From Thistledown releaseKim Sawyer has been promoted to state steward in Ohio effective April 8. Sawyer replaces Allen Fairbanks who retired at the end of the 2004 live racing season last December after 21 years at Thistledown. Sawyer is the first female state steward in Ohio."I'm very excited and lucky to be offered this great opportunity," Sawyer said. "My goal as state steward is to continue to uphold the integrity of racing in Ohio at its highest level. Our steward stand will keep the sport of horse racing positive, credible, and fair to everyone involved from the horsemen to the fans who support the game."Sawyer has served as a steward for Thistledown since 2001. She was also the first female steward at the North Randall oval and the second female steward to serve in Ohio.Sawyer's broad exposure to the sport of horse racing began at a young age showing horses. Her father owned and trained Quarter horses and after he died in 1960, her mother took over the family business and became involved with Thoroughbreds. Sawyer also worked her way through various jobs on the backside; she was an exercise rider, outrider, a jockey for two years, and an assistant trainer and trainer for 15 years.Sawyer has worked in the racing office at Thistledown as an alternate steward, placing judge, paddock judge, and horse identifier. She is also an alternate state steward for West Virginia.Sawyer will head the steward stand of Joel McCullar and the other steward position, which is yet to be confirmed.