06/14/2012 1:03PM

Thistledown: Plenty of questions in Petro


The $50,000 J. William Petro Memorial Handicap at Thistledown on Saturday should be an interesting race as a number of the Ohio-bred distaffers entered either have questions to answer regarding their recent form or will be making changes for this race. The 1 1/16-mile Petro has drawn a field of six.

Probable favorite Startin Something looks for her third win in a row, but will do so without her regular jockey, Scott Spieth. Startin Something has won both stakes run for fillies and mares at Thistledown this year under Spieth – the Theodore F. Classen Memorial on May 4 and the Angenora on May 28. On Saturday, trainer Tim Hamm has named North America’s winningest jockey in 2010 and 2011, DeShawn Parker, to ride.

The War Department will be making her stakes debut and only her second start in Ohio. She must prove she can perform as well on the dirt as she has recently on synthetic surfaces and turf. Trained by Mike Rone, The War Department finished second with open allowance company over the turf May 9 at Indiana Downs and before that notched three wins in a row against open claimers over the synthetic tracks at Keeneland and Turfway Park. Albin Jimenez will ride.

Multiple Ohio champion Pay the Man must better her recent efforts to contend. She finished fourth, beaten 4 1/4 lengths in the Angenora and was fourth in an open handicap at Tampa on Feb. 25, her only other start this year. Trainer Miguel Feliciano’s nephew Ricardo Feliciano will be aboard.

Reigning Ohio champion 3-year-old filly Muir Woods has prepped for this race with four bullet works, but has not raced since October. In her most recent works, she breezed five furlongs June 11 in 1:00 over a fast track and logged a 1:00.80 work under the same conditions June 4. Jason Lumpkins will ride for trainer Tim Hamm.