North Randall - JACK Thistledown Racino kicks off its 2019 racing season Monday, April 29th. This will be the first of 100 days of live Thoroughbred racing at the historic Cleveland-area track that first opened its gates in 1925.
Director of Racing Operations Patrick Ellsworth will card eight races each Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday through Oct. 19th. First post on the weekdays is 1:40 p.m. ET and, new for this season, Saturday racing will begin at 12:20 p.m. ET.
The centerpiece of JACK Thistledown’s racing season is the 85th running of the $500,000 Grade 3 Ohio Derby Saturday, June 22nd. The richest and only graded race in the state, the Ohio Derby confirmed its status with subsequent strong performances by both its 2018 winner, Core Beliefs, and runner-up, Lone Sailor. In his first start of 2019, Core Beliefs captured the Grade 2 New Orleans Handicap. After the Ohio Derby, Lone Sailor won the Oklahoma Derby (G3) and added four graded stakes placings, pushing his career earnings past $1 million. Four other 2018 alumni—Trigger Warning, Title Ready, Diamond King and Flameaway—have since added multiple graded stakes placings.
The other open stake on the calendar is the $200,000 Lady Jacqueline for fillies and mares 3 years old and up, set for August 17th.
Supporting Ohio’s breeding program, JACK Thistledown offers 15 $75,000 stakes for state-bred horses. Two of them, the George Lewis Memorial and the J. Wm Petro Memorial, run on the Ohio Derby undercard. Three others—the Miss Ohio in July, the Cleveland Kindergarten in August and the Emerald Necklace in October—give 2-year-olds their first crack at Thistledown trophies. The first of the Ohio-bred series, the Dr. T. F. Classen Memorial Stakes, comes on the first Saturday of the meet, May 4.
This season will also see the return of multiple graded stakes-winning jockey Kevin Krigger. Krigger launched his career at JACK Thistledown in 2001 before moving his tack to California. He was the regular rider of Goldencents throughout the colt’s 2-year-old season and most of his sophomore season, including the 2013 Santa Anita Derby (G1) victory that sent him on to the Kentucky Derby (G1). As of April 22, Krigger has 981 wins and purse earnings of more than $19 million.
JACK Thistledown Racino’s first weekend of live racing begins on the Friday and Saturday of the Longines Kentucky Oaks (G1) and the Kentucky Derby Presented by Woodford Reserve, respectively May 3rd and 4th. With post time from Churchill Downs at 10:30 a.m. ET both days, JACK Thistledown’s racing floor and mutuel windows will open at 10 a.m. Advance wagering on the Kentucky Oaks and Kentucky Derby begins Thursday, May 2nd, at 1 p.m.
Otherwise, JACK Thistledown’s racing floor opens at 11:30 a.m. ET. Wagering on the track’s live races begins at 12:30 p.m. except on Saturday, when wagering on live racing begins at 11:45 a.m.
© 2019 iHeartMedia, Inc.
Hear news updates at the top and bottom of the hour:wtam.com/listen