Steel Tunes Routs OH Derby Field

The OH Derby (Grade 3)- $500.000 Purse
TDN- For Three Year Olds
One Mile and One Eighth on the Dirt
June 23, 2018

A four length victory in HRP in a graded stake can almost be the equivalent of a ten length victory in the real world. Therefore, the win by Steel Tunes, who by the way, was our pick to win the race despite his nearly 7/1 odds, was especially impressive. The gelding was on a four race winning streak coming into the event, moving up from optional claimers to now, the graded level. He proved he could win a graded event in his last start, so he was a promising candidate to get a win here. It’s a huge win for him, and perhaps a Grade 1 is next for him. For now, his trainer, John Henry, will celebrate this win, which is his in the race. Jockey F Prat is also a first time winner, so congratulations to them! The track was listed as good, and the winning time on that going was 1:49.63. Let’s take a look!

(½ Mile- :50.46)- The opening part of the race was actually quite interesting in how a few horses ran it. Fresh out of the gate, the quickest two horses were Out There (D J C Racing Stables) and Dastardly Havoc (Smokey Stover). These two look like they are going to set the early pace, but then Dastardly Havoc suddenly opts to not only drop off from the lead, but ends up all the way near the back of the field as they hit the top of the backstretch. Meanwhile, Steel Tunes, our winner from John Henry, was not as quick out of the gate, but as they moved into the opening turn, F Prat made an aggressive move to bring him all the way to the front of the field. Entering the back stretch, he clears Out There by a length, and it’s a gap of two more to third place Di Pantera (Gdp Inc). Near the back, the filly Jinxed Queen (Gdp Inc) and Pure Gifts (Mb Stables) are on each side of Dastardly Havoc, while Charleys Agent (Mb Stables) trails.

(3/4 Mile- 1:14.21)- After an entertaining start, things have settled down in the backstretch. Up front, Steel Tunes, is enjoying his time on the lead, and has opened up another length on Out There, and Out There has a similar advantage on third place. Di Pantera is still in that spot, but he has been caught by those who were behind him, leading us to a four wide battle between he, Jinxed Queen, Dastardly Havoc, and Pure Gifts. In the outside lane, Pure Gifts was looking to be the most eager to push forward at this stage. Charleys Agent seemed to be beating himself at this point, and was two and a half lengths behind that pack.

(Top Of Stretch, 1.5F To Go)- Watching a pace setter open up and get away from the field is something I always enjoy seeing in this game, and that appears to be what is happening with Steel Tunes. He is still looking sharp, and entering the top of the stretch, the lead was becoming three lengths without him feeling any sort of pressure. Out There was still second, and still enjoyed his lead on third, but was not applying any reason for Steel Tunes to be concerned about him, despite having the amazing F Pennington aboard. Pure Gifts was beginning to push forward a little more, and so was Dastardly Havoc, as it was now time to make up all the ground he willingly conceded at the beginning of the race. Di Pantera, Jinxed Queen, and Charleys Agent were not showing anything.

(Finish- 1:49.63)- In the stretch, Steel Tunes is unstoppable. He has gotten away from the field, winning with ease, something that we don’t see enough of in this game, particularly in a $500.000 graded stake. It was enjoyable to watch, and he earns a great win for John Henry. Instead of challenging the leader, Out There was fighting for his life to cling to second, and does over a close third place battle with Dastardly Havoc edging Pure Gifts. This was a case of “best of the rest” though, none of them mounted an authoritative bid in the stretch. Jinxed Queen becomes the latest filly to fail in running against the boys, placing fifth. Charleys Agent managed to pass the tired Di Pantera late. By the way, those were the two betting favorites.

About The Winner: Steel Tunes, trained by John Henry, and ridden to victory by F Prat, is a three year old gelding by To A Tune, and is out of Fated Steel. He was bred in Ontario as a yearling by John Henry, however this was his first race with his initial breeder as he was sold unraced to Smokey Stover originally. John Henry reacquired him just a week ago for $20.000 in private sales. Congratulations to the connections! The win is his sixth in 10 starts, his fifth consecutive, and his second graded win. His career earnings are now $498.020. Remember this name, bigger things are likely in store!

##   Horse Name Owner Name Jockey Odds   Fin Time SRF 
  Steel Tunes John Henry Prat F 6.85   14 1:49.93 — 
  Out There D J C Racing Stables Pennington F 24.40   21/2 1:50.74 — 
  Dastardly Havoc Smokey Stover Colon L H 4.80   3no 1:50.85 — 
  Pure Gifts Mb Stables Court J K 6.60   4hd 1:50.86 — 
  Jinxed Queen Gdp Inc Gallardo A A 8.90   52 1:50.89 — 
  Charleys Agent Mb Stables Centeno D E 2.60   61 1:51.36 — 
  Di Pantera Gdp Inc Saez L 2.00   7 1:51.61 — 

Track: Good

Time: :502  1:141  1:374  1:494

$2 Mutuel Prices:

7 – Steel Tunes 15.70 8.40 5.40
5 – Out There   23.50 19.80
4 – Dastardly Havoc     4.70

$1 Exacta: 7 – 5 Paid 1,013.10

$1 Trifecta: 7 – 5 – 4 Paid 494.20

Scratched: None

— NS

Categories: Grade III, STAKES ARTICLES

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