Thistledown: The GIII, $500,000 Ohio Derby at 1 1/8 miles (Kentucky Derby qualifying points: 20-8-4-2)
Brian handicaps at Capital OTB and Horseplayer Now, and he’ll offer analysis and selections of Derby points races, hoping to make us all a little money as we head to the Belmont Stakes. Follow him on Twitter here.
It’s not often we see the Ohio Derby as a prep for the Kentucky Derby, or see the race attract a Breeders’ Cup Juvenile winner and 2-year-old champion, but that’s how we roll in 2020, so let’s have a look at what is an overflow field. First off, ignore the laughable ML on #6 SPRAWL (15-1), who could go favored off a very impressive and fast two-turn N1X win at Churchill Downs last time for Mott, and this son of City Zip seems to be coming into his own and has a stalking gear in a race that seems to have an honest pace. Said honest pace should flatter #10 SOUTH BEND (8-1), who has been deep closing on the turf of late, but as a son of Algorithm, he’s bred for this, and Hough started him out on the dirt, too, and that fourth in Gulfstream Park’s Mucho Macho Man gives him a price chance here. Expect about 6 or 8-1 on maiden #12 ESTABLISHED (30-1), who ran extremely fast when beaten a half-length in a CD MSW last time, and while this is a steep rise in class, Stidham doesn’t run them where they don’t belong, and this son of Constitution has a world of upside for a top, top barn. The aforementioned BCJ winner and 2yo champ #13 STORM THE COURT (3-1) gets some much needed class relief after running against eons better this winter and spring, but he also hasn’t made much of a dent, and was just awful when sixth in the GI Arkansas Derby at Oaklawn Park, so from a wide draw, at a trip that seems too far for this son of Court Vision, and with the blinkers coming off as a last-ditch resort from Eurton, there’s just no reason to come along at an underlaid price.
#10 South Bend
#13 Storm the Court