08/11/2004 11:00PM

Thistledown track report

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NORTH RANDALL, Ohio - Eleven Ohio-bred 2-year-olds will match strides over six furlongs in the $40,000 Cleveland Kindergarten Stakes at Thistledown.

Bug Hunter comes into the race off a neck victory in the 5 1/2-furlong Hoover Stakes on July 18. He has won two of his three starts and will be hard to handle under his regular rider Irwin Rosendo.

The main opposition to Bug Hunter should come from Rubius and Brooks Blach. Rubius, a very quick Rubiano colt, won at first asking for trainer Jeff Radosevich on July 27, when he shipped down to Mountaineer Park and easily handled a field of open horses going 4 1/2 furlongs. He has the speed to challenge Bug Hunter for the early fractions and is capable of wiring this field. Julio Felix gets a return saddle call.

Brooks Blach overcame early traffic problems in the Hoover to race on even terms for the lead with Bug Hunter and missed by a neck. Brooks Blach is still a maiden and was also second in his career debut. A quick early pace would enhance his chances. William Troilo will handle the Jeff Thornbury trainee.