10/15/2011 6:40PM

Thistledown: Best of Ohio Endurance among stakes triple for Scott Spieth

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Thats a Heckofacat defeated defending champion Catlaunch in the $75,000 Best of Ohio Endurance, the centerpiece of the five-race Best of Ohio series for Ohio-breds on Saturday at Thistledown.

Thats a Heckofacat responded with a quick move on the second turn while angling out around the pacesetting Catlaunch, then drew off to a 4 1/4-length victory under Scott Spieth, one of the jockey’s three wins in Saturday’s stakes.

It was 3 1/2  lengths back to Bold Captain.

Trained by William Cowans and owned by Barbara G. Johnson, the 4-year-old That’s a Heckofacat ($6.40), the slight favorite in a field of eight, ran 1 1/4 miles 2:04.38 over the fast racing strip.

The 10-year-old Catlaunch, who also won the Endurance in 2008, had defeated That’s a Heckofacat three times in the last year, including by 20 lengths the last time they met in June. 

Private Cause ($9.40) closed from just off the pace to upset the undefeated Motega by nine  lengths in the $75,000, John W. Galbreath for 2-year-old fillies at 1 1/16 miles. The Tim Hamm-trained Private Cause  responded readily when set down by Spieth entering the second turn, rallied around the pacesetting Motega before drawing off. She covered the distance in 1:48.26.

Hope Glitters finished third, 29 lengths behind Motega, Kira's Wink failed to finish after her saddle slipped.

Heavily favored Pay the Man ($3) scored her sixth consecutive win and fifth straight stakes in the $75,000 Best of Ohio Distaff. Ridden by Luis Gonzalez, Pay the Man  prevailed by a neck  over Muir Woods, then survived a claim of foul by Yamil Rosario, the rider of the runner-up. Pay the Man ran 1 1/8 miles in 1:51.74.

.Sneak a Cold Treat ($3) captured his third consecutive victory when he drew off to a 2 1/4-length win in the $75,000 Best of Ohio Sprint. Klassy Korbin finished second, 2 1/2 lengths ahead of Perfectly Played. Ridden by Yamil Rosario and trained by Ohio's winningest trainer this year, Jamie Ness, Sneak a Cold Treat covered the six furlongs in 1:11.74.

License to Bling ($7.60) set all the pace and widened through the stretch under Spieth to capture the $75,000 Best of Ohio Juvenile by 4 3/4 lengths. Diavoletto finished second, three lengths ahead of Midnight Vader. It was the second stakes win of the day for trainer Hamm. License to Bling ran 1 1/16 miles in 1:49.14..