Slither Slides Into TDN For OH Derby

The OH Derby (Grade 3)- $500.000 Purse
TDN- For Three Year Olds
One Mile and One Eighth on the Dirt
June 24, 2017

The SRF heads to the Buckeye State this weekend to take a look at the biggest race held in the state all year. It’s the sixth running of the OH Derby, a race that has been run very inconsistently in our virtual world, having debuted in 2008 and taken several years off along the away. We haven’t seen the race held here since 2014, but it will return with its biggest purse in history, and is back at having a graded designation. This will also be the first time that the race is run at this exact distance, and it looks like this will be the best edition of this race that we have seen. A powerful field of eight has made the trip to TDN, so let’s take a look at them.

#1- Major Weiner (Night Rider Stables, R Maragh)- On the rail, this three year old gelding made a few TC prep race attempts, but it did not really seem to suit him well, but he almost struck gold in the Grade 3 SUN Derby in March, running third, but finishing within a length. Unfortunately, when it was time to build off of that, he came up with a very flat stretch performance in the AR Derby, and ended up with a double digit finish. The trainer was not impressed, and dropped him into an allowance after that. He won that race at WO, so we’ll see if he just needed the confidence booster here.

#2- Que Cosa (D J C Racing Stables, ridden by J R Velazquez)- Que Cosa has had a similar road here as Major Weiner. He’s run in some TC preps, and came close at the TAM Derby in March, but when it was time to follow that up, he too, finished in the double digits. That was in the Wood Memorial, and he too, collapsed in the stretch after running well early. The trainer was not as disheartened by that, and ran him back in the Grade 3 Peter Pan, looked to change tactics, and he was fourth, but with half a length. He’ll pose a threat here.

#3- Red Broomstick (Mb Stables, ridden by R Bejarano)- Participated last year in the BC Juvenile, but did not finish in the money, though he was only a length out. The last time he did finish in the top three, prior to his recent optional claimer victory, was the race that got him to the BC Juvenile. It was a difficult prep race season, and Red Broomstick did find himself in that optional claimer last month. In it, he was able to return to the winners circle. Now, we’ll see if he just needed the confidence boost, or is this is simply an inconsistent horse.

#4- Tragic (Canadian Racing, ridden by E J Zayas)- The start to the career of this Caught Red Hoofed colt was anything but tragic, winning four of his first five races. He was brought along patiently by prior trainer Mb Stables, and you wonder a little bit if he got caught in a numbers game there, behind other superstars that trainer has. Mb sold him in March to Canadian Racing in private sales for $350.000, and they would win the IL Derby together. Most recently, he was sent to the Grade 1 Gold Cup, in a very tough assignment, and held his own. This is a better race for him, and he should contend.

#5- Slither (John Henry, ridden by J J Castellano)- It’s good to see John Henry going for those Snakie foals. Fangs has worked out well, and now he has Slither, getting him in the auction for $277.880, a pretty interesting price, possibly hurt by his performance in the PRK. So here’s the thing, and I’m certainly no where near as good at this as John Henry is, but you need to let this horse run. Looks like he was restrained in some capacity in the PRK. That’s not how Slither rolls. Let him go. Let him run. If he runs his race, I believe this is a great distance for him, and he can take this field.

#6- Farley On Wheels (Tiratzo, ridden by F Pennington)- This will be the first race for Farley On Wheels since his 11th place performance in the KYD. He seemed to run in the middle of the field all day there, and was never a factor. Fortunately, he has been in all other races, winning four out of eight, including the Grade 1 Wood Memorial. The KYD is a tough race, and not all good horses will show their best stuff. For Farley On Wheels, he has had a good amount of rest now, and this should be a good spot for him as well.

#7- Hotwheel (Team 7 Illusions, ridden by F Geroux)- A bit of a surprising entry in this field, as he has not done a whole lot in his career up to this point, until a life-changing moment. After winning his debut at the free track, Hotwheel was actually quite poor. The trainer kept with him, to his credit, and went for the snip. In his first race off the geld, Hotwheel dominated the field at ten furlongs in a CD allowance. Thanks to that, he’s earned his chance, and if he wins this race, all trainers should geld one underachiever in their barn in appreciation of the win.

#8- Hidden Slew Laff (Gdp Inc, ridden by I Ortiz Jr)- This is another one making a jump into graded competition, but he has not coming out of no where to extent that Hotwheel is. Hidden Slew Laff has won three of five career races, and is currently on a two-race winning streak. Also note that in races of a mile or more, that this gelding is a perfect three for three, albeit a couple of them were not against the strongest competition. Mixed in there is an attempted at the ungraded $100.000 Pasco, but that did not go well. He’s improved since then, and should be a factor here.

Prediction: 5-6-2-3

— NS

Categories: Grade III, STAKES ARTICLES

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