Thursday, April 28, 2011

Champions meet in Classen Memorial at Thistledown

CLEVELAND, Ohio, April 28, 2011 – Last year’s Ohio champion juvenile filly and champion accredited female face off in the $50,000 Dr. T. F. Classen Memorial Stakes at Thistledown Saturday. Including the champs, a field of seven will try the six furlongs for Ohio-accredited fillies and mares three years old and up.

Blazing Meadow Farm’s champion youngster Startin Something put up stellar numbers last year for trainer Tim Hamm, going to the gate eight times and bringing back four wins, all in Ohio stakes, and three seconds. She was a good second again in the Royal North Stakes at Beulah Park early this month, her first start since winning the Glacial Princess Stakes at Beulah six months ago. Versatile and competitive, Startin Something has won at distances from 5 1/2 furlongs to 1 1/16 miles and on fast tracks and off tracks, and she’s a perfect two-for-two at Thistledown. The Classen will be her first start against older fillies and mares. Jason Lumpkins, Startin Something’s recent regular rider, has the mount.

Champion Ohio-accredited female Indian Ink has missed the money only six times in 27 starts and has nine wins for owner Fairwinds Farm. Now six years old, she comes in to the Classen off a five-month layoff. In her most recent start, the Bobbie Bricker Memorial Handicap at Beulah Park in November, she finished first but was disqualified and placed last. She has raced at Thistledown four times without a win but has twice finished in the money. She was most successful last year going a mile or more but does have two wins, a second, and two thirds in eight tries at six furlongs. Luis Gonzalez is aboard for trainer Mike Rone.

Both Startin Something and Indian Ink like to be on or very near the lead, and they will break side by side, with Indian Ink on the rail. If they go at it early and Indian Ink sticks with Startin Something despite the layoff, they could give the opportunity to Gathering Dreams. A five-year-old mare, Gathering Dreams comes in to the Classen off the same layoff as Indian Ink, having gotten credit for the Bobbie Bricker win on the latter’s disqualification. She is three for 10 at Thistledown but hasn’t raced at this distance since winning last year’s Classen. Susan Waszak trains for owner Carol Weir. Christian Pilares rides.

From the rail out, the field for the sixth running of the Dr. T. F. Classen Memorial Stakes, with trainers, jockeys and morning line odds:

1. Indian Ink, Rone, Gonzalez, 3-1
2. Startin Something, Hamm, Lumpkins, 8-5
3. Princess Christine, David Asbury, Nathan Solomon, 8-1
4. Tut’s Shadow, Nancy Thornton, Wade Rini, 8-1
5. Gathering Dreams, Waszak, Pilares, 7-2
6. M S Roxie, Shane Crutchfield, Victor Urieta-Moran 12-1
7. Derby Day Storm, Bryan Metz, Pablo Tolentino, 6-1

The Classen goes as the sixth of eight races on Saturday’s card. First post is 1:50 p.m.

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