10/08/2002 11:00PM

Thistledown track report

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NORTH RANDALL, Ohio - Thistledown will host the 16th renewal of the Best of Ohio racing series Monday. The Best of Ohio is five stakes with a total purse distribution of $375,000. The series has traditionally produced the Ohio-bred horse of the year, but this year that category has all but been conceded to Harlan's Holiday, who is schedule to make his next start in the Breeders' Cup Classic.

There will be pick five wagering on the races. The pick five should draw a good-sized pool because California outlets are taking the races.

There is a realistic chance that four of the five races will have full fields of 14. The exception is the $75,000 Juvenile, which will offer the most interesting matchup of the day - Hackendiffy, a half-brother to U S S Tinosa, vs. Boxcar Cat, a half-brother to Harlan's Holiday.

Hackendiffy, with three stakes wins, is the most accomplished of the pair. Boxcar Cat has made only two starts but indicated he may be a horse of some quality with an eye-raising win in his last start.