08/17/2008 11:00PM

Marble Cliff not Ohio-bred

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A stewards' ruling issued Friday at River Downs in Cincinnati has mandated that the owners of Marble Cliff, a 13-length winner of the restricted $100,000 Cleveland Gold Cup at Thistledown on June 28, be denied the $60,000 winner's share because the 3-year-old gelding is not actually an Ohio-bred.

Moreover, Marble Cliff has been disqualified from all four starts against statebreds prior to the Cleveland Gold Cup, and his owners, the Foxwood Stable of Charlie Ruma and Joe Sugar, must repay an additional $50,140 in earnings, so that the purses can be redistributed accordingly.

Ruma, the owner of Beulah Park near Columbus, and Sugar have appealed the decision pending a hearing before the Ohio Racing Commission, according to John Izzo, the commission deputy director.

In addition to Marble Cliff, another horse partly owned by Sugar, the 3-year-old filly Houston Heist, also has been disqualified from all races in which she participated as an Ohio-bred. She had two wins and a second in statebred races at River for earnings of $26,510.

Houston Heist is owned by Shazam Stables, in which Sugar is an equal 25-percent owner with three other partners. Shazam also has appealed the stewards' ruling.

Izzo said Monday that a commission investigation determined that neither horse was actually bred or foaled in Ohio, according to guidelines governing such registration. A date has not yet been set for an appeals hearing.

Marble Cliff was bred by G. David Shashura and Sugar. Houston Heist was bred by Shashura and his wife, Diane.