A solid field of 11 will line up in Saturday’s $500,000 Ohio Derby (G3) at Thistledown led by Proxy and Promise Keeper.
The Todd Pletcher trained Promise Keeper is the 7-2 morning line favorite. The colt drew the rail and jockey Luis Saez is in to ride the son of Constitution.
The colt won the Peter Pan (G3) at Belmont Park going nine furlongs in his last outing on May 8.
Proxy (5-1) spent his winter at Fair Grounds and was competitive in the Road to the Kentucky Derby points races. The Michael Stidham trainee was the runner up in the Lecomte (G3) and Risen Star (G2) and was fourth in the Louisiana Derby (G2).
The Godolphin trainee caught a sloppy track in the Lexington (G3) at Keeneland in his last outing where he checked in fourth. Joe Bravo will ride the son of Tapit for the first time on Saturday and will break from the nine post.
The Ohio Derby was first run in 1876. It was canceled in 1883 and then brought back in 1924. The race lost its graded status in 2014 but has returned as a Grade 3 in 2017. The Tom Amoss trained Dean Martini was last year’s edition.
Promise Keeper Wins Peter Pan
There are two supporting stakes on Saturdays’ card at Thistledown—the $75,000 Daniel Stearns Cleveland Gold Cup and the $250,000 Lady Jacqueline.
Let’s head out to Thistledown for Saturday’s featured race of the day:
Thistledown Race 9 The Ohio Derby G3 4:20 ET
9 Proxy 5-1
1 Promise Keeper 7-2
10 Masqueparade 8-1
4 King Fury 9-2
The Stidham trainee takes the blinkers off as he makes his first start since a subpar fourth in the Lexington (G3) which was over a sloppy track. This guy showed plenty of ability over a fast track, seconds in the Lecomte (G3) and Risen Star (G2), he then was fourth in the Louisiana Derby. His seconds behind Mandaloun and Hot Rod Charlie look pretty good after the Triple Crown. The Lexington did not come up that tough and four have exited that race to run back with the best finish a sixth. However, this guy likely bounces back with a fast track and the 5-1 morning line looks fair. There is a 40% chance of showers on Saturday, and I will like him more if we don’t get any rain although he is bred to handle the off going.
This colt ships in from New York for the Pletcher barn. Last out the colt prompted the early pace and drew clear in the final furlong to win the Peter Pan (G3) by 2 ¼ lengths. The runner up Nova Rags came back to run third in the Woody Stephens (G1) in his next outing. The Pletcher trainee broke his maiden smartly in the slop at Gulfstream Park in his second career start and was sent off at 4-1 in the Tampa Bay Derby (G2) where he faded to finish a well beaten 12th. He bounced back with a victory versus Alw-1 optional claimers at Keeneland going nine furlongs before his win in the Peter Pan. He is proven at the distance and looks as if he still may have some upside.
This guy took four tries to break his maiden and when he did two back it was thanks to the stewards as he ran second and was placed first via a disqualification of the winner. The Stall trainee then faced Alw-1 foes at Churchill Downs and trounced them, drawing away to win by 11 ¾ lengths and he earned the top last out speed fig. The colt gets the class test today, but he sure looks up to it. He has moved forward in each of his last three starts and won last out as if he can handle the class hike.