NORTH RANDALL, OH – Gary Broad’s Core Beliefs launched a strong rally in the stretch and took over midway to the wire, then showed courage by outlasting the 3-2 favorite Lone Sailor for his first career stakes score in Saturday’s Grade 3, $500,000 Ohio Derby at Thistledown.
Breaking well enough from post 10 under Joe Talamo, the Santa Anita-based Core Beliefs was content to sit in mid-pack while Flameaway posted initial splits of :22.64, :47.22, and 1:12.26. Tipping out to run four-wide as he exited the far turn, Core Beliefs commenced a long, steady surge that would need to last the length of the stretch. Meanwhile, Lone Sailor overcame traffic trouble and finally found room with a furlong to go, ducking inside and running along the rail. The pair split around longshot Trigger Warning, himself on the lead for a brief moment off the turn. In the final stages, it was Core Beliefs nailing Lone Sailor at the wire by a nose in a final time of 1:51.08 for the 1 1/8-mile main track event.
“We had a pretty good trip,” Talamo said. “Three or four horses went to the lead, so I tried to tuck in as much as I could and let him do the work all the way around. Around the turn, I got his momentum going, and he was all heart down the lane. There were a couple coming at him. He was giving me everything he had.”
Trigger Warning was a game third, outlasting Title Ready for third by a 1/2-length. Diamond King took fifth over the weakening early front-running pair of Flameaway and Caloric. Eighth was a head-bob decision that went to Takedown over Machismo, while both Dream Baby Dream and O’Kratos failed to fire after running near the rear early. Last Drop of Wine was scratched.
Core Belief’s win was his first since breaking his maiden at Santa Anita on March 8. Since then, the 3-year-old son of Quality Road had finished third in the Grade 1 Santa Anita Derby and second in the Grade 3 Peter Pan Stakes. The Peter Eurton trainee improved his record to 6-2-1-3 with a lifetime bankroll of $535,360.
“I heard rumors that a lot of guys were sending, that some of the local horses were sending and some of the natural speed was going to send, so Joe was just going to play it by ear,” Eurton said. “I’m glad he did because he would have fried himself going around the first turn, about five-wide probably. We had to go a little further than everybody, but I think I’d rather do that that get stuck four-wide on the pace.”
Core Beliefs returned $7.60 to win, $3.80 to place, and $3.20 to show. Lone Sailor brought back $2.80 to place and $2.60 to show, while Trigger Warning paid $13.20 to show.