05/18/2004 11:00PM

Thistledown: Three trainers tie


NORTH RANDALL, Ohio - For the first time in Thistledown racing history, there was a three-way tie for leading trainer honors.

As expected, the race came down to Friday's last race. Going into the race, Gary Johnson, Jerry Hollendorfer, and Jeff Radosevich were tied with 12 winners. Johnson was the only one who had a horse in the race Friday, but he finished off the board.

Johnson collected his 24th meet title and holds the record for most meet wins. Hollendorfer won his second meet title, having won in 1992. Radosevich, a former rider, also nailed his second meet crown.

Hollendorfer had an outstanding meeting, saddling 13 winners from just 24 starters. By comparison, Johnson started 92 horses, and Radosevich started 49.

Thistledown's 2003 leading rider, Huber Villa-Gomez, picked up where he left off, garnering the top spot among riders, with 30 wins from 118 starts. Scott Spieth and Luis Gonzalez finished second with 18 wins each, and Julio Felix and Daniel Centeno tied for third with 15 wins each. This year's Summit Meet is Villa-Gomez's third meet title.

Mark Yagour, trainer Gary Johnson's main patron, ended the Summit meet in first place, with eight winners. Rodney Faulkner and Jack Boggs placed second with seven wins each, and Richaleen Turpin finished third with six wins.

Owner W. J. Amos and trainer J. P. Cunningham had a banner day Friday, when three of the four horses they raced got the money. Their first winner was Coogamonga in the fourth race $4.40, then Stubsy $12.40 won the tenth, and Distinctive Blues won the night-cap and returned a $6.00 mutuel. Jockey Luis Antonio Gonzalez rode all three winners.