Ohio at Del Mar

Ohio at Del Mar


Former Claimer Ohio Tries Seabiscuit Handicap

7-year-old gelding finished third in City of Hope Mile (G2T) last out.

Owner Aron Wellman and trainer Michael McCarthy didn't have grand plans for Ohio when they put the $50,000 claim in for the Brazilian-bred June. 10 at Santa Anita Park. They just wanted some action for the upcoming Del Mar summer meet.

They got their action and got away unscathed.

Entered for a $28,000 claiming tag in his first start for his new connections Aug. 19, the 7-year-old Elusive Quality gelding impressed with a 2 1/4-length victory after a not-so-great trip in the one-mile turf race at Del Mar, and nobody decided to claim him.

"We were very lucky he wasn't claimed," McCarthy said of Ohio, who came back Oct. 6 to finish third behind multiple graded winner Sharp Samurai and Fly to Mars in the Oct. 6 City of Hope Mile (G2T) at Santa Anita.

Now Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners and Bruce Treitman's runner will try graded competition again in the $200,000 Seabiscuit Handicap (G2T) back at Del Mar Nov. 24.

"We were ambitious (to enter him in the City of Hope), but we decided to take a shot, because he had been training so well," McCarthy said. "In (his claiming win at Del Mar), he was only (26 hundredths of a second slower than Catapult's final time in the grade 2 Del Mar Mile) and Catapult went on to run very, very well in the Breeders' Cup Mile (G1T). And they were really finishing in the City of Hope, so he was no disgrace."

McCarthy had observed Ohio on the Southern California circuit since 2016, when he arrived from Brazil and won his U.S. debut against allowance company by 2 3/4 lengths for trainer Paulo Lobo. He won another allowance that year and competed in eight graded stakes for Lobo through early 2018, but never put it together.

"He's always been talented, and I thought when he came here he could be any kind of horse, and he seemed to always be knocking on the door," McCarthy said. "He's a good work horse and hard to miss. Aron reached out when the horse was in for ($50,000) and I was all for it."

There are plenty of graded/group winners in the field—Caribou Club, Big Score, Pincheck, Madame Stripes, Synchrony, and Le Ken—but none jump out as standouts on paper, which could present an opportunity for a horse like Ohio.

"As long as he is training the way is training, there's no reason he can't take a crack at a race like this," McCarthy said. "He's going to be an 8-year-old pretty soon, and he's got some small issues, but nothing terrible. It's a wonderful opportunity with a big pot, and he could find himself competing in some of these smaller grade 3 races next year, and I could see him winning one, if not Saturday."

Also on the Saturday card at Del Mar is the $100,000 Jimmy Durante Stakes (G3T) for 2-year-old fillies, where Lakerball will look for her third straight stakes win in her first try against graded company.

The California-bred Lakerville filly, who in October won the Surfer Girl Stakes at Santa Anita and the Pike Place Dancer Stakes at Golden Gate Fields, will have to contend with a sextet of out-of-state challengers in the one-mile grass test.

Included among the invaders is Spanish-bred Italia, who will make her first start for trainer Mike Puype off a September debut win in France; Godolphin's Elsa, who placed in the Bolton Landing Stakes at Saratoga Race Course two starts back; Monette, a French-bred Cockney Rebel filly who missed by a head in the Matron Stakes (G3T) in her U.S. debut; Irish allowance winner Cedars of Lebanon; Natalma (G2T) fourth Pivottina; and English allowance winner Thriving.

Entries: Seabiscuit H. (G2T)

Del Mar, Saturday, November 24, 2018, Race 7

  • Grade IIT
  • 1 1/16m
  • Turf
  • $200,000
  • 3 yo's & up
  • 3:30 PM (local)
11Caribou Club (FL)Joseph Talamo119Thomas F. Proctor6/1
22Big Score (KY)Geovanni Franco120Tim Yakteen6/1
33Ann Arbor Eddie (CA)Mario Gutierrez117Doug F. O'Neill8/1
44Pincheck (IRE)Mike E. Smith119Jessica Harrington5/1
55Holiday Stone (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateFlavien Prat116George Weaver12/1
66Madame Stripes (ARG)Tiago Josue Pereira116Neil D. Drysdale15/1
77Synchrony (KY)Joe Bravo120Michael Stidham9/2
88Kenjisstorm (KY)Rafael Bejarano118Philip D'Amato8/1
99Le Ken (ARG)Tyler Baze117Ronald L. McAnally20/1
1010Ohio (BRZ)Drayden Van Dyke117Michael W. McCarthy8/1
1111Secretary At War (KY)Ruben Fuentes117Richard Baltas20/1
1212He Will (CA)Kent J. Desormeaux118Jerry Hollendorfer8/1

Entries: Jimmy Durante S. (G3T)

Del Mar, Saturday, November 24, 2018, Race 5

  • Grade IIIT
  • 1m
  • Turf
  • $100,000
  • 2 yo Fillies
  • 2:30 PM (local)
11Italia (SPA)Mike E. Smith120Mike Puype8/1
22Lakerball (CA)Mario Gutierrez124Doug F. O'Neill9/2
33Elsa (KY)Joe Bravo120Michael Stidham20/1
44Monette (FR)Kent J. Desormeaux120H. Graham Motion4/1
55Cedars of Lebanon (IRE)Rafael Bejarano122Doug F. O'Neill12/1
66Pivottina (FR)Drayden Van Dyke120H. Graham Motion7/2
77Thriving (GB)Flavien Prat120Jeff Mullins8/1
88Creative Instinct (CA)Tyler Baze120Peter Miller15/1
99Kookie Gal (CA)Tiago Josue Pereira120Peter Miller20/1
1010Posh Holly (IRE)Geovanni Franco120Philip D'Amato8/1
1111Courteous (KY)Joseph Talamo120Richard E. Mandella15/1
1212Velvet Queen (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateAgapito Delgadillo120Richard Baltas15/1
1313Discreet Diva (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateEvin A. Roman118Vann Belvoir30/1