Ohio Derby Race Preview, Top Picks and Longshots

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Tawny Port during the morning training for the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs. Andy Lyons/Getty Images/AFP

This Saturday we head to just outside Cleveland for a big day of horse racing at Thistledown. There are eleven battles on the racing card that includes four stakes, highlighted by the final race of the day, the Ohio Derby.

This is a Grade 2 race with a purse of $500,000 that drew a field of eight three-year-olds with names that horse bettors are very familiar with.

In the field are three horses that ran in the Kentucky Derby and that trio has combined to win the Florida Derby, Tampa Bay Derby, along with graded stakes races like the Holy Bull, Sam F. Davis, and Lexington.

Let’s break the horse racing odds down!

2022 Ohio Derby

Saturday, June 25, 2022 – 05:35 PM EDT at Thistledown

Ohio Derby Odds Breakdown

White Abarrio (7-2 odds)

Highly regarded White Abarrio (7-2 odds) who went in the Derby as a likable mid-priced horse after winning the Florida Derby and the Holy Bull. He got caught up in traffic on the backstretch and exerted too much effort. This stalker had nothing left and finished 16.

Having not run since, trainer Saffie Joseph Jr. is expecting a big effort over the 1 1/8 miles at Thistledown, having the two-best Beyer Speed ratings in the field this year. The question mark is White Abarrio has four victories, all at Gulfstream, can he win on the road

Tawny Port (3-1)

Favored Tawny Port (3-1) won the Lexington Stakes at Keeneland in April. He was 5th at the Derby at the top of the stretch and drifted out to 7th

He’s won three of his four starts under trainer Brad Cox and over the past few weeks, Cox’s horses across the country have been running well and cashing betting tickets.

A definite contender in this race and ridden by one of the best jockeys in the country in Irad Ortiz Jr.

Ethereal Road (4-1)

In horse racing circles, Ethereal Road (4-1) will forever be known as the late scratch for the Run for Roses which opened the door for Rich Strike to make history.

He returned from a minor setback and won the Sir Barton at Pimlico on Preakness weekend. Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas also considered running him in the Belmont Stakes but thought this might be a better spot distance-wise for his horse.

With two wins, a place, and a show in four starts, like Tawny Port, he’s a win contender.

Barese (9-2) and Pineapple Man (10-1)

Trainer Mike Maker has two New York-breds in the field, Barese (9-2) and Pineapple Man (10-1). As the betting odds explain, Barese is the better ride and he’s won three times against state breds and was a respectable 5th at the Wood Memorial. What bettors have to wonder is can Barese hold up over nine furlongs.

Pineapple Man is taking a step up in class as Maker wants to see what he might have for the future from this three-year-old. He is a 1-2-1 (W/P/S) record versus the far lesser competition and does not seem like a threat even for trifecta wagering.

Classic Causeway (6-1)

Classic Causeway (6-1) hit the winners circle at both the Sam F. Davis and Tampa Bay Derby and was 11th the Churchill on the first Saturday in May after not finding an early lane.

Classic Causeway prefers to run towards the front, something it did in both wins in major races. However, since, he’s had a trainer change and is in a new barn with a different jockey. A contender, probably, but that’s a lot of change in a short period.

Brigadier General (12-1) and Droppin G’s (8-1)

Rounding out the field are Brigadier General (12-1) and Droppin G’s (8-1). It took Brigadier General seven starts to cross the finish line first but did so over two turns.

Droppin G’s is the most experienced player with 10 starts and has two wins and three show tickets. He was 4th at the G3 Matt Winn two weeks ago at Churchill, just not sure how fresh he’ll be facing a superior group.

Ohio Derby Top Picks and Possible Longshots

This has the look of a three-horse race, strictly among the favorites. An exacta box with Tawny Port, White Abarrio, and Ethereal Road would be the way to go, though the payout would be a smaller profit.

You could also do a two-horse exacta box with Tawny Port and White Abarrio, which would not be a bad strategy either, and hope they don’t get split and finish first and third.

None of the longest shots make much betting sense, leaving Classic Causeway a possible across-the-board play, and hope you cash at least two betting picks if you want a longer shot.

  • Horse Racing Pick: Winner – #7 Tawny Port
  • Longshot – #8 Classic Causeway

*The line and/or odds on picks in this article might have moved since the content was commissioned. For updated line movements, visit BMR’s free betting odds product.