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Saturday, April 13, 2013

Doc's Bonanza Wins Open in Seasonal Debut at Thunder Ridge

Doc's Bonanza, getting away slow at the start, was able to come back and win his seasonal debut by a neck over Blueridge Straight to win the $2,000 Open at Thunder Ridge Racing.

Facing four other horses, driver Christopher Loney reined the six year old stallion to a winning time of 1:57.4 over a fast track for owner/trainer Mary Dawson.  At the start of the race, Sailor's Sky (Darrell Moore) battled the eventual second place finisher Blueridge Straight (Herman Hagerman) for the lead getting to the quarter in :27.4 with the eventual winner nowhere to be found.. 

Blueridge Straight then retook the lead and led the field through a half of :58 and three quarters in 1:28.3.  In the meanwhile, Doc's Bonanza who was fourth, back eleven and a half lengths at the first call slowly caught up to the field and challenged Blueridge Straight at the three quarter pole, managing to take a half length lead at the top of the stretch.

At that point, Doc's Bonanza was able to keep Blueridge Straight at bay to win by a neck.  Nine lengths back, Sailor's Sky held on to third while King Brutus was another half length back in fourth.  Happy Hour Hottie was never a factor, finishing a little over fourteen lengths back of the winner. 

The odds-on favorite paid $2.60 to win, while the second place horse, Blueridge Straight paid $2.10 to place.  The All-3 exacta paid $3.00.


Odds are this will be the first and last story you will ever ready about a race at Thunder Ridge Racing, not because Keenland is looking to buy Thunder Ridge's license and move the track to Corbin and change over to quarter horses, but because racing at Thunder Ridge is so meaningless to racing fans.  The total amount of money wagered in the WPS pools in the feature race was $39.  You will notice there was no place price for the winning horse because no one wagered on him for second.  Two of the five horses didn't even have a win wager placed on them.

I will say on the last race, the handle exploded with WPS wagering totalling $55; perhaps the horsemen who were not racing in the finale deciding to throw caution into the wind and making a few wagers.  The total amount of money wagered on WPS for the six race card was a total of $136.  The reporting of their exotic pools is spotty, but with one race having $8 wagered on the Exacta, I tend to doubt exotics added much to their handle.

Reading this, you may be thinking the racing at Thunder Ridge Racing is a joke.  The sad thing is the Kentucky Horsemen need this meet for once this meet is done, they are looking at a one month stand at Bluegrass Downs (fifteen days) before heading on to The Red Mile for a twenty-one day stand before having to ship out when the Grand Circuit meet begins.  So, for Kentucky horsemen, the seventeen days at Thunder Ridge are important; dates which appear to be at risk of disappearing with the other tracks likely not looking to take on the days lost. 

Perhaps instant racing will be what rescues standardbred racing, allowing Bluegrass Downs and The Red Mile to add racing dates.  One thing for sure, if the calendar is expanedd, it will be done without Thunder Ridge Raceway.

Trainer Lou Pena has found a home.  According to HRU, Lou Pena has had an entry accepted at Pocono Downs.  His horse is scheduled to race on Wednesday.

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