Updated on 09/17/2011 10:46PM

Palladio doesn't let slow pace stop him

JJ Zamaiko
Palladio wins the Grade 2, $350,000 Ohio Derby at Thistledown on Saturday.

NORTH RANDALL, Ohio - Palladio, a true closer, was never farther than 2 1/2 lengths off the pace in the Grade 2, $350,000 because of the unusually slow early fractions of the 1 1/8-mile race. When asked by jockey Richard Dos Ramos, he drove to a one-length win over Magna Graduate, the 8-5 favorite.

It's Time to Smile was close up all the way and finished third, 1 1/2 lengths farther back.

Dos Ramos had Palladio much closer to the pace than usual. They were hung four wide through fractions of 24.46 and 49.82 seconds. On the second turn, Palladio was behind the leaders, and when a hole opened up, Dos Ramos asked him for his best and the Canadian-based colt responded.

Magna Graduate broke inward at the start, bumping with Unbridled Energy. Magna Graduate's rider, Gary Stevens, had to steady him a bit and they dropped back to second-to-last after the opening quarter. Magna Graduate was six wide for five furlongs, then circled horses while in hand on the far turn and made the lead turning for home. He matched strides with Palladio for about 40 yards, then could not stay with him while second best.

It's Time to Smile, the longest shot in the field at 49-1, was close up all the way under Scott Spieth and finished well.

Palladio is owned by Haras Santa Maria de Araras and trained by Roger Attfield. He covered the nine furlongs in 1:51.56 over a fast racing strip and returned $18.20 to win.

Bernie Blue prompt favorite

Bernie Blue settled just off the pace before rallying for a half-length win in the $40,000 Isi Newborn Stakes. Pacesetter Cayenne Red held on well to finish second, a neck better than Majestic Dinner.

Bernie Blue, who paid $4.60 as the favorite, is owned by Pyrite Stables and trained by Miguel Feliciano. He was ridden by Ricardo Feliciano and covered six furlongs in 1:10.24.

Cobra Lady shows the way

Cobra Lady lived up to the favorite's role when she led almost every step of the way en route to a one-length win over six filly-and-mare rivals in the $40,000 Scarlet Carnation Handicap. Fly Away Angel finished a clear second, two lengths in front of Shannons Valentine. Owned and trained by J. Michael Baird, Cobra Lady covered six furlongs in 1:10.60 and paid $3.80. The winning rider was Bobby Walker Jr.