Flameaway Leads Field in Ohio Derby at Thistledown


A field of 12 led by Flameaway will go in Saturday’s $500,000 Ohio Derby (G3). (photo credit: © Cheryl Quigley | Dreamstime.com)

A field of 12 will line up in Saturday’s $500,000 Ohio Derby (G3) including three runners that have experience in this spring’s Triple Crown races.

The Mark Casse trained Flameaway is the 5-2 morning line favorite and looks to rebound off a 13th place finish in the Kentucky Derby (G1) where he was beaten more than 30 lengths by Justify, who went on to become the 13th Triple Crown winner five weeks later.

Lone Sailor (3-1) ran in two-thirds of the Triple Crown, checking in eighth in the Kentucky Debry followed by a fifth-place finish in the Preakness Stakes (G1) where he was beaten just two lengths for the top spot.

Diamond King (6-1) was sent off at 21-1 in the Preakness where the colt tired to finish seventh, beaten 12 ¼ lengths for the top spot.

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The last three Ohio Derby winners were also rans in the Run for the Roses. Last year’s winner Irap was 18th in the Kentucky Derby, the 2016 winner Mo Tom was eighth and the 2016 victor Mr Z was 13th in Louisville.

This is the 84th running of the race, dating back to 1876 where it was won by Bombay. The race was cancelled after the 1883 running but was revived in 1924.

Let’s head out to Thistledown for Saturday’s featured race of the day:

  Ohio Derby

Thistledown Race 9 The Ohio Derby (G3) Post time 5:10 ET

2 Flameaway   5-2

10 Core Beliefs   5-1

9 O’Kratos   12-1

3 Lone Sailor   3-1

Flameaway stalked the early pace and faded to finish a well beaten 13th in the Kentucky Derby (G1) in the slop. The Mark Casse trainee had run four solid races to start his three-year-old campaign. He won the Kitten’s Joy on turf and the Sam F. Davis (G3) at Tampa Bay Downs. He stamped his ticket to Louisville with a runner up finish in the Tampa Bay Derby (G2), then was second in the Blue Grass (G2) at Keeneland.

There is a chance of a we track today but this guy’s first two starts on wet tracks were both wins, coming in the Skidmore at the Spa last summer and the off the turf Bourbon (G3) at Keeneland last fall. The colt has worke3 sharply and should bounce back with a better effort here. The last three winners of this race were 18th, 8th and 13th in the Run for the Roses.

Core Beliefs ran third in the Santa Anita Derby (G1) Justify in his first start against winners, beaten 9 ½ lengths at 41-1. He then shipped to New York and ran a solid second in the peter Pan (G3) behind Blended Citizen who was a disappointing ninth in the Belmont Stakes (G1) in his next outing.

The Peter Eurton trainee owns solid early and mid pace numbers and has a solid off track pedigree if the rains come. His Peter Pan was over a wet track and he headed for home with a clear lead but got run down by a more experienced foe. The colt appears to have as much upside as any in this field.

O’Kratos is the wildcard in the field, making his first start on conventional dirt. The colt won the Marine (G3) at Woodbine over the Tapeta surface in his last out, his third in six starts. After getting outrun on turf in the Columbia at Tampa Bay Downs in his first start after breaking his maiden who has won sharply in two trips at Woodbine.

He is by Paddy O’Prado out of a Speightstown mare and has worked sharply at Woodbine. If he takes to dirt he can land in the mix here at a decent price.


WIN: #2 to win at 5-2 or better.

EXACTA: 2,10 / 2,3,9,10

TRIFECTA: 2,10 / 2,3,9,10 / 2,3,5,9,10




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