06/06/2006 11:00PM

River Downs track report


In attendance at River Downs last Saturday for Fisticuff's win in the Green Carpet Stakes was Verna Lehmann, the mother of Larry and Fred Lehmann, the owners and co-breeders of Fisticuff.

Verna Lehmann is the widow of Robert Lehmann, whose Golden Chance Farm owned the 1970 Kentucky Derby winner, Dust Commander. After Robert Lehmann's death in 1974, his family continued the racing and breeding operation and enjoyed more classic success when their homebred colt Master Derby won the 1975 Preakness.

The Lehmann sons, prominent in Ohio racing circles for many years, continue to use the famed gold and red Golden Chance Farm silks.

Before the Green Carpet, Verna Lehmann had a chance to meet up in the paddock with retired jockey Mike Manganello, who rode Dust Commander and is now a steward at River Downs. A complete 1970 Derby reunion was not to be, however, as Don Combs, who trained Dust Commander and who often races at River Downs, did not have a horse entered on Saturday's card.

* Earlier on the card, former leading rider Dean Sarvis won the second race with Piece of My Heart in his first race back since he fractured a shoulder blade in a race accident on the second day of the meet.

* Jockey Victor Lebron won 4 of the 7 races on last Thursday's card, including a starter allowance aboard Usher In, who was winning for the seventh time this year.

* Two grass allowances are featured on Saturday's seven-race card. Tommeyesgold, recently third in the Tomboy Stakes, may be the one to beat in the ninth, a second-level allowance for 3-year-old fillies. Another prominent Ohio-bred 3-year-old, Sybles Angel, will take on older mares in a conditioned allowance, which goes as race 11.