08/20/2008 12:00AM

Breeder Kopatz to be honored by TOBA


Debbie Kopatz, whose tiny Fox Chapel Farm in North Canton, Ohio, produced graded stakes winner and 2007 Ohio horse of the year King of the Roxy, has been named one of 27 state breeders of the year for 2008 by the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association. Kopatz will be honored at the TOBA's national awards dinner in Lexington, Ky., on Sept. 6.

"It's quite a thrill for me," said Kopatz. "My farm is a family operation, just me and my husband [Rick] and our son Philip. We only have 11 acres."

There are battles going on in the races for leading jockey and trainer honors. Jockey Weldon Cloninger Jr. leads Ernesto Oros 18 winners to 17, and Rodney Faulkner and Jeffrey Radosevich have 10 winners apiece in the trainers' race.

* Apprentice Richard Torres, 28, a native of Puerto Rico, got his first career win on Rickitte Tom ($77) in Monday's sixth race. Rickitte Tom, a 7-year-old, had been winless in his previous 29 starts.

* The Aug. 31 program shared with River Downs will be Thistledown's last 7&7 offering this year. Starting Sept. 1, Thistledown will race without a partner.

* The track's annual golf outing is scheduled for Sept. 19 at Raccoon Hill in Kent, Ohio. Those interested in participating should contact the racing secretary's office.