10/20/2004 12:00AM

Thistledown track report


Owner Rick Poje is sharing his good fortune with others at Thistledown. He has donated his car, a 1991 Buick, to jockey Javier Cabrera and his family.

Poje became an honorary owner of the horse Captilea when he won local radio station WGAR's horse giveway contest in July. Since that time he has been collecting the money the horse has won and will continue to do so until the end of the year.

Cabrera was sidelined with a broken leg suffered in an accident at the starting gate in September. His bad luck did not stop there: A few weeks later his house and car were destroyed by fire.

"I've been pretty fortunate these last few months, and when I heard the situation these people were in I knew it was the right thing to do," said Poje.

* Bliss Landing won the fourth leg of the Thistledown Distance Series. It was his fifth victory in nine local starts. The distance series ends with a two-mile marathon.

* Longshots lit up the tote board last week, and none was more exciting than the victory by Proper Direction - who paid $189.80. Ridden by apprentice Jenny Schmidt, Proper Direction split horses in the shadow of the wire to get up in time. Schmidt was greeted by her parents, wagering tickets in hand, in the winner's circle.

* The deadline to enter the Thistledown Handicapping Tournament is Oct. 31. It is held in conjunction with Daily Racing Form and NTRA. The top three finishers advance to the Daily Racing Form/NTRA National Handicapping Championship in Las Vegas Jan. 21-22.