06/21/2017 3:00PM

Hinton gets his shot in Ohio Derby

Barbara D. Livingston
Grade 2 winner Girvin is the 2-1 morning-line favorite for the Ohio Derby.

Hinton is a Kentucky-bred, but the Ohio Derby has long been on the radar for a colt who runs for one of the Buckeye State’s prominent programs.

The Candy Ride colt will make his stakes debut Saturday in the Grade 3, $500,000 race at Thistledown for the Maccabee Farm of Steve Belford, who owns farms in Kentucky and Ohio and is a prominent ontrack force in the latter. Hinton is among the newcomers on the 3-year-old stakes scene, joining the fray in a nine-horse field headed by Grade 2 winners Girvin and Irap, among a quartet looking to rebound from disappointing finishes in the Kentucky Derby.

“Mr. Belford is from Ohio, and we’ve had this race on our radar all spring,” trainer Thomas Drury Jr. said. “[Hinton] is 2 for 2 around two turns, and he’s improving each start. Sometimes horses that run in the Kentucky Derby get banged around in that race. He’s going to be fresher, and he’s going in the right direction, so if we’re going to take a shot, this is the time.”

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Hinton has won three of four career starts, with a pair of two-turn victories on Turfway Park’s Polytrack and at Belterra Park in a race taken off the turf. In the latter, he edged stakes-placed Normandy Crossing, who returned to win his subsequent outing.

Girvin was installed as the morning-line favorite when the field for the Ohio Derby was drawn Wednesday, landing post 6 under Hall of Fame rider Mike Smith at 2-1. The colt won the Risen Star and Louisiana Derby but finished 13th in the Kentucky Derby after battling a quarter crack in the lead-up to the race, forcing him into an unconventional training schedule. Irap, who won his maiden in the Blue Grass Stakes, finished 18th in the Derby. The 3-1 second choice here drew the rail under Julien Leparoux.

The Ohio Derby also attracted Fast and Accurate, the winner of the Grade 3 Spiral Stakes at Turfway Park before finishing 17th in the Kentucky Derby, and Untrapped, 12th in the Derby.

From the rail out, the Ohio Derby field is made up of Irap, Untrapped, Talk Less, Vibe, Sorry Erik, Girvin, Fast and Accurate, Game Over, and Hinton. The race anchors a nine-race Saturday card that also includes the $75,000 J. William Petro Memorial Handicap for Ohio-bred fillies and mares and the $75,000 George Lewis Memorial Stakes for Ohio-accredited horses.