Updated on 09/18/2011 1:12AM

Best of Ohio worth $425K


NORTH RANDALL, Ohio - Ohio-bred divisional honors will be on the line Friday when Thistledown serves as the site for this year's Best of Ohio, a series of five statebred stakes which rotates among the state's three Thoroughbred tracks. The combined value of the Best of Ohio stakes is $425,000.

The centerpiece of the series is the $100,000 Endurance, a 1 1/4-mile race which has a field of nine, including Cat Singer who has won three of his four starts this year, all stakes. In his first start this season, at Beulah Park in May, he stumbled badly at the start and was eased when favored in the Edward Babst Memorial. He has not been beaten since.

Cat Singer's most recent win came here in the Governor's Buckeye Cup at Friday's distance, when he drew off to a 6 3/4-length win. Prior to that he won going nine furlongs here in the lewis Memorial and at a mile and a sixteenth on the grass at River Downs in the Gendelman Handicap. Cat Singer, 6, likes to run on the lead and should have little difficulty dictating the pace in the Endurance. Cat Singer is trained by William Cowans and will once again be ridden by Rodney Prescott, who has been aboard for all of Cat Singer's wins this year. Cat Singer will break from the outside post, and under the allowance conditions of the Endurance will carry 122 pounds.

Cat Singer's main opposition should come from Acts Like a King and Bug Hunter.

Acts Like a King, a 3-year-old, is a two-time stakes winner. He finished second to Cat Singer in the Governor's Buckeye. Nathan Solomon will ride for trainer Kris Nemann at 119 pounds.

Bug Hunter needs to rebound from a listless effort in the Governor's Buckeye. Prior to that race he had been a very consistent runner, and he can not be discounted here. Irwin Rosendo will be aboard for trainer Tim Hamm.

Distaff: A DeBartolo rematch

The $100,000 Distaff at 1 1/8 miles has drawn a competitive field of 10 and will serve as a re-match of the top two finishers in the Rose DeBartolo Memorial.

Runaway Julie closed with a rush from far back to post a 14-1 neck upset in the DeBartolo over Bright Pyrite, who was subsequently disqualified from second and placed fifth. With a clean trip in the Distaff, Bright Pyrite should be able to even the score. Of the others, Flip Side who checked in midstretch and finished sixth in the DeBartolo would appear to have the best chance. All three horses will carry 122 pounds.

Sprint: Pforperfectpistol risks perfect record

Eight will contest the $75,000 Sprint, including the top two finishers from the Honey Jay Stakes, Pforperfectspistol and Dooze.

Pforperfectspistol is undefeated in five career starts and was making his first stakes appearnace in the Honey Jay. He led every step of the way to post a half-length decision. Scott Spieth, who won his 3,000th career race on Sunday, will ride for trainer Jeff Radosevich.

Dooze raced just off the pace and was steadily gaining ground in the stretch. Alan Garcia will come in to ride for trainer Michael Maker. Catlaunch and All Star Lover also have a chance in the six-furlong Sprint.

Galbreath: Littlebitabling on a roll

Littlebitabling, a half-sister to Breeders' Cup Sprint hopeful Toomuchbling, heads a field of nine 2-yearold fillies going a mile and one-sixteenth in the $75,000 John W. Galbreath. After being badly beaten in her career debut, Littlebitabling has won three straight races by wide margins. Her most recent win was an 8 1/4-length romp going a mile and 70 yards in an overnight handicap. Tim Hamm is the trainer and Irwin Rosendo will ride.

Pyrite Apex and Montfort Lane, still a maiden, should be the main opposition. Montfort Lane will be stretching out beyond six furlongs for the first time. Her family, including her half-sister Runaway Julie, have had their greatest success around two turns.

* The $75,000 Juvenile has a field of 11 and will be run at a mile and a sixteenth. Head to Toe, Yeti or Not, and Neil and John are the top three contenders.