Ohio returns to a distance that is right in his wheelhouse Saturday when he runs in the Grade II, $200,000 City of Hope Mile on grass.
Half of his 30 career races have come at that distance on turf, where he has won five. The eight-year-old Brazilian-bred gelding meandered from his comfort zone last out, going a mile and one-sixteenth on the main track at Presque Isle Downs on Sept. 9, but he still finished a creditable third, beaten less than two lengths in a field of 10.
“They set a track record that day,” pointed out trainer Michael McCarthy. “Obviously, we're very proud of his effort since it had been a long time (a string of 12 races) since he had run on anything other than grass, so it was certainly respectable.
“He's come back and trained well (four furlongs Saturday in 49.40). Even though he favors a mile, he's a bit trip-dependent. He doesn't have a real big turn of foot and he's a bit one-paced, so obviously working out a trip is always important with him.
“But he shows up every time. He loves his job.”
Owned by Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners and Bruce Treitman, Ohio has nine wins, his most impressive coming by a desperate but thrillingly suspenseful nose at 9-1 in the prestigious, Grade I, Kilroe Mile at Santa Anita last March 30. He has earned $520,767.
Also ticketed for the City of Hope Mile is Grade I Shoemaker Mile winner Bolo, ridden for the first time by returning Tyler Baze, who resumes his career full-time at Santa Anita with agent Craig O'Bryan after a successful six-month tour in the Midwest.
Others probable for the City of Hope are Andesh, Abel Cedillo; Catapult, Rafael Bejarano; Kingly, Mario Gutierrez; Prince Earl, Geovanni Franco; Restrainedvengence, Ruben Fuentes, and True Valour, Drayden Van Dyke.
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