08/25/2009 11:00PM

King of the Roxy shows up in Ohio


King of the Roxy, voted Ohio-bred horse of the year in 2007, makes his first start ever on Ohio soil when he faces 11 other statebreds in Friday's six-furlong, $50,000 Honey Jay Stakes at Thistledown.

King of the Roxy, a 5-year-old son of Littleexpectations, has won 4 of 13 career starts, including two Grade 2 stakes, and was second in the Grade 1 Santa Derby.

He had been retiredf last fall to prepare for a career as a stallion but the deal never materiallized and he was returned to trainer Todd Pletcher.

"The time off did him well," said Pletcher, noting that King of the Roxy came back fine after winning the Don Bernhardt Stakes on July 18 at Ellis Park. "We think putting him in this spot in Ohio makes sense."

There are several interesting horses in the field. The 9-year-old Ben's Reflection has been one of the top Ohio-bred sprinters his entire career and has won multilple stakes. In the last two editions of this race he has finished third and fourth.

Trainer Michael Maker claimed 5-year-old gelding Crack the Code for $l6,000 at Keeneland. He has reeled off three straight wins in impressive fashion at River Downs and steps up to the stakes level for the first time.

Turnpike Mike is owned and was bred by the M.Y. Stables, an outfit which have won many Ohio stakes over the years. He is 3 for 3 this year, with his last win coming against $30,000 claimers at Mountaineer on June 29.

Sneak a Cold Treat was claimed by Thistledown's leading trainer, Jamie Ness, from the Pyrite Stables, whose homebreds have dominated the Ohio stakes program for the past few years. Ness claimed Cold Treat for $12,500 at Tampa Bay Downs and the horse has since won 3 of 5 starts.