Rosie Napravnik, seen exercising 2017 Derby contender Girvin.
The complexion of Saturday’s $ 500,000 Ohio Derby (G3) at JACK Thistledown Racino changed with entries Wednesday, when trainer Mike Maker entered JACK Cincinnati Casino Spiral Stakes (G3) winner Fast and Accurate, the contender most likely to want the early lead.
Nine were entered, representing seven wagering interests.
A son of the speedy Eclipse 2-year-old champion Hansen, Fast and Accurate has three wins from eight starts. He was close to the early pace in the Kentucky Derby (G1) but finished well off the board after having to check three times over the course of the race. In his next start, the May 27 Arlington Classic (G3), he finished fourth after stumbling badly out of the gate and then rushing to the lead.
Fast and Accurate breezed last Saturday at the Churchill Training Center, going five furlongs in 1:03 flat.
“He’s training fine,” said Maker, “so we’re taking a shot.”
Fast and Accurate will have the advantage of local rider T. D. Houghton in Saturday’s race. The horse will ship to Thistledown Friday in the care of assistant trainer Dave Kueffner.
Top regional trainer Jeff Radosevich will saddle two Ohio Derby contenders, both for Loooch Racing Stables. Game Over is lightly raced but undefeated in his two starts, one at Oaklawn Park and the other at Churchill Downs. The Ohio Derby will be his first stakes attempt and his first at two turns, but Radosevich likes what he sees in the son of Mineshaft.
“You never know until you try,” Radosevich said. “He got in traffic trouble in his last race but still came back to win. Sometimes a horse will get stopped or bothered and they’ll give up, but he didn’t. He’s also stabled here and has worked over the track.”
Game Over worked June 9, breezing five furlongs in a minute flat, second-fastest of 12 at the distance that day.
Talk Less also comes in off two straight wins but with six starts has more experience than his stablemate. He twice was second on the Gulfstream turf, but both wins have come on dirt. He won at Mahoning Valley two starts back, a mile and 70 yard maiden special, despite jumping the shadow at the wire in the first pass and then running erratically in the stretch; his five-length margin kept the win safe. In his most recent start, May 13 at Thistledown, he circled the field to win a mile allowance by 1 1/4 lengths.
“He’s been over the track and he likes the track,” said Radosevich. “Racing at home gives us an advantage.”
Talk Less last worked June 9, when he breezed five furlongs in 1:00.80, third-fastest at that distance that day.
The team of Loooch Racing plus Jeff Radosevich plus jockey Luis Colon has been a powerhouse since the Thistledown meet started May 1, and Colon has the call on Talk Less Saturday.
In addition to Game Over and Talk Less, Loooch Racing also owns Vibe, trained by Bob Hess Jr., and the three will run as one entry.
As expected, Girvin was made the morning line favorite when entries were drawn Wednesday. The field for the Ohio Derby, with post position, trainer, jockey, weight and morning line:
|1||Irap||Doug O’Neill||Julien Leparoux||126||3/1|
|2||Untrapped||Steve Asmussen||Ricardo Santana Jr.||120||9/2|
|3||Talk Less||Jeffrey Radosevich||Luis Colon||120||12/1|
|4||Vibe||Robert Hess Jr.||Ricardo Feliciano||120||12/1|
|5||Sorry Erik||Keith Desormeaux||Kent Desormeaux||120||6/1|
|6||Girvin||Joe Sharp||Mike Smith||124||2/1|
|7||Fast and Accurate||Michael Maker||T. D. Houghton||122||8/1|
|8||Game Over||Jeffrey Radosevich||Jacob Radosevich||120||12/1|
|9||Hinton||Thomas Drury Jr.||John McKee||120||20/1|
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