07/29/2003 11:00PM

Thistledown track report


NORTH RANDALL, Ohio - Trainer Jerry Sparks and owner-breeder Darrell Sapp went on a tear this weekend, winning five races. Madame Janette dropped in for a claiming price to take Thursday's 10th race. Only One King won the opener on Friday, a nonwinners-of-two allowance event. Sparks entry of 2-year-old maidens failed to win Saturday, but Sapp's yellow and white silks were soon prominent again, with a three-bagger on Sunday. The 2-year-old filly Change of Fortune won her maiden in the fifth, the promising filly Lead the Parade won her fourth allowance condition in the seventh, and Franchise Player won a competitive classified allowance to cap off the big weekend.

Through Sunday, jockey Huber Villa-Gomez was the meet's leading rider with 18 wins. An impressive six victories over the weekend was enough to topple Russell Woolsey from the No. 1 spot. Woolsey won four races over the weekend, including a triple on Sunday, and is a close second in the standings with 16 wins.

* Longtime Thistledown outrider Pam Barns died July 24 of cancer. A memorial service was held Saturday morning in the Thistledown paddock. Jockey Julio Felix spoke to the large group that was gathered, expressing appreciation to those friends who had cared for Barns during the last few weeks of her life.