07/13/2010 11:00PM

Cown on hot stakes streak in Ohio


CINCINNATI - Owner Ziba Graham, trainer Doug Cowans, and jockey Dean Sarvis have won a pair of stakes at River Downs recently, the $50,000 Hoover last Saturday with No Garlic and the $55,000 Cincinnatian two weeks ago with Festive Girl.

No Garlic, a 2-year-old colt, and Festive Girl, a 3-year-old filly, are full siblings bred by Graham. They were each sired by Habayeb and are out of Yellow Springs, a 19-year-old mare who has produced eight foals. Two of her other foals, M and Em and Cait, are stakes placed.

Cowans, 35, is having a banner year, winning at a 42-percent clip. Cowans says there are several reasons for the success.

"I've got great owners with solid horses that give me the time to develop them," he said. "We've got a great crew of exercise riders, and my head groom, Jorge Hernandez, has been with me for nine years now.

"Combine all of that with some fine rides and some good racing luck and these are the results you can get."

Cowans actually has won the last three Ohio-bred stakes he has entered. That's a Heck of a Cat won the $75,000 Cleveland Gold Cup on July 3 at Thistledown. Cowans will try and make it four in a row this Saturday with Country Club Sue in the $75,000 Norm Barron Queen City Oaks.

The family of the late Norm Barron have decided to give an annual donation of $5,000 to the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund and will present it at the race named in his honor. Barron was a member of the Ohio Racing Commission for 20 years and served as its chairman for six years. Barron recently died at the age of 74.