Keeneland Select Derby Prep Hotlist
Saturday, June 27, 2020
By Bob Ehalt and Matt Shifman
The $500,000 Ohio Derby (G3), Thistledown, Cleveland, OH
8th race - 5:22 pm ET – The 2020 Ohio Derby drew an overflow field of 15 which means that 14 are likely to contend the nine-furlongs at Thistledown. The field contains only four stakes winners and just a single horse with a Grade 1 victory. There should be a brisk early pace as about half of these 3-year-olds prefer to be involved in the early pace. So, the advantage goes to the late runners.
(6) Sprawl [ML 15-1] was a convincing winner of an allowance race at Churchill Downs on May 28 that earned the highest speed figure of his career for trainer Bill Mott who recently won his 5,000th race. He actually is tied for the highest figure for the field this year and his numbers have increased every race for the last seven starts. The well-bred son of City Zip has the look of a colt who has begun to put the pieces together. He will get an ideal set-up for his late running style. (4) Lebda is the winner of his last two starts in listed stakes races at Laurel Park. He won four of eight in his career and missed the top three only once. Expect him to be stalking the early runners. (3) Rowdy Yates has a strong resume as a 2-year-old with a second in the Bashford Manor (G3) and a win in the Ellis Park Juvenile. This year he debuted for Steve Asmussen with a stakes win at Sunland Park and then travelled to Saudi Arabia to run fourth in their Derby Cup. His five career victories top this field. He has back class to go with his tactical speed. (13) Storm the Court can’t be overlooked as the only Grade 1 winner in the field with his score in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile. His 2020 campaign has been disappointing, so the blinkers come off as he gets class relief against this field. Flavien Prat stays on board which is a positive sign. Betting strategy: 6 to win, place, and show. Exacta key box: 6 with 3, 4, 13. Trifecta box: 3, 4, 6, 13.