Updated on 09/16/2011 7:49AM

Triple Crown runners return


Their classic dreams dashed, Belmont also-rans Magic Weisner and Wiseman's Ferry are set to return to action in Saturday's Grade 2, $300,000 Ohio Derby at Thistledown, in North Randall, Ohio.

They were entered Wednesday - along with three others - for the 1 1/8-mile Ohio Derby, the richest race in the state. Magic Weisner, the runner-up in the Preakness Stakes, drew post 4, and Lone Star Derby winner Wiseman's Ferry is alongside in post 5. The field, from the rail out, is completed by The Judge Sez Who, Grey Beard, and Peekskill.

Magic Weisner, a 3-year-old gelding with earnings of more than $493,000, is the horse to beat on the basis of his accomplishments in the last two legs of the Triple Crown. He rallied to finish three-quarters of a length behind War Emblem in the Preakness, and closed to finish fourth in the Belmont, beaten 11 lengths.

"He didn't really want to go a mile and a half," said owner-trainer Nancy Alberts. "He lost interest on the backside, and then I thought he was going to pick them up on the turn, maybe get third. But he hung a little bit."

His Preakness and Belmont efforts led to offers to purchase Magic Weisner, Alberts said. But he remains off the market - "at least for another week," she said.

Wiseman's Ferry was no match for victorious Sarava, or even Magic Weisner, in the 1 1/2-mile Belmont. The early pacesetter, he seemed in a position to capitalize when the speedy War Emblem stumbled at the break, but despite a moderate opening half-mile in 48.09 seconds, he grew weary on the backstretch and faded to ninth, beaten more than 50 lengths.

Trainer Niall O'Callaghan said Wiseman's Ferry did not relax in the Belmont and that jockey Jorge Chavez eased him when it was apparent the horse was well beaten. To win the Ohio Derby, Wiseman's Ferry needs to run a race similar to his performance in the Lone Star Derby, when he blazed to the front and won by 2 3/4 lengths. That day he was allowed to free-wheel on the lead, a scenario that seems likely to repeat itself in a paceless Ohio Derby.

"We feel he is doing as good, if not better, than he was at that time," said O'Callaghan. "The timing of this race is right. He's doing well. He is going to be a factor."

Chavez retains the mount on Wiseman's Ferry, and Richard Migliore stays aboard Magic Weisner.

Although the wagering in the Ohio Derby is likely to reflect a two-horse race between Wiseman's Ferry and Magic Weisner, others could pose a challenge. Peekskill, the third-place finisher in the Lone Star Derby, comes off a narrow victory at 1 1/8 miles in an allowance at Churchill Downs. The Judge Sez Who invades from Calder after winning the Migrating Moon Stakes by more than three lengths.

Only Grey Beard, who has struggled in three races since winning an allowance at Gulfstream Park this winter, appears unlikely to threaten.

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