08/04/2011 4:41PM

Thistledown: Hamm has entry of 5 in Cleveland Kindergarten Stakes


The first 2-year-old Ohio-bred stakes race in northern Ohio this season, the $50,000, six-furlong Cleveland Kindergarten Stakes, has drawn a field of 13, including a five-horse coupled entry from the barn of trainer Tim Hamm comprising horses solely or partially owned by Blazing Meadows Farm LLC. The race has eight betting interests.

Not an Altar Boy will be looking to upset the race. Trained by Ivan Vazquez, Not an Altar Boy won an Ohio-bred maiden special weight in his last outing July 24 and was the runner-up in the $50,000 Hoover Stakes on July 10, both at River Downs.

Not an Altar Boy will carry high weight of 120 pounds under regular jockey Sergio Figueroa. The other colts carry 117, and the fillies will carry 114 pounds.

The strongest part of the Hamm entry appears to be Operation Bling, one of four fillies in the race. Operation Bling finished second in the $50,000 Tah Dah Stakes over 5 1/2 furlongs at River Downs on July 23 in her last start. Prior to that, she was unplaced in two maiden special weight races at Presque Isle Downs over the Tapeta surface. Jockey Yamil Rosario gets the mount for the first time.

Midnight Vader, also from the Vazquez barn and ridden by Jeffrey Skerrett, has a pair of seconds and thirds in his four starts, including a third in the Hoover Stakes. He has posted four bullet works, all at River Downs. He has the speed to contest the lead.