown/racing.
BELTERRA PARK TO OPEN ITS 93-DAY SEASON FRIDAY APRIL 27
Racing will be conducted on a Thursday-Sunday schedule with a 1:20 p.m. post time. Holiday programs include: Memorial Day, Monday May 28; Independence Day, Wednesday, July 4 and Labor Day, Monday, September 3.
The stakes program kicks off Saturday, April 28 with the $75,000 Ed Babst / Albert Palacios Memorial at six furlongs. It could be a potential rematch between last years 1-2 finishers, Ohio Champions Rivers Run Deep and Mo Dont No.