STALLION SEASONS STILL AVAILABLE ON OTBO WEBSITE
The on-line stallion season auction is over, but there are still opportunities for breeders to get to a variety of stallions at some excellent prices. Stud farms were very generous in supporting the O.T.B.O. by placing modest reserve prices on their donations.
You can see the current list on the website under the Sales & Auction link. Currently there are 47 seasons that will be available until May 1 in Ohio (20), Kentucky (13), Indiana (12) and Pennsylvania (2). If you are interested in a particular stallion remaining or recently posted, call the office for the current bid (937-723-6026) as they are not posted publicly.
ADVERTISING IN STATEWIDE STAKES BROCHURE DEADLINE CLOSING FRIDAY, MARCH 16
If you wish to advertise your farm, services or stallions in the statewide stakes brochure the deadline is Friday, March 16. It is the most widely distributed publication in the state, and one that owners/breeders and trainers keep all year long. In addition to the entire stakes schedule for the year it has contact numbers for all of the racing entities and the state rules and regulations for Ohio-breds.
Artwork should be 3.75” x 8” and sent to the O.T.B.O. office at firstname.lastname@example.org Call 937-723-6026 to reserve your spot.
OHIO BRED HEAVENHASMYNIKKI POINTING FOR KENTUCKY OAKS BID
Loooch Racing Stables Heavenhasmynikki ran a strong third in the recent Grade 2 $200,000 Davona Dale Stakes garnering points to get into the prestigious $1,000,000 Kentucky Oaks. Last season she was denied a chance to run in the Breeders Cup Juvenile Fillies as a first-time starter last season. After the snub, she quickly demonstrated she was ready to run when she easily broke her maiden by 5 ¼ lengths with Hall of Fame jockey Javier Castellano in the irons.
Ron Paolucci purchased the daughter of Majestic Warrior out of Floral Park by Forest Wildcat for $150,000 at the Fasig-Tipton October Sale as a yearling. She was bred by the late O.T.B.O. president Judy Klosterman at Langsem Farm. Trained by Anthony Quartario, he readied her for her seasonal debut at Gulfstream Park on January 15. Rating kindly for jockey Tyler Gaffalione, she came up the rail and engaged the leader in a game effort that saw her prevail by a head going 6 furlongs.
The striking chestnut stretched out another furlong and joined graded stakes competition in her next start the Grade 3 Forward Gal. Under Luis Saez she went right to the lead and was under prolonged pressure throughout, finally finishing fourth. Heavenhasmynikki was apparently no worse for the wear. She came into the 1 mile Davona Dale fresh off two solid 5 furlong works, with her last being a sprite :58 2/5 – the best clocking of the day ahead of 38 others.
Under the guidance of red-hot Jose Ortiz in the Davona Dale, Heavenhasmynikki steadily advanced about three wide to the turn and then angled out in the upper stretch. Ridden strongly by Ortiz, she took the lead after six furlongs and fought back along the inside when challenged by the winner and just tired in the final 1/6th to miss the second spot by ¾ of a length. In four starts she has now collected $72,600 and has proven she has the ability to face stakes competition.
Later on the afternoon card, Ron Paolucci’s Maschismo ran fourth in the Grade 2 $400,000 Fountain of Youth Stakes behind Eclipse Award winning Good Magic. “Not sure if I have a Kentucky Derby horse yet,” he said. “But I may have my Ohio Derby horse.”
BELTERRA PARK SUFFERS WORST FLOODING SINCE 2007
The last time the Ohio River crested as high as the recent flooding was 2007 when the track was still named River Downs. Luckily, on both occasions there were no horses on the grounds. The river has receded to near-normal levels in recent days, but it leaves behind plenty of surprises like large tree branches, trash, tires, car batteries – anything that can get an air bubble under it or floats along the river. River Downs employees recall finding a barn door and fish in the winner’s circle and a porcelain toilet in the infield. There was extensive damage to the paddock that required new saddling stalls to be built.
Belterra Park officials have stated they believe clean-up will be complete in time for horses to to enter the grounds, training to begin and live racing all go as scheduled. Live racing is scheduled to take place April 27 – September 30, Thursdays – Sunday with a 1:20 live post time.
JOCKEY PERRY OUZTS RIDES 50,000TH CAREER RACE
While he has amassed most of his riding records and titles in Ohio, the ageless jockey Perry Ouzts rode the 50,000th race of his long career when he hustled Need the Wall out of the gate in the third race at Turfway Park on Saturday, March 3.
Now 63 years old, Ouzts currently ranks ninth by wins among all jockeys in the history of North American racing with 6,881. He also has 6,509 seconds and 6,181 thirds and has accumulated purse earnings of nearly $44.5 million since he was legged up for the first time in 1973. Known for getting a horse out of the gate in a hurry, his nickname is “Scoot ‘n’ Boot.”
“It would have been a lot more dramatic if I’d won it,” said Ouzts, who brought the 3-year-old filly from last along the rail to get up for second. “I want to keep going until I pass Russell Baze (for number of career mounts),” said Ouzts, referencing the all-time leader both in mounts (53,578) and wins (12,842). I’m thinking three-and-a-half more years is about as far as I want to go. I think by then I will have accomplished all I can do. I’m hoping I can get up to fifth in the all-time standings. David Gall (currently fifth) has almost 7,400 (7,396) so I’m hoping to get there, but I don’t think I can do much more than that.
“Who would have thought I’d be 63 years old and still riding every day? I don’t ride just to say I’m still riding. I wouldn’t do it if I couldn’t be competitive. I’d go do something else.”
Ouzts still shows up for work four or five mornings a week galloping and breezing horses and returns to the track in the afternoons to ride six to eight mounts each race day. Not including 2006, when an on-track accident sidelined him for 11 months, Ouzts averaged 1,130 mounts a year from 1973 through 2017. “It used to be easier to get a lot of mounts in a year,” Ouzts continued. “There was racing somewhere every day, and you’d race 10 or 12 races a day. Now there’s not as many race days and not as many races in the day.”
Of the jockeys ahead of him on the all-time wins list, only Edgar Prado in eighth place is still active. Gall is the only rider ahead of him who is not already in the Hall of Fame.
Ouzts grew up in Rivervale, Ark., riding horses with his cousin, Hall of Fame jockey Earlie Fires. He won his first race in 1973 at Beulah Park aboard Rablu and has been a consistent leader on the Ohio circuit ever since, holding a record 34 meet titles from Belterra Park, formerly River Downs, and at least 11 from the now-closed Beulah Park. He also owns one riding title from Turfway.
Ouzts is the subject of a documentary titled Ironman Perry Ouzts, that was filmed at River Downs. It garnered Digital Kitchen and directors John and Brad Hennegan the 2015 Media Eclipse Award for Television – Feature.