NORTH RANDALL, Ohio—What does a trainer do when he has a 3-year-old colt that breaks his maiden at Santa Anita and then runs a credible third to the equine titan Justify in the Santa Anita Derby?
Peter Eurton said, “Let's try the Grade 3 Peter Pan at Belmont.” That cross country trip resulted in a third place finish and sent Eurton and owner Gary Broad looking for a race that didn't have Triple Crown winner Justify on the entry list.
They landed here at Thistledown for the $500,000, Grade 3 Ohio Derby, a mile and furlong event that drew eleven starters—none of whom were named Justify. (He was busy parading for the fans who turned out for Santa Anita's penultimate day of the Spring meeting.)
Core Beliefs and jockey Joe Talamo came out of the Number 10 stall in the Ohio Derby and let the others do most of the racing early on. They stormed down the center of the track from the eighth pole home to gain the decision by a nose over the favored Lone Sailor and New York riding champion Irad Ortiz, Jr. The GMB Racing color bearer had previously finished fifth in the Preakness and eighth in the Kentucky Derby.
Core Beliefs and Talamo stopped the teletimer in 1:51.06 racing on a fast track.
The win for Core Beliefs, a Kentucky-bred son of Quality Road from the Tactical Advantage mare Tejati, was second from six lifetime starts. Because of his placings in major stakes, he went into the Ohio Derby with earnings over a quarter of a million dollars. The Thistledown check for $300,000 put him more than halfway down the road to becoming an equine millionaire.
Hall of Fame rider John Velazquez reached into his tack box and came up with a handful of patience that he used astride Got Stormy to bring her home the winner of Belmont's $100,000 Wild Applause Stakes for 3-year-old fillies.
The win for the Mark Casse trainee was her second straight in stakes company. In her last out, she had the riding services of Gulfstream Park's red hot Tyler Gaffalione to win Penn National's Penn Oaks. In that race, Velazquez was aboard Treasuring for a fourth place finish.
No sooner had Got Stormy come out of the gate first in the field of five when Velazquez took a gently hold of her to settle in close attendance to the pace setting Lady Suebee and Manny Franco. Velazquez sent his filly after the leader passing the eighth pole and she responded to his vigorous hand ride to win by two lengths carrying high weight of 120 pounds.
The Irish-bred Punk and Hall of Fame rider Javier Castellano came running in the stretch to finish second a half length to the good of Brattata and Jose Ortiz. Ferdinanda and Lady Suebee rounded out the order of finish.
Got Stormy was timed in 1:34.93 for the mile on a firm turf course with the rail out 18 feet.
The win for Get Stormy was her third from seven starts. She has now earned $226,925.
Trainer Casse went into the Wild Applause with a host of confidence in his filly saying "She's a filly that came to us in good order. She's matured in each race and seems to be getting better and better. Her last start she was just powerful. I thought Tyler [Gaffalione] did a great job with her and since then she's continued to be doing well. We feel like the mile distance hits her right between the eyes.”
On the backstretch...
Earlier in the day, the NYRA management reacted to the death of a backstretch worker at Belmont Park from a suspected case of Hantavirus, a rare disease reportedly caused by waste products from rodents that can be spread by sweeping and vacuuming. Track management said the New York State Department of Health has investigated all 78 residential cottages and dormitories at Belmont and has made several recommendations regarding the conditions.
Pat McKenna, NYRA's communications director, issued the following statement:
“As noted by the New York State Department of Health, this is an extremely rare virus. This virus has not, and will not, impact the public visiting Belmont Park. We are redoubling our prior efforts to address appropriate rodent control measures throughout all backstretch facilities. In addition, NYRA is adopting and implementing all of New York State’s recommendations.”
At Monmouth Park...
Dark Artist collared the pace setting Too Charming in the shadow of the wire to earn the win in the $62,100 Open Mind Stakes Stakes for 3-year-old fillies at a mile and a sixteenth on the turf course.
The win for the Goodwood Racing color-bearer was her second in four weeks. In her last outing, the Jane Cibelli trainee came from off the pace to win the Boiling Springs Stakes.
The Kentucky-bred daughter of Paynter from the Storm Cat mare Ominous Cat sat in second place under Trevor McCarthy. The 9 to 10 favorite overtook Too Charming, a 27 to 1 long shot, to pay her backers in the crowd of 10,636 $3.80 for a $2 win bet.
The win was Dark Artist's fourth from eight starts and third straight, all on the turf. After the race Cibelli said Dark Artist may be ready to test graded stakes company.
“Being a filly, and the way she has run recently, you have to look at a graded stakes for her because of her value as a breeding prospect down the road. But you have to be careful because she’s still improving. You don’t want to throw her into a den of wolves yet but you also want to see what’s what with her and see exactly what we have.”
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