09/08/2008 12:00AM

Former Ohio-bred pointed for Churchill


Trainer William Cowans said Monday that he hopes to have a 3-year-old gelding who was stripped of four victories and Ohio-bred status ready for a maiden race at the Churchill Downs fall meet.

The gelding, Marble Cliff, a 3-year-old owned by Foxwood Stable, won two Ohio-bred stakes, including the $100,000 Cleveland Gold Cup at Thistledown in his most recent start June 28. Since then, the Ohio State Racing Commission ruled that Marble Cliff did not meet the criteria of being an Ohio-bred, and he is now registered as a Kentucky-bred with The Jockey Club.

Cowans said from Turfway Park that Marble Cliff was kept out of the Aug. 2 West Virginia Derby because of a lung infection and that the gelding recently returned to light training.

"I don't think we could make Keeneland with him, so we're looking at running him at Churchill," he said.

Meanwhile, Houston Heist was beaten 28 1/4 lengths Saturday in an entry-level allowance race at Turfway in her first start since the Ohio commission also stripped her of Ohio-bred status. Houston Heist, owned by Shazam Stables and trained by Cowans, had won twice in Ohio-bred company.