05/06/2009 12:00AM

Oro starts hot at Thistledown


After four days of racing, Ernesto Oro has opened a daylight lead in the jockey standings. He has six winners, double the output of David Cardoso and Weldon Cloninger Jr. Six trainers have two winners, Angel Feliciano, Rod Madrigal Sr., Jevon Crumley, Jerry Noss, Tony Rini, and Randy Faulkner.

Thistledown horseplayers once again proved their sharpness, nailing several big tickets on Mine That Bird, upset winner of the Kentucky Derby, according to the Thistledown mutuels department. There was $70 worth of winning exacta tickets bet at Thistledown, each worth $2,074.80 for a $2 wager, and four $1 trifecta tickets, each paying $20,750.15. There also was a winning pick-four ticket, with the Derby as the anchor leg. It paid $10,221.15 for a 50-cent bet.

Pay the Man won the $50,000 Angenora Stakes for the third year in a row here Saturday. The victory was Pay the Man's 12th from 29 starts and increased her lifetime earnings to $426,185, fifth on the all-time list of money-winning Ohio-bred fillies and mares. Pay the Man is owned and was bred by the Pyrite Stable.

"She is the best mare I've ever trained," trainer Miguel Feliciano said. "She came out of the Angenora in good shape. As long as she stays healthy, I think she has a shot at catching Tougaloo," the top Ohio-bred filly or mare with earnings of $583,030.

Jamie Ness, who has part of his stable based at Thistledown, was honored Saturday as the winningest trainer at Tampa Bay Downs. Ness won his third consecutive title at the Florida track when he tightened the girth on 62 winners.

William A. Avalon III, who began his riding career here when still a high school student in 1980, has been named clerk of scales. He replaces Luis Martinez, who now holds that position at Calder Race Course.