A Winning Maiden?

by Ed Meyer

posted on December 5, 2008 in News | No Comments >>

Three-year-old powerhouse Marble Cliff, a winner of four of five starts in 2008 and the $100,000 Cleveland Gold Cup at Thistledown, will start his 2009 thoroughbred season as a winless Kentucky-bred maiden.

Marble Cliff was listed as an Ohio-bred by breeders G. David and Diane Shashura of Paris, Ky., and raced as an Ohio-bred by owners Charles Ruma and Joe Sugar, who also own Beulah Park in Grove City, Ohio. The Ohio Racing Commission ruled a few weeks ago that Marble Cliff was a Kentucky-bred colt.

The ORC canceled the Ohio registration of Marble Cliff and eight other thoroughbreds registered by the Shashuras. It also stripped Marble Cliff’s owners of $109,940 in winnings. The Shashuras repaid $4,700 in Ohio breeder awards.

Ruma, the majority owner of Beulah Park, denied knowing the horse was actually a Kentucky-bred. He did tell Blood-Horse magazine he thinks he’s now got the best maiden in America.

The ORC held a special meeting recently that placed the blame for the improper registrations with Diane Shashura. The ORC canceled all Ohio registrations of horses owned by Shashura and barred the future Ohio registration of horses she owns.

To make bettors aware of Marble Cliff’s status when the colt returns to the races, Mike Beer of the Racing Form in New York said the Racing Form will list the race information of Marble Cliff’s five 2008 starts, noting the disqualifications.