Illinois Derby (gr. II) and Derby Trial Stakes (gr. III) winner Performing Magic heads the probable field for Saturday's $300,000 Ohio Derby (gr. II) at Thistledown near Cleveland. Trained by Alex Hassinger for The Thoroughbred Corporation, Performing Magic has won four of 13 starts and has won or placed in four of five U.S. outings. The 3-year-old son of Gone West will be saddled by retired jockey and Thoroughbred Corporation assistant trainer Gary Stevens and will be ridden by Garrett Gomez.
According to Thistledown, other probable starters include Cielo Stellato, who will be making his main track debut after fives wins and one placing in nine turf efforts; Eagle Time, an allowance winner at Thistledown on July 1 and winner earlier this year of a stake at Sunland Park; Kiss a Native, winner of the Victoria Park Stakes at Woodbine; Level Three, who will be making his stakes debut in his sixth career start; Milwaukee Brew, a Stronach Stable runner who tallied his third straight win in Woodbine's Marine Stakes; and Perfect Cat, a multiple stakes-placed colt who will ship in from New York.
As many as six other 3-year-olds are also under consideration for the Ohio Derby, according to track officials.