Barese is the Ohio Derby Value Play

Profile Picture: John Mucciolo

June 23rd, 2022

A total of eight sophomores will travel 1 1/8 miles on the Thistledown dirt in Saturday’s lucrative $500,000 Ohio Derby (G3). The nine-furlong endeavor features a nice cast with numerous serious contenders in the mix in an excellent betting contest.

Trainer Mike Maker has two entered for the fray, led by #1 Barese (9-2). Bred in the Empire State, the son of Laoban began his career with a three-race win streak in New York, two of which came against stakes foes. The $150,000 yearling purchase faced open foes for the initial time when coming home fifth in the deep Wood Memorial S. (G2) behind two classic winners, and although his latest left something to be desired, I feel that it was merely a prep for Saturday and that he will thrive stretching out in distance.

Barese gets a dream post on the rail, he will run on Lasix for the first time, and he will also relish the two turns. Kendrick Carmouche will come in to guide the New York invader and will have him tracking a busy pace from the start.

In a race where the early tempo is expected to be swift and contested, I will focus on a pair of horses who will come from off the pace to grab the minor awards. The underrated #7 Tawny Port (3-1) ran well to be seventh in the Run for the Roses last time out and will appreciate the class relief on Saturday. Conditioned by Brad Cox, the Pioneerof the Nile colt impressed me with his winning run in the Lexington S. (G3) on the dirt two back, and a similar try in this spot will make him a contender late. Irad Ortiz takes the reins.

D. Wayne Lukas’ #4 Ethereal Road (4-1) was much the best in the Sir Barton S. at Pimlico last time out. The Grade-2 placed son of Quality Road is light on early speed but long on closing ability, and his recent five-furlong bullet move tells me that he will be ready to deliver a big closing punch. Rafael Bejarano picks up the mount.

Ohio Derby Wagers

  • $15 win and place: #1 Barese ($30)
  • $5 exacta: key box 1 with 4, 7 ($20)