09/29/2010 3:45PM

Slides Choice out to defend title in Best of Ohio Distaff

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Saturday’s 24th running of the Best of Ohio series, five stakes for Ohio-breds, has some compelling story lines.

Slides Choice, the 2009 horse of the year in Ohio, will not only be attempting to defend her title but also her nose victory in last year’s Best of Ohio Distaff over Pay the Man.

Pay the Man also is entered in the Distaff, a race she won in 2008.

Sneak a Cold Treat, winner of last year’s nine-furlong Ohio Endurance, will this year go in the Best of Ohio Sprint, where he will tangle with defending champion Tri Umet.

“I just think Sneak a Cold Treat is better sprinting,” trainer Jamie Ness said. “I know he won last year’s Endurance, but we were lucky enough to get an easy lead.”

With Sneak a Cold Treat in the Sprint, 9-year-old Catlaunch has a much better chance of winning the Endurance. The durable veteran will be competing in his seventh Best of Ohio race. Catlauch has won 4 of his 8 starts this year for earnings of $135,018.

“He’ll race until he tells us he doesn’t want to do it anymore,” said Ron Fields of Scioto Farm, which bred and owns Catlaunch.

The probable favorite for the Juvenile Stakes will be Ziba Graham’s No Garlic, winner of the Hoover Stakes and third in the Cleveland Kindergarten.

The Galbreath Stakes for 2-year-old fillies will likely by dominated by trainer Tim Hamm, who will saddle six of the 11 starters, including Startin Something, winner of both the Tah Dah at River Downs and the Miss Ohio at Thistledown.