Alexis Annechino



The connections of two repeating Ohio Champions were no sooner finished arranging the trophies on their mantle, when they found themselves facing each other in the scheduled 1 1/16 mile turf test titled the Sydney Gendelman Memorial at Belterra Park on July 9. The race ended up with more twists and turns than the waterslide at the adjoining Coney Island Amusement Park.

Altissimo defeats two champions in Gendelman Memorial. Photo courtesy of Coady Photography

For starters, overnight rains forced the transfer of the race to the main track that was listed as fast for the stake. Four-time Champion Sprinter, millionaire Rivers Run Deep showed nothing longer than 6 furlongs in his past performances (though he had won at the distance once in his career) and jockey Channing Hill would ride the 7-year-old for the first time. Two-time Ohio Horse of the Year Mo Dont No ran second in this race last year on the grass, and when on to win his next six races to cap his season. “I was actually hoping we’d be going on the turf today,” said trainer Jeff Radosevich of his 123 lb. highweight. “He had an excuse for that one – and it wasn’t the footing.” Because there were 13 horses entered in the race, no odds were posted on the infield tote board. So, when the gates flew open the favorite took the lead – Altissimo! Yes, only a few hundred dollars separated him and the two state champions – all were at 5-2 odds.
Jockey Christian Pilares let him just lope along leisurely on the lead – how fast or slow, we’ll never know, because a fan had tripped the timing system just prior to the start. Cake Pop chased Altissimo for the first half-mile, but never seriously threatened the pace setter. Rivers Run Deep settled in the third spot and Jockey Ricardo Feliciano kept Mo Dont No within a length of him for most of the race. Into the lane, Pilares urged his mount on a bit and he responded with vigor to pull away by an impressive 8 ¼ lengths. Rivers Run Deep secured the second spot over Let’scalliteven while “Mo” settled for the fifth spot.
The $75,000 Gendelman was the third consecutive front end victory for the Richard Zielinski trainee at three different distances. The first was an open optional claiming event at Mahoning Valley at 1 mile 70 yards, followed by a quick 6-fulong win over odds-on Rivers Run Deep in the Babst/Palacios Memorial at Belterra Park recording a 97 Beyer figure. His most recent win pushed his career earnings to $266,888 and he now sports a record of 28-10-3-3.
Like the Babst/Palacios, the Gendelman was a breeding exacta of sorts for Nancy Lavrich. She co-bred Altissimo with Niknar Farm LLC and Rivers Run with Walmac Farm LLC. Altissimo is a 5-year-old gelded son of Noble Causeway out of Great Goin Rose by Albert the Great.


In the June 2nd Mike Mackey Memorial/Angenora, entry mates Nikki My Darling and Mayas Queen Neetee looked like a dynamic duo and hard to beat. Between them, the Loooch Racing Stables trainees had 13 wins and six stakes tallies for $478,945 in earnings. The Jeff Radosevich trainees were sent away as the 1-2 odds-on favorites in the 6-furlong sprint at JACK Thistledown and broke from the inside post positions.

True Cinder scores upsets the field at Thistledown. Photo courtesy J.J. Zamaicko

When the gates opened, True Cinder cleared the top two, All Blue sped to the early from the outside, but jockey Gerardo Corrales aboard True Cinder didn’t hurry and was well-placed on the rail. At the 3-furlong marker they slipped through and pulled away steadily to increase their lead by 4 into the stretch and 6 3/4 lengths at the finish. 15-1 shot La Nina Bronca rallied from next to last to outlast Mayas Queen Neetee by a head for the second spot.
Mike Rone both owns and trains True Cinder, just one of a bevy of horses he purchased in a farm sale at the farm of owner/breeder Larry Beyer after his passing. All of them were offspring of Alcindor, a son of Unbridled’s Song that Beyer introduced to the Ohio program at his farm in Lebanon. Sad to say, Alcindor was sold to foreign interests when the farm was dispersing their horses and he has had a solid impact on the Ohio program in a short amount of time.
“All of the Alcindor’s are sound and easy to break and train,” said Rone. “I have two 2-year-olds in training including a full sister to True Cinder. This was the toughest spot True Cinder in her career and the best race she has ever run. I’ve got to give glory to the Lord above. You take care of these horses and they take care of you. Being an accredited-bred this gives us a lot of options with her.” Rone feels blessed to have been in the right place at the right time when Beyer Farm was quickly dispersing their horses. “Oh, you’ll be hearing from this family for a long time. Obviously, Be True by Shakespeare has proven herself as a foundation mare in Ohio and I’ll be keeping her family in the state.”
In a well charted career, the 4-year-old has now earned $349,300 with a record of 7-5-2 in 15 trips to post.


Misshap proved to her connections that they have plenty of options in the future when she scored an off-the-pace victory over males in the Green Carpet Stakes at Belterra Park on May 27. Two weeks earlier she showed her fondness for the turf in the Tomboy Stakes where she led every step but the last in the 1 1/16 test. Trainer Kellyn Gorder, fresh off a win with Red Ruby in the Grade 2 Black-Eyed Susan Stakes at Pimlico, felt the Tomboy didn’t take too much out of her and wanted to get her back on the grass and use a new tactic.

Misshap mowed down the boys in the Green Carpet. Photo courtesy Coady Photography

The 3-year-old filly had done most of her racing on or near the lead and went wire to wire as a juvenile to capture the $150,000 John Galbreath Memorial. All but one of the starters in the Green Carpet was coming into the race off a sprint effort. “We decided we would do it different because it would be beneficial to see if she could come from off the pace, and a race with a lot of speed would be a good time to find out,” stated jockey Dean Sarvis about his pre-race plan with Gorder. “I was really happy to get her back on the turf, take her back and teach her a lot. She gave me a lot of confidence when she settled in behind horses. She’s a smart filly and it is a good feeling to know that I can ride her any way depending on how a race shapes up – on turf or dirt.”
Despite being the only filly in the field, Misshap was sent away the even-money favorite. As planned, they let the speed go on in the early going and were content to race in mid-pack until they rounded the turn for home. “The horse on the inside never really let her in, so I had to use her to go around,” spoke Sarvis. “It gave us enough to get a strong lead in the stretch and she held on from there.” Misshap finished ½ length in front of a fast closing Forwarned who was comfortably ahead of Deer Creek Road in third.
Bred by Beckett Racing Team, headed by new O.T.B.O. board member Dr. Top Beckett, Misshap is a daughter of A.P. Warrior out of Miss Carrera by Memo (CHI). The multi-dimensional filly has now bankrolled $186,368 from 9 starts with 3 wins and 3 second-place finishes. It will be interesting to see where Kellyn Gorder elects to place her in her next start.

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