04/15/2003 11:00PM

Thistledown track report


NORTH RANDALL, Ohio - Beginning this week, live racing will be conducted five days a week, on Thursdays through Mondays. Beginning in May, all days (except May 14) will have 7 & 7 cards with River Downs.

With only three days left in the meeting, Gary Johnson has a two-victory edge over Jerry Hollendorfer, 17-15, in the trainers race. Rodney Faulkner is third with 13.

Mike Rowland has a comfortable five-winner edge over Lyndon Hannigan among jockeys. Hannigan will be serving a suspension for the balance of the meet.

On Sunday, rider Benjamin Cacha-Padilla won his first race in the United States, winning aboard Timeframe. Cacha-Padilla, who has been riding for nine years, won more than 800 races at Hipodroma Montarrico in his native Peru.

Jockey Huber Villa-Gomez quickly recovered from a wrist injury sustained in a fall 10 days ago and won a race Sunday. Marco Ccamaque, though, will be out of the saddle nursing an ankle injury he suffered during morning training hours last week.

* Once again Thistledown owners, trainers, and riders will aid the Make-a-Wish foundation for seriously ill children. The Riding for Wishes campaign raised $6,800 here last year. Riders Jane Magrell, Tony Caminita, Lyndon Hannigan, Jeffrey Skerrett, Ricardo Feliciano, Steve Capeles, Luis Gonzalez, and Julio Felix will donate money for each winner they ride. Trainers Richaleen Turpin and Gary King will give $20 for each of their winners.

Perennial leading trainer Gary Johnson has pledged $25 for each of his winners and leading owner Mark Yagour will donate $50 each time one of his horses win. With the participation this year of Yagour and Johnson, the track's contribution to the foundation is expected to increase significantly.