06/16/2011 5:11PM

Thistledown: Little separates Ohio-bred mares Pay the Man, Slides Choice

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The two best Ohio-bred older females, Pay the Man and Slides Choice, hook up again in the $50,000 J. William Petro Memorial Handicap at Thistledown on Saturday.

Both are carrying the highest weights in their careers in the 1 1/16-mile Petro, with Slides Choice being the top weight at 124 pounds, one more than Pay the Man.

These two mares have met many times, and in their most recent starts have been battling on even terms from start to finish. In their last two meetings, both 1 1/8-mile races here at Thistledown, Slides Choice has won the Best of Ohio Distaff by a nose and the Rose DeBartolo Memorial by a neck. In each of those races, the two rivals were carrying 122 pounds. Considering the slight difference between them, the one-pound weight advantage Pay the Man will be getting might just make a difference.

The 7-year-old Pay the Man, trained by Miguel Feliciano and ridden by Luis Gonzalez, has been very consistent throughout her 48-race career with 18-6-7 record with earnings of $688,526.

Slides Choice a 5-year-old mare with Jason Lumpkins aboard for trainer Tim Hamm, is a multiple stakes winner of $479,365.
Honey Be Fleet, a 5-year-old mare, was third behind the two favorites in this race last year, beaten seven lengths by the victorious Pay the Man, who beat Slides Choice by a neck.

In the six-furlong Scarlet and Grey Handicap at Beulah Park last October, Honey Be Fleet finished second by a neck to Pay the Man.