08/26/2008 11:00PM

Three major events close out River's season


Closing weekend at River Downs is always the biggest of the season.

Saturday's feature is the $100,000 Bassinet. Ten 2-year-old fillies were entered in the six-furlong race, including the first three finishers in the local prep that was run Aug. 10.

Yo Eleven, the winner of the prep and only two-time winner in the field, is the horse to beat. Trained by Mike Crowder, Yo Eleven was kept just off the early pace last time out and dueled through the stretch to prevail by a half-length under Julio Felix, who gets the return mount.

Robin My Girl is a contender. Trained by Terry Gestes, Robin My Girl was beaten a half-length in her last out, a maiden race Aug. 9 at Arlington, but she earned a Beyer Speed Figure of 75 that is the best in Saturday's field. She came back with a best-of-42 five-furlong work at Arlington on Aug. 23 and looks primed for a top showing.

* A silent auction on Sunday will be the track's biggest fundraiser of the year. Formerly known as the Gary Birzer fundraiser, this year it will also benefit jockey Justin Vitek. Vitek is dealing with a final round of chemotherapy in his battle to defeat acute myelogenous leukemia. Birzer remains paralyzed from the waist down from a riding accident at Mountaineer in 2004. Birzer has made remarkable strides, and reports that he will be fitted for leg braces in the near future and may be able to walk with the aid of a walker, something doctors originally said would never happen.

Auction items include racing and sports memorabilia and items from local restaurants and sports franchises.

* Monday's feature is the $200,000 Cradle Stakes. River will run 11 live races and will not be a part of the Ohio 7&7 program with Thistledown. A full field is expected for the 1 1/16-mile turf race.