09/01/2010 4:25PM

Thistle will race solo after River Downs closes

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Beginning Tuesday, Thistledown will race solo through the end of its meet, Nov. 6. River Downs, its 7&7 partner since April, concludes its 2010 season on Labor Day and unlike in past seasons, Thistledown will not split 7&7 cards with Beulah Park. Instead, it will schedule eight-race cards each day with a post time of 1:20 p.m,
Thistledown adds Thursdays to its racing schedule next week.
◗ Miguel Feliciano, who trains Ohio champion racemare Pay the Man, was honored at last week’s annual horsemen’s dinner dance. Feliciano, who saddled his first winner in 1983, was given the Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association lifetime achievement award.
◗ Owner Ron McKay has officially retired 10-year-old Ben’s Reflection, who won 19 of 42 starts and banked $395,903.
◗ Catlaunch, 9, will try Saturday’s $75,000 Governor’s Buckeye Handicap for the fourth straight year. He won the race in 2007 and has dropped back-to-back photo finishes in the race the last two years. Both times he was beaten by Smarmy, who will also be a starter on Saturday.
On April 16, Smarmy was claimed at Keeneland for $16,000. On July 28 trainer Jamie Ness claimed him for just $5,000 out of a race at Presque Isle.
“We knew he won this race last year, and that’s why I claimed him,” said Ness, “but I didn’t know he won it two years in a row. He’s doing good. We’re just taking a shot that he can repeat.”