05/27/2009 12:00AM

Ness wins ninth straight at Thistledown


Trainer Jamie Ness set a Thistledown record on Wednesday when he sent out his ninth straight winner at the meet.

Ness had been tied with W.J. Miller, who won eight consecutive races at Thistledown in the mid-1980s.

After losing with his first starter of the meet on May 2, Ness has not been beaten. His latest win came with Sailfin, who won Wednesday's third race, a $4,000 restricted claiming race, by 4 3/4 lengths.

"He went a good trip," said Ness. "He got hooked and fought back."

After 16 programs, Ness leads the Thistledown standings.

Ness, 34, shipped in from Tampa Bay Downs, where he was the leading trainer with 61 wins this past winter. He has been training since 1999 and currently has 72 horses. He has 25 here at Thistledown, 25 at Presque Isle, and 22 at Canterbury.

Ness was introduced to horse racing at a young age by his grandfather, who trained horses on the South Dakota bush circuit. As of Wednesday afternoon he has saddled 76 winners this year and ranks eighth in the nation.

"I have very good help and they know my program," Ness said. "The system is working very well."

Ness's stable first began to take off in 2007, when he sent out 132 winners. Last year he won 153 races.