06/15/2004 11:00PM

Thistledown track report


NORTH RANDALL, Ohio - Track superintendent John Banno and his crew worked their magic again last weekend at Thistledown. Several visiting trainers who shipped in for the Ohio Derby and saw the sloppy track late Friday evening were in disbelief Saturday when the track was fast by noon.

Ontrack betting on Saturday's Grade 2 Ohio Derby was up 2 percent from last year. Total ontrack handle was $984,896, compared with $965,622 last year.

"We had a tremendous day," said Bill Murphy, Thistledown's vice president and general manager. "Everything was successful operationally, and our out-of-town guests had a great time."

* Desirous, a 3-year-old filly owned by Justin, 10, and Josie Radosevich, 8, and trained by their father, Jeff Radosevich, captured her first career victory in six starts last Thursday.

"I bought the horse from Bernie Flint and asked the kids if they wanted to own the horse," said Radosevich. "They said yes, and when I asked where they wanted to run the horse, they said Thistledown."

Justin and Josie help out their dad at his barn during the summer.

* Jockey Huber Villa-Gomez and trainer Cynthia Bayley top the standings so far for the Thistledown Meet, which began May 15 and runs through July 24. Mark Yagour Inc. and Jerry Hollendorfer share the top spot among owners.