03/02/2011 1:07PM

Ohio Derby tops list of 17 stakes for 2011 at Thistledown


The $100,000 Ohio Derby at Thistledown in suburban Cleveland will be held this year on June 4, the track announced on Wednesday as part of its full stakes schedule.

The Ohio Derby is the only open stakes on the 17-stakes schedule. The remainder are restricted to Ohio-registered or Ohio-accredited horses, and many serve as preps for the track’s Oct. 15 “Best of Ohio” card that features five stakes for Ohio-breds.

The 2011 meet will begin on April 23 and run for 122 live race cards through Nov. 5. The 2011 meet will be the first meet to be fully run under the track’s new owner, Caesar’s Entertainment, which purchased the track in the fall of last year under its previous name, Harrah’s Entertainment.

The Ohio Derby has attracted several top-class horses over its history, including future Horse of the Year Skip Away, but purse cuts over the past decade have diminished its draw. The 2008 edition had a $300,000 purse, but the purse was cut to $150,000 in 2009 and $100,000 last year.