Added Distance and Purse Brings More Quality to $500,000 Ohio Derby
Ohio’s richest race for 3-year-olds is set for Saturday, June 25 at ThisleDown. The $500,000 Ohio Derby will be run at 1 1/8 miles after being contested at 1 1/16 the past five years. The increased purse attracted some Triple Crown horses last year including the winner, Mr. Z. This year’s race will feature the favorite Mo Tom, who finished eighth in the Kentucky Derby.
The race also serves as a good prep for the Traverse and Pacific Classic.
Mo Tom is the 5-2 favorite for trainer Tom Amoss. He’s 3-for-8 lifetime, including a victory in the $200,000 Grade III LeComte Stakes Jan. 16 at Fair Grounds Race Course, where he’s owned by Tom and Gayle Benson, the New Orleans Saints and Pelicans owners. Mo Tom finished eighth in the Kentucky Derby, but he’s suffered some poor trips in the Risen Star, Louisiana Derby and then the Derby. Javier Castellano, the nation’s leading rider, is expected to give him a good trip and Mo Tom is the one to beat.
Adventist is winless this year in four stakes tries with his only win a maiden run last December. He was fourth in the Peter Pan May 14 getting outkicked late by the horse below. A trio of show finishes prior including a weaker Grade I Wood Memorial April 9 suggests he could contend against this group. A trio of 6-furlong works leading in does not show Adventist is ready to advance to the winners circle even at 3-1.
Cocked and Loaded is 4-1 but had a pair of poor performances and back-of-the-pack finishes in the Pat Day Mile and Arlington Classic.
Wild About Deb is 5-1 on the morning line and he ran wide and quite well finishing third last out in the Peter Pan. A strong pair in Unified and Governor Malibu finished in front, but the lightly raced colt has plenty of potential and good tactical speed to contend in his second stakes try.
Decorated Soldier will look to bounce back off a fifth place finish when he was wide throughout in the Peter Pan. He breezed four furlongs with a bullet May 27 at Belmont and followed that with three more solid works at that distance. Trainer Todd Pletcher and his Proud Citizen colt can’t be overlooked even at 12-1 from the outside post.
Thatlookonyerface has never raced on the dirt or gone nine furlongs, but he has some respect in here at 8-1. Longshot Mo Don’t No at 15-1 has been beating up on Ohio-breds in winning his last two races, but win no front-end speed, he could take off and prove tough to catch in his first stakes try. Van Damme along with Riding the Wind and Discreet Lover will try for longshot success.
The Ohio Derby is Race 8 Saturday with Post Time 5:30 p.m. ET