Rupp Racing's Owendale, most recently third in the G1 Preakness Stakes, returned to earn his second graded stakes triumph in Saturday's G3 Ohio Derby at Thistledown. The 1-2 favorite had to work harder than his odds might have suggested, but Owendale and Florent Geroux were able to turn back 5-1 chance Math Wizard by a half-length on the wire. Trained by Brad Cox, the 3-year-old son of Into Mischief completed nine furlongs over the fast main track in 1:50.88.
Geroux crafted a beautiful ride on Owendale to deliver the victory in the Ohio Derby, laying back last of the six-horse field in the early going and slipping through the pack around the far turn to challenge the leader.
From the gate, Dare Day and Bethlehem Road went winging out a first quarter in :22.66. Dare Day then slowed the pace down to :47.62 and 1:12.80, compressing the field behind him approaching the far turn. Math Wizard, closing from fourth, was the first to take command, but Owendale and Geroux had more in the tank and challenged on the inside.
In a game final-eighth battle to the wire, Owendale was able to prevail by a half length over Math Wizard. Long Range Toddy finished third, and Bethlehem Road checked in fourth.
Bred in Kentucky by Stonestreet, Owendale was a $200,000 yearling purchase at the Keeneland September sale. He required three starts to break his maiden as a juvenile, then won an allowance race at the Fair Grounds to kick off his sophomore season. After an eighth-place finish in the G2 Risen Star, Cox changed tactics with the colt and sent him up to Keeneland for the G3 Lexington, which he won impressively. A late-charging third in the Preakness, Owendale's record now stands at 4-1-2 from 10 starts with earnings of over $650,000.
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