NORTH RANDALL, Ohio.— Aurora Racing’s Ohio-bred gelding Relish the Ride scored the first stakes victory of his career when he drew away to win the $75,000 Catlaunch Stakes at JACK Thistledown Racino September 22.
Relish the Ride was away alertly from post position 7 and opted to drop to the rail and save ground heading up the backside. He settled in fourth position while 8-1 shot First Song set the pace, cruising through the opening quarter in 23.44 and the half in 48.06. The aforementioned runner began to give way heading into the turn, Romantic Cowboy soon taking the lead through three-quarters in 1:13.68.
Romantic Cowboy didn’t hold the lead for long, as Relish the Ride and jockey Luis Rivera angled out and quickly assumed command in the stretch, running one mile in 1:39.68. Drawing away while ridden out, Relish the Ride strode past the wire five lengths in front. The final time for the 1 1/16 miles affair over a fast main track was 1:46.44.
Authentic Cowtown, who had pressed the early pace, contended for second. Romantic Cowboy faltered but held on for third. Rounding out the order of finish were Firsthand Justice, favored Big Truck, Mobil Solution, Manga Man, Pat’s Karma, Speedy Mobile, and First Song.
The top three finishers paid 10.60, 7.00, and 3.80 for their respective places.
Relish the Ride came into the Catlaunch off of a determined allowance win September 6 at Thistledown, where he defeated stakes-placed Rumble Strip Ron. The Jeffrey Radosevich trainee’s stakes score was his fifth career win, and his fourth overall at Thistledown. Previously, he was stakes-placed on a number of occasions, second in three stakes at various Ohio tracks.
A frugal $12,000 purchase at the 2020 Ohio Thoroughbred Breeders & Owners Fall Mixed Sale, Relish the Ride has amassed earnings of $186,240. Relish the Ride is by Grade 3 winner Mobil and is out of the graded-stakes placed, stakes-winning Cryptoclearance mare, Cryptos’ Best.
By Amber Joyce, Contributing Editor
Photo: Relish the Ride captures the Catlaunch (JJ Zamaiko Photography)