07/05/2012 4:45PM

Thistledown: Prospective must stay clear of Ohio Derby rivals

Email
Barbara D. Livingston
Prospective has four stakes victories from 10 career starts.

Trainer Mark Casse is well aware that a short field can spell trouble for an odds-on favorite in the case of a too-slow pace.

“These races do seem to become quite a bit more tactical,” said Casse.

So the goal on Saturday at Thistledown for heavily favored Prospective and his jockey, Jermaine Bridgmohan, is to do whatever necessary to stay close enough to pounce while remaining out of trouble in the 78th running of the Ohio Derby. Prospective, who will start from post 1 in a field of just five 3-year-olds entered in the 1 1/16-mile race, “can kind of do a little bit of anything,” said Casse. “If they want to walk early, he can be right there with them.”

Prospective clearly is the most accomplished horse in the Grade 3, $100,000 Ohio Derby. Owned by John Oxley, the dark bay colt already is a four-time stakes winner from 10 lifetime starts, with his most notable score coming in the Grade 2 Tampa Bay Derby in March. His earnings of $535,235 are nearly double the combined total of his four Saturday opponents.

“I guess it does look like a pretty nice spot for us,” said Casse. “My main objective is getting him back on the dirt and hopefully seeing him run a big race that maybe could justify us bringing him back in something like the Jim Dandy or Haskell.”

Prospective was scheduled to make the four-hour van ride from his Woodbine base in Canada to Thistledown in suburban Cleveland in the wee hours of Saturday morning. “He’ll leave about midnight,” said Casse. “It’s basically the same thing we did with him this winter when we’d van him over the four hours from Palm Meadows to Tampa on the morning of his races.”

None of the four horses facing Prospective has won so much as an open stakes race, and all are still eligible for a second-level allowance. In gate order from post 2, they are Politicallycorrect, Defiant Flyer, Z Rockstar, and Swage. The most logical upsetters are Politicallycorrect, most recently third behind Teeth of the Dog in the Easy Goer on the June 9 Belmont Stakes undercard, and Z Rockstar, third in the Prairie Meadows Mile in his last start.

The Ohio Derby, the eighth of nine Saturday races, is the only graded race in the state. In recent years its purse and prestige have suffered while its spot on the racing calendar has bounced around, although officials are hopeful that, with the onset of alternative gaming in the state, the race will undergo a resurgence in the coming years.

The Ohio Derby will anchor a program that begins at 1:50 p.m. Eastern, with the feature going at 5:32. The card also includes the $50,000 Cleveland Kindergarten (race 6), a 5 1/2-furlong race in which trainer Tim Hamm has a five-ply entry among the 12 2-year-olds entered.

ragoo More than 1 year ago
yes enjoy Thistledown this year because it will be gone shortly. Plans are to move it to the Akron area .
John Popovich More than 1 year ago
GO TO THE OHIO DERBY AN ENJOY YOURSELVES IT WILL BE THE LAST TIME YOU EVER SEE A SMALL FIELD THERE EVER AGAIN ONCE THE PURSE STRUCTURE CHANGES THANKS TOO THE CASINOS THISTLE WILL BE A TOP RATED TRACK IT IS A GREAT TRACK AN HAS OUTSTANDING FACILITYS FOR THE GROOMS DONT KNOCK THISTLE BECAUSE IT WILL BE SHINEING SOON AN ALL OF YOU THAT ARE KNOCKING IT NOW WELL U KNOW WHTA YOU WILL BE ITS AT THE OPISITE SIDE OFTHE HORSES NECK HA HA
John Stevelberg More than 1 year ago
You sound like the last angry man. Problem on the horizon for the slots/racing combine has just started to emerge. In N.J. Christie wants to take the slot money and use it for the school lunch program. He makes a convincing argument kids versus a percieved flawed sport. Not taking sides just outlining the upcoming debate. If horse racing is not subsidized by slots it will be on it's deathbed in Delaware, Indiana, Pennsylvania and wounded in New York and Florida. That's the upcoming debate.
Chris More than 1 year ago
politically correct
WilliamJ More than 1 year ago
Thistledown is an embarrassment to Cleveland and horse racing, This is the worst Ohio Derby line up ever. I live in Cleveland and I never play Thistledown anymore. What a shame. It's an empty shell and the workers help chase customers away.
John Popovich More than 1 year ago
LISTEN TOO ALL YOU NEGATIVE HATERS TALKN TRASH ON THISTLE DOWNS AS A HORSEMEN AN COMEING FROM A FAMILY WHO HAS BEEN IN THE SPORT FOR OVER 50 YEARS THISTLE WILL RE TURN T O ITS GLORY ONCE THE CASINO MONEY STARTS GETING TOO THE TRACK AN INCREASE THE PURSES WHEN U TALK TRASH ON THISTLE YOU ARE DISRESPECTING ALL THE JOCKS GROOMS AN TRAINER AN OWNERS SO YOU DONT REALY NO WHAT UR SAYIN SO SHUT UP AN RESPECT THE PEOPLE THAT ARE BUSTING THERE BUTTS TOO KEEP THE TRACK GOING RESEARCH WHAT IS TAKEING PLACE IN OHIO BEFORE YOU DISRESPECT A WHOLE GRAND INTITUTION YOU SOUND LIKE A SORE LOOSER GET UP AT 430 7 DAYS A WEEK AN WORK WITH THE HORSES ANPUT THE WORK IN BEFORE YOU START DISRESPECTING A WHOLE GROUP OF HARD WORKING MEN AN WOMEN SO PUT IN UR CRACK PIPE AN SMOKE IT CAUSE U DONT HAVE A CLUE HOW MUCH SACRIFICE GOES ON WITH WORKING WITH THE HORSES PEOPLE LIKE YOU GIVE OUR SPORT A BAD RAP WHEN U DONT KNOW DIDLY BYE THE WAY MY RELATIVES HAPPEN TOO OWN THISTLE SO WATCH HOW GREAT THINGS TURN AROUND ONCE THE PURSE STRUCTURE GETS STRAIGHTENED OUT THATS ALL I GOT TOO SAY TOO A IGNORANT PERSON LIKE YOU ANY HORSEMEN OUT THERE WILL TELL U OFF ALSO ONCE THE PURSE MONEY GETS RIGHT THISTLE WONT HAVE ENOUGH STALLS FOR ALL THE FRESH HORSES THAT WANT TOO RUN THERE I KNOW ITS A SMALL FEIKD SO GENUIS BET THE FAVORIITE AN MAKE A SCORE IF YOU KNOW WHAT THAT MEANS LIKE BET A THOUSAND TOO WIN AN I DONT MEAN PENNNIES DOLLARS BUT YOUR SMALL MINDED SO IT DONT MATTER YOU ARE CLUELESS YOU CAN SEE ME IN THE WINNERS CIRCLE AT BELMONT OR SARATOGA AN EVENTUALY THISTLE GOOD LUCK TOO YOU GET YOUR FACT RIGHT BEFORE U KNOCK A GRAND INSTITUON LIKE THISTLE
Mudslide11 More than 1 year ago
If the field for the Ohio Derby is an embarrassment to Clevelander's. Check out the replay of the 1st race on June 23rd, then tell me how you can play Thistledown?
John Stevelberg More than 1 year ago
Couldn't agree more ...still remember when I was a kid my dad's friend, Jack Price, brought CARRY BACK in for a race...looks like those days are long gone. Although have to admit that Caleb's Posse used it as a springboard....every rule has an exception.
Jimee63 More than 1 year ago
I'm embarassed to admit I grew up in Cleveland. This Ohio Derby field is by far the worst derby field I have ever seen. If betting 1/9 shots is your cup of tea, then go at it and Good Luck! The entire card is a real doozy with 6 of the 9 races being 4,000 claimers.
Joe Rotell More than 1 year ago
its going to be HOT