Whiskey Ticket, Divining Rod Head Ohio Derby

Whiskey Ticket, Divining Rod Head Ohio Derby
Photo: Four Footed Fotos
Whiskey Ticket is the lukewarm favorite at 3-1in the Ohio Derby.

Whiskey Ticket and Divining Rod head a solid group of familiar runners for the $500,000 Ohio Derby June 20 at Thistledown.

Nine 3-year-olds were entered for the 1 1/16-mile test, with the lightly raced Whiskey Ticket a lukewarm favorite at 3-1 and Divining Rod listed at 7-2 following a third-place finish in the May 16 Xpressbet.com Preakness Stakes (gr. I) behind eventual Triple Crown winner American Pharoah   and longshot Tale of Verve.

Winner of the April 11 Coolmore Lexington Stakes (gr. III) at Keeneland for trainer Arnaud Delacour and Roy and Gretchen Jackson's Lael Stables, homebred Divining Rod has been no worse than third in six starts thus far. The son of Tapit   gets the services of Julien Leparoux in this spot from post 4 while assigned 120 pounds. He has been prepping for this start at Delacour's Fair Hill Training Center base near Elkton, Md., where he last worked four furlongs in :49 3/5 June 14.

Whiskey Ticket, by Ghostzapper  , has raced just twice—both winning efforts. The $200,000 2013 Keeneland September yearling sale purchase came into the Illinois Derby (gr. III) off a one-mile debut victory March 19 at Santa Anita Park and claimed the 1 1/8-mile grade III event by a hard-fought nose over Conquest Curlinate   April 18.

Trained by Hall of Fame horseman Bob Baffert for Karl Watson, Mike Pegram, and Paul Weitman, Whiskey Ticket will have regular rider Martin Pedroza from the rail and also carries 120 pounds. 

Far Right has not raced for Robert LaPenta and Harry Rosenblum since finishing an uncharacteristic 15th in the May 2 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I). The Ron Moquett trainee won the Southwest Stakes (gr. I) in February and was second to American Pharoah in the Arkansas Derby (gr. I) April 11 at Oaklawn Park.

Notional   ridgling, Far Right has worked five times at Churchill Downs since the Kentucky Derby, including a June 13 four-furlong move in :48 4/5. He will have Ricardo Santana Jr. in the irons from post 2 under 120 pounds and is the 9-2 third-choice on the morning line.

War Story, Mr. Z, Tencendur  , and Bodhisattva are the other runners in the field with experience in the Triple Crown races.

War Story, trained by Tom Amoss for Ron Paolucci's Loooch Racing Stables and partner Glenn Ellis, was 16th in the Derby after hitting the board in all of the Louisiana prep races including a third in the Louisiana Derby (gr. II). The Northern Afleet   gelding worked four furlongs in :50 2/5 June 13 at Churchill and will be ridden by Kent Desormeaux from post 5.

Mr. Z, purchased by Calumet Farm before the Preakness, ran fifth in the Baltimore classic after finishing 13th in the Kentucky Derby. The erratic son of Malibu Moon   seeks his first win for Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas dating all the way back to his first of 14 starts in June of 2014. But he has earned $697,226 by hitting the board in several key stakes including the Arkansas Derby (3rd), Southwest Stakes (3rd), grade I Los Alamitos Futurity (3rd), grade III Delta Downs Jackpot Stakes (3rd), the grade I Claiborne Breeders' Futurity (2nd), and more. 

Tencendur, trained by George Weaver for owner/breeder Philip Birsh, was 17th in the Derby after running second to Frosted   in the TwinSpires.com Wood Memorial (gr. I). 

Bodhisattva, a Student Council colt owned and trained by Jose Corrales, was eighth in the Preakness after winning the April 18 Federico Tesio Stakes at Pimlico Race Course.

Longshots Thirtysilverpieces and Dekabrist complete the field.

Ohio Derby

Thistledown, Saturday, June 20, 2015, Race 8
  • STK
  • 1 1/16m
  • Dirt
  • $500,000
  • 3 yo
  • 5:15 PM (local)
PPHorseJockeyWgtTrainerM/L
11Whiskey Ticket (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateMartin A. Pedroza120Bob Baffert-
22Far Right (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateRicardo Santana, Jr.120Ron Moquett-
33Thirtysilverpieces (KY)Luis Antonio Gonzalez118Kenneth W. Marshall-
44Divining Rod (KY)Julien R. Leparoux120Arnaud Delacour-
55War Story (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateKent J. Desormeaux118Thomas M. Amoss-
66Tencendur (NY)Manuel Franco118George Weaver-
77Dekabrist (KY)Cory Orm118Gennadi Dorochenko-
88Mr. Z (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateJoe Bravo118D. Wayne Lukas-
99Bodhisattva (CA)Victor Espinoza120Jose Corrales-

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