One of the top graded horse races on this Saturday’s card takes bettors to Thistledown Racino outside of Cleveland for the $500,000 Ohio Derby. The final field for this race should be a good one with a few 3-year-olds having raced in the 2017 Kentucky Derby.
Some of the sport’s biggest trainers such as Doug O’Neill, Steve Asmussen and Mark Casse represent the top entries for Saturday’s main event at Thistledown outside Cleveland. I have spent some time trying to narrow down the projected field to come up with my top three horses for this week’s winning trifecta pick.
2017 Ohio Derby
This is a Grade 3 stakes race for 3-year-old thoroughbreds with a total prize purse of $500,000. It will be contested on the dirt track at Thistledown over a distance a 1 1/8 miles.
Of the seven current entries are listed as probable for this Saturday’s Ohio Derby, I would have to go with Untrapped as the class of the field. Trained by Asmussen, this Kentucky-bred colt has been training for his next event since early May after fading to 12th in the Kentucky Derby in a crowded field of 20. He went off as a 58/1 long shot at Churchill, so it is hard to get too upset with that run.
After fading to sixth in the Grade 1 Arkansas Derby at Oaklawn in his final prep race before the Derby, the son of Trappe Shot fell from the ranks of being one of the top contenders at Churchill, but you cannot discount the fact that he did place in the money in both the Grade 2 Risen Star (2nd) and the Grade 2 Rebel Stakes (3rd) prior to that race.
My second choice for Saturday’s main event at Thistledown would be Souper Tapit. While another pedigree from Tapit (Tapwrit) was busy winning the Belmont Stakes earlier this month at Belmont Park, this 3-year-old Florida-bred colt made a name for himself by winning the Grade 3 Marine Stakes on May 28 at Woodbine at a distance of 1 1/16 miles over Channel Marker and Malibu Secret. That was a vast improvement from an earlier seventh-place run in the Grade 3 Lexington Stakes at Keeneland over the same distance on April 15.
Those were Souper Tapit's only two races this season to earn a respectable Horse Racing Nation rating of 6.56. I believe he is actually well-suited to compete with the other 3-year-olds in Saturday’s projected field at this slightly longer distance.
Rounding out my trifecta pick for the Ohio Derby would be Girvin, coming off a 13th-place finish in the Kentucky Derby. Under the watchful eye of trainer Joe Sharp, this Kentucky-bred colt has been patiently waiting to prove that he does belong on the list of the top 3-year olds in his class. He opened the season with a second-place run in the ungraded Keith Gee Memorial Stakes at Fair Grounds in early February, and he really caught my interest with a victory in the Risen Star over Untrapped and Local Hero.
This son of Tale of Ekati became a hot topic of conversation for this year’s Kentucky Derby with another victory in a key prep race by outpacing Patch in the Grade 2 Louisiana Derby over the 1 1/8 mile distance to get the win. Girvin ended up going off at 22/1 betting odds at Churchill on Derby Day.Talk Horse Racing Betting In Our Forum