06/03/2004 11:00PM

Four likely for Ohio Derby


NORTH RANDALL, Ohio - Limehouse is by far the most accomplished horse among the four 3-year-olds considered likely starters for Saturday's 70th running of the Grade 2 Ohio Derby at Thistledown. The 1 1/8-mile race has a purse of $350,000, $50,000 more than last year.

According to Thistledown director of racing and racing secretary Bill Couch, the likely starters are Limestone, Trieste's Honor, Brass Hat, and Jandemar.

Limehouse finished fourth in the Kentucky Derby in his last start, and before that was third in the Blue Grass Stakes at Keeneland. Earlier this year he won the Grade 3 Tampa Bay Derby and the Grade 2 Hutcheson at Gulfstream Park. He is owned by Dogwood Stable and trained by Todd Pletcher.

Trieste's Honor has put together three wins in a row, with the most recent being the California Derby at Golden Gate on April 17. He is owned by Cobra Farms Inc.

Brass Hat won the Rushaway stakes at Turfway Park on March 20, then finished second in the Forerunner on the Keeneland grass. He is owned by Fred Bradley and trained by Buff Bradley.

Locally based trainer Mike Cartwright plans to run Jandemar for owner Jack A. Miller. Jandemar has won 2 of his 5 career starts, the most recent being an allowance sprint May 13.

There are several possibles for the Ohio Derby, including Sinister G, who won the Lane's End at Turfway and subsequently finished 10th in the Wood Memorial at Aqueduct and eighth in the Peter Pan at Belmont. Dashboard Drummer was second in the Sir Barton at Pimlico and, before that, fifth in the Lexington at Keeneland and third in the Swale Stakes at Gulfstream. Ecclesiastic easily won a nine-furlong allowance at Belmont Park in his latest May 12. His other win from seven career starts came in a 1 1/16-mile maiden race at Keeneland.

Ascertain may invade from Ireland for the Ohio Derby. Ascertain has won three of his six starts.

Entries for the Ohio Derby will be drawn Wednesday.