10/10/2012 1:38PM

Thistledown: Eyes Super Freaky tops Best of Ohio series

JJ Zamaiko Photography
Eyes Super Freaky comes into the Best of Ohio Endurance with a three-race win streak.

NORTH RANDALL, Ohio – The 26th running of the Best of Ohio series of five stakes for Ohio-breds offers $350,000 in purses on Friday’s eight-race card at Thistledown, making for Ohio’s richest day of racing this year. Traditionally, the races play a strong roll in determining year-end Ohio-bred divisional champions.

Multiple stakes winner Eyes Super Freaky heads a field of 11 in the day’s centerpiece, the $75,000 Best of Ohio Endurance, a 1 1/4-mile race for 3-year-olds and up. Owned by Randall Blevins, the 3-year-old Eyes Super Freaky has won his last three races, including the Governor’s Buckeye Cup at 1 1/4 miles and the Cleveland Gold Cup at 1 1/8 miles. He has a record of 4-2-2 from 11 starts.

Eyes Super Freaky is trained by Gary King and will be ridden by Luis A. Gonzalez, who has handled the reigns in his last five starts.

The main opposition should come from Bold Captain and Raise the Reward. Bold Captain finished determinedly while second by 1 1/4 lengths in the Governor’s Buckeye Cup on Sept. 7. His only win this year came in an optional claimer going a mile and 70 yards on July 16, and he finished third in this race last year.

Raise the Reward finished fourth in the Governor’s Buckeye Cup. He has won three races this year, including the Michael F. Rowland Memorial Handicap in May, and finished second in the George Lewis Memorial and the Babst/Palacios Memorial.

Distaff: Startin Something formidable

Startin Something, winner of four races this year including three stakes, looks very tough in a field of 13 fillies and mares going 1 1/8 miles in the $75,000 Best of Ohio Distaff. A 4-year-old with earnings of $336,495, Startin Something returns from a win in the Rose DeBartolo Memorial at the Distaff distance. She also won an open allowance race at Presque Isle Downs in July and captured the Angenora Stakes and the Theodore F. Classen Memorial, both in May, at Thistledown. DeShawn Parker will ride for trainer Timothy Hamm.

Agressive Elegance could have the best chance of upsetting Startin Something. Also a multiple stakes winner, she returns from finishing a narrowly beaten second in the Vivacious Handicap but was disqualified and placed fourth. Aggressive Elegance won the Queen City Oaks in July, finished second in the Green Carpet, and won her maiden convincingly in the Tomboy Stakes in May, all at River Downs.

Pay the Man, who with a bankroll of more than $867,000 is the top earning Ohio-bred mare of all time, has won only one race this year from six starts. She won this event last year and in 2008, finished second in 2009 and 2010, and was third in 2007. Her win this year came in the J. William Petro Memorial Handicap in June.

Sprint: Sneak a Cold Treat defends

The $50,000 Best of Ohio Sprint, a six-furlong race for 3-year-olds and up, drew a field of seven, including last year’s winner, Sneak a Cold Treat. Sneak a Cold Treat, 7, was claimed four starts back from Midwest Thoroughbreds and after a short stay in the barn of Jonas Gibson at Delaware Park is now trained by Jeff Radosevich for Luch Racing Stable.

Sneak a Cold Treat set the pace for a mile before tiring in the Governor’s Buckeye Cup in September and finished second in the Honey Jay Stakes here in August. Last year, he won four of five starts, including the Honey Jay Stakes. His only loss came in the Sydney Gendelman Memorial Handicap after a troubled trip. Scott Spieth will handle the riding assignment.

Royal Nemesis and Reggies Cat appear to be the top two opponents to Sneak a Cold Treat. Royal Nemesis has hit the board in every start this year and has won four races in a row. He has the speed to offer a strong argument for the lead in here.

Reggies Cat is another who can dispute the pace. He finished second to Royal Nemesis on Sept. 14, beaten three-quarters of a length, and has a record of 3-3-0 from 10 starts this year.

Juvenile: Blazing Bling tough vs. boys

Blazing Bling, although a filly entered against the boys, tops a field of 11 2-year-olds in the $75,000 Juvenile Stakes at 1 1/16 miles. She also is entered in the John W. Galbreath for trainer Timothy Hamm. Blazing Bling proved she can handle the boys by winning the Hoover Stakes at River Downs in August. She also won the Miss Ohio Stakes in August and ran second in the Cleveland Kindergarten Stakes against the boys here in July.

Advanced Degree was a convincing winner here in a maiden special weight race Sept. 28 and could upset the Juvenile.

John W. Galbreath: Distance favors Disappeared

If Blazing Bling remains in the Juvenile, her stablemate Disappeared should be the one to beat in the $75,000 John W. Galbreath, a 1 1/16-mile race for 2-year-old fillies. She has the most experience in the field going a route of ground, with a win and two seconds going a mile and 40 yards at Presque Isle in her three most recent starts, all of which were maiden special weight events.

The strongest threats could come from Pyrite Blues, Rachel Lynn B C, and Deniro’s Saint, who were all dominant maiden special weight winners.