10/09/2014 1:04PM

Best of Ohio series offers big payday for statebreds

John C. Englehardt
Needmore Flattery (left), the winner of the Queen City Oaks, will lead the contenders Saturday for the Best of Ohio Distaff at Belterra Park.

CINCINNATI – The Best of Ohio series returns to southern Ohio for the first time in a generation Saturday, when Belterra Park hosts the five-race series. Each race is worth $150,000, and all play a huge part in the end-of-year Ohio-bred honors.

Scheduled as races 4-8, the names and distances for the Ohio-bred races are as follows: The John W. Galbreath Stakes for 2-year-old fillies and the Best of Ohio Juvenile for 2-year-old colts and geldings will be run at 1 1/16 miles; the Best of Ohio Sprint will be six furlongs for horses ages 3 and up; the Best of Ohio Distaff is at 1 1/8 miles for fillies and mares ages 3 and up; and the Best of Ohio Endurance is at 1 1/4 miles for horses ages 3 and up.

:: BEST OF OHIO: Get PPs, watch Saturday's card live

Endurance (race 8)

Key contenders

Silver Tongued (Last 3 Beyers: 71-67-56)

* One of only three in the field of 16 to have won at the distance (only the top 14 earners will run). He won the Governor’s Buckeye Cup at ThistleDown at this distance last out.

Has hit the board in all six local starts this year.

Fuzzy Dee Jay (Last 3 Beyers: 70-69-70)

Was beaten a half-length by Silver Tongued in the Governor’s Buckeye last out after leading in late stretch.

Has won all three local starts.

His trainer is hot, winning at a 48 percent clip this year, and the jockey-trainer combo of Rodney Prescott and William Cowans has won at 57 percent this year locally.

Shakeyogroovething (Last 3 Beyers: 77-76-59)

Another who has won at the distance. Has been running on turf and the Tapeta at Presque Isle Downs.

Another trainer having a great year, Jeffrey Greenhill is winning at a 39 percent clip. The combo with Perry Ouzts is winning at 45 percent.

Stormin Larry (Last 3 Beyers: 66-69-67)

Finished third, beaten two lengths for second, in the Governor’s Buckeye.

Putalilenglishonit (Last 3 Beyers: 70-69-74)

Another trained by Cowans, he has won two of his last three by a combined 18 1/2 lengths.

Distaff (race 7)

Key contenders

Needmore Flattery (Last 3 Beyers: 60-55-72)

Has won her last three, including the Cleveland Gold Cup against the boys July 5. Has won 10 of 16 lifetime.

Floral Sky (Last 3 Beyers: 65-79-67)
Caviar N Champagne (Last 3 Beyers: 61-60-60)
Willa Wando (Last 3 Beyers: 58-49-57)

The three-horse entry owned by Loooch Racing Stables has been in the money in 13 of 17 starts this year.

Crafty Blue Kat (Last 3 Beyers: 65-54-51)

Dead heated Sept. 21 for the win last out in the $50,000 Scarlet and Gray Handicap.

In her only local start, she finished second to Needmore Flattery on July 21 in the $75,000 Queen City Oaks.

Sprint (race 6)

Key contenders

Rivers Run Deep (Last 3 Beyers: 89-70-74)

The 3-year-old colt has won 3 of 4 races against statebred company, including two local events that he won by almost 23 lengths combined.

In his last out Aug. 17, he won the Honey Jay Stakes at ThistleDown and earned a Beyer Speed Figure of 89. That is the highest lifetime figure in this field.

Diavoletto (Last 3 Beyers: 76-74-71)

Diavoletto won this race last year and was named Ohio sprint champion for 2013.

He is winless this season but won 4 of 5 last year.

Although he won the Honey Jay last year with a 75 Beyer before winning the Sprint, he finished fourth in this year’s Honey Jay and earned a 74 Beyer.

Quasi Folle (Last 3 Beyers: 84-44-80)

He has won 2 of 3 locally and finished second in the Honey Jay to Rivers Run Deep.

Candy Bites (Last 3 Beyers: 70-81-46)

Finished third in this race last year off a 62 Beyer in the Honey Jay. Earned an 81 Beyer this year in the Honey Jay.

Juvenile (race 5)

Key contenders

Mound (Last 3 Beyers: 61-43-41)

The only two-time winner in the field.

He won the Loyalty Stakes in his last race, earning a 61 Beyer, the highest lifetime figure in the field.

True All Along (Last 2 Beyers: 55-10)

Won a statebred maiden race last out by 11 1/2 lengths and earned a 55 Beyer.

Dayton Demo (Last 2 Beyers: 36-56)

Won his maiden race by 13 3/4 lengths. Finished second to Mound in the Loyalty as the 1-9 favorite.

Unbridled Graduate (Last 3 Beyers: 42-42-42)

Although a maiden, he looks to need longer. He has been running evenly when going short, and the stretch-out should be to his benefit.

John W. Galbreath (race 10)

Key contenders

Heat Transfer (Last 3 Beyers: 35-38-69)

The only two-time winner in the field finished third last out in the Tah Dah Stakes but stumbled and grabbed a quarter coming out of the gate and was bleeding from a front quarter.

Justalittlesmoke (Last 3 Beyers: 57-57-35)

Has hit the board in all four starts and also looks to need longer.