Surging Palladio Captures Ohio Derby

Canadian invader Palladio unfurled a strong finishing kick to overcome favored Magna Graduate and post a one-length upset in the $350,000 Ohio Derby (gr. II) Saturday at Thistledown.

The Florida-bred son of Lycius, ridden by Richard Dos Ramos, surged on the outside to get past Magna Graduate inside the sixteenth pole, going on to complete the 1 1/8-mile event for 3-year-olds in 1:51 2/5. Local hope It's Time to Smile nosed Silver Haze for third, 1 1/2 lengths behind Magna Graduate.

"When I got some room, he just accelerated and I thought it would take a pretty good horse to beat him from there," said Dos Ramos, who made his Thistledown debut Saturday. "We started bunching up at the half-mile pole. I was just hoping for a little room and we got it."

Trained by Roger Attfield, Palladio was coming off a strong closing 4 1/2-length win in the Victoria Park at Woodbine June 12. Palladio was unruly in the Marine Stakes (Can-III) prior to that but also closed impressively that day, rallying while five-wide to miss by a half-length to Ohio Derby rival Unbridled Energy. Palladio registered his first graded stakes win in the Ohio Derby.

After trailing early, Magna Graduate, the 8-5 favorite who was ridden by Gary Stevens, overtook 5-2 second choice Straight Line in upper stretch. He could not hold off Palladio, who was in stalking position for Dos Ramos before kicking home while four wide.

Hal's Image served as the pacemaker, cutting fractions of :24 2/5, :49 4/5 and 1:13 2/5 before he gave way to Straight Line, who was tracking from the start while a bit rank early for Chris Emigh.

Pallidio won for the third time in five starts this year while earning $210,000 for owner/breeder Haras Santa Maria de Araras. He boasts an overall record of 4-0-1 in eight starts while banking $362,386.

Magna Graduate lost for the fourth straight time – all in graded stakes company – since winning the Battaglia in the mud at Turfway Park March 5.

Sent off at odds of 8-1, Palladio paid $18.20, $5.80 and $4. The bay colt completed a $72.40 exacta with the favored Magna Graduate, who returned $3.20 and $2.80. It's Time to Smile, in his graded stakes debut with Scott Spieth aboard, paid $8 to show.

Following Silver Haze were Straight Line, Pinpoint, Hal's Image and Unbridled Energy.

(Chart, Equibase)