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NORTH RANDALL, OH – Raise the BAR Racing’s mid-race surge along the rail to retake the lead on the backstretch ultimately made the difference in him winning Saturday’s $500,000 Ohio Derby (G3) at Thistledown.
Breaking alertly from the innermost post under Ricardo Mejias at 14/1 odds, Dean Martini was forwardly-placed down the front stretch and sat inside of Lebda heading into the clubouse turn. Rowdy Yates joined the fray and soon cleared ahead of Dean Martini, clearing over to the rail.
Midway down the backstretch, Dean Martini surged along the inside and split between Rowdy Yates and the rail, showing renewed energy and retaking the lead heading into the far turn.
Straightening for home with the lead, Dean Martini was too strong for a rallying South Bend to catch, crossing 3/4 of a length clear for victory. After chasing opening fractions of :22.80 and :47.22, the Tom Amoss trainee completed the 1 1/8-mile fast dirt event in a final time of 1:51.60.
South Bend closed from 10th to take second by 2 lengths over the 2019 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) champion Storm the Court, the 2/1 favorite. Rowdy Yates was a nose clear of Sprawl for fourth, while Lebda weakened to sixth.
Rogue Element, Unrighteous, Informative, Bear Alley, Code Runner, Established, and Dack Janiel’s completed the order of finish. Soros and Celtic Striker were scratched.
The Ohio Derby is part of the Road to the 2020 Kentucky Derby prep race season. Dean Martini earned 20 points for the win, with South Bend receiving 8 for second, Storm the Court 4 for third, and Rowdy Yates 2 for fourth.
Dean Martini’s win was his first for his current connections, who claimed him for $50,000 out of his maiden-breaking effort on May 17. The 3-year-old Cairo Prince gelding improved his record to 10-2-4-3 with $391,380 earned.
Dean Martini returned $31.20 to win, $11.40 to place, and $6.80 to show. South Bend brought back $6 to place and $3.60 to show, while Storm the Court paid $3 to show.
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