06/27/2006 11:00PM

River Downs track report


Parthenope, a 5-year-old mare by K.O. Punch, has become one of the surprise success stories of the Ohio racing season this year. Off the board in her first three starts this year, including a $5,000 claimer in her season debut at Turfway, Parthenope has since become a stakes winner.

The highlight of Parthenope's season was her victory in the $50,000 Angenora Stakes at Beulah in April, when she defeated Just Michel, the 2005 Ohio champion older mare. Because of limited stakes opportunities for statebred female sprinters, Parthenope ordinarily would have had to settle for racing in tougher spots for most of the year, such as open allowances. Because she is a former low-end claimer, however, Parthenope is eligible for virtually every starter allowance in the state.

Last Saturday, Parthenope notched her second starter allowance win of the River Downs meet. The win left her just a few hundred dollars short of $100,000 in career earnings.

* The Turf Club portion of the River Downs meet ended Saturday with jockey Rodney Prescott finishing well ahead of his nearest rival, Victor Lebron, in the standings. Prescott had 63 wins, and Lebron had 31. On the training side, Larry Holt edged Ivan Vasquez, 14-13.

* A competitive field will contest Saturday's featured third-level allowance, scheduled for 7 1/2 furlongs on the turf. The race also has a $25,000 claiming option. Count One, who enters off a troubled fifth in an optional claimer at Churchill, may go favored despite having only one previous turf start, in which he finished third. Count One is the one to fear if the race is switched to the main track, but is no cinch if the race remains on the turf. Fancy Threat and Sir Traver, who have a combined five wins over the River Downs turf, each have a shot to pull off the minor upset.