11/07/2015 3:52PM

Deniro's Saint delivers as favorite in Ohio Debutante

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Deniro's Saint, ridden by Luis Gonzalez, scores by 3 1/4 lengths in the Ohio Debutante.

The 5-year-old mare Deniro’s Saint, winless in five starts this season while facing the two best Ohio-breds in training, scored as the heavy favorite in Saturday’s $75,000 Ohio Debutante Handicap at Mahoning Valley Race Course.

Unlike her previous races this season, in which she chased either the 4-year-old colt Jac’s Fact or the 4-year-old filly Needmore Flattery, Deniro’s Saint faced far softer company in the Ohio Debutante, restricted to Ohio-accredited fillies and mares.

Fourth, but only 3 1/2 lengths behind, after the first six furlongs in a dawdling 1:17.35, Deniro’s Saint ($3.40)  began advancing under Luis Gonzalez, took the lead at the top of the stretch, and drew clear to win by 3 1/4 lengths. Startin Something held off Sugar Marie for second by a neck.

Deniro’s Saint, whose last victory came in the George Lewis Memorial in July 2014, completed 1 1/16 miles in 1:51.98, winning for the seventh time in 23 career starts for Josh Faulkner, who trains the daughter of Saints n’ Sinners for his grandfather, Joe Faulkner.

“We gave her plenty of time off over the winter and spring, and now she is back to the good form she showed in 2013 and 2014,” said Josh Faulkner.