09/29/2001 12:00AM

Macho Uno upset in Ohio Derby


NORTH RANDALL, Ohio - Western Pride led all the way Saturday to win his second Derby in the Iron Belt, outlasting longshot Woodmoon and heavily favored Macho Uno in the 67th running of the $300,000 Ohio Derby at Thistledown.

Ridden by Dana Whitney and based locally with trainer Richie Estvanko, Western Pride prevailed by a half-length over

22-1 shot Woodmoon, with Macho Uno another neck back in third. Seven weeks before, Western Pride used front-running tactics to win the $500,000 West Virginia Derby at Mountaineer Park.

Before an estimated crowd of 6,500, Western Pride went straight to the lead after breaking sharply from the inside post. While Woodmoon and Saint Damien gave closest chase down the backstretch, Macho Uno bided his time in fifth, about six to eight lengths behind.

Macho Uno, the 2-year-old champion of 2000, was the 1-5 favorite under Gary Stevens in his third start of the year. He had suffered a bout of colic one week before the Ohio Derby, but trainer Joe Orseno deemed him fit to ship and run. Orseno had hoped the Thistledown race would serve as a successful prep for the Breeders' Cup Classic on Oct. 27.

Western Pride paid $8.40 as second choice in a field of six 3-year-olds. He finished 1 1/8 miles in 1:48.66 over a fast track and earned $180,000, lifting his bankroll to nearly $600,000.

The Oct. 20 Calder Derby is next for the winner.