08/02/2005 11:00PM

Thistledown track report


Eleven 3-year-old statebreds are slated to compete in Friday's $40,000 North Randall Stakes at Thistledown.

Rubius, undefeated at the North Randall's six-furlong distance, looks difficult to beat. Trained by Jeffrey Radosevich, who has been among the top trainers at Thistledown for the past two years, Rubius returns from a 10th-place finish in the $75,000 Cleveland Gold Cup at 1 1/8 miles here July 2. Prior to that he won four straight, including two open allowance races at Mountaineer going six furlongs and the $40,000 Cleveland Kindergarten here last Aug. 14, also at six furlongs. Julio Felix will handle the riding assignment at 114 pounds.

Pyrite Springs returns from a hard-fought victory in the Cleveland Gold Cup, winning by a neck after a stretchlong drive, and should be the one to beat. Earlier he finished second, beaten a head, in the Green Carpet at River Downs on June 4, and was third in the Winter Green Handicap here on May 7. Trained by Miguel Feliciano, Pyrite Springs has been assigned high weight of 120 pounds and will be ridden by Ricardo Feliciano.

Cincinnati Red could be another tough contender. He returns from a 20-length victory against Ohio-bred nonwinners-of-two allowance horses going six furlongs on July 18 at River Downs. Perry Ouzts will ride for trainer Sam Rogers at 116 pounds.