Gary Broad’s CORE BELIEFS held off a game late rally from 3-2 favorite Lone Sailor to earn his first stakes triumph in the $500,000 Ohio Derby (G3) at Thistledown on Saturday.
With jockey Joe Talamo in the irons, the Peter Eurton trainee found himself five wide near the rear of the 11-horse field. Lone Sailor wasn’t far in front of him, but chose to take the inside route when it came time to make a move while Core Beliefs rallied four wide into the lane.
Up front, Flameaway had set the pace through splits of :22.64, :47.22 and 1:12.26 while pressured by 206-1 longshot Caloric but yielded to 86-1 Trigger Warning, who held command in the stretch. Lone Sailor maneuvered between rivals and flew home late, momentarily gaining control of the race, but Core Beliefs was still fighting on the outside. That bay son of Quality Road stuck his nose in front on the wire to stop the clock in 1:51.08 for nine furlongs on the fast main track.
Core Beliefs paid $7.60 for the win as the near 3-1 third choice. It was a length behind Lone Sailor to Trigger Warning, who was followed by Title Ready another half-length back. Diamond King came next and completing the order of finish were 5-2 second choice Flameaway, Caloric, 115-1 longshot Takedown, Machismo, Dream Baby Dream and O’Kratos.
Core Beliefs entered the Ohio Derby off a runner-up effort in the Peter Pan Stakes (G3) at Belmont Park on May 12. He finished third behind eventual Triple Crown winner Justify while making his stakes bow in the Santa Anita Derby (G1) one race before that after registered a 3 1/4-length maiden score on March 8. The sophomore colt improved his career mark to read 6-2-1-3 and more than doubled his lifetime earnings to $535,360 with Saturday’s win.
Bred in Kentucky by Thomas J. Young, Core Beliefs is out of the Tactical Advantage mare Tejati, making him a half-brother to stakes-placed Downtown Driggs. This female family also includes Canadian champion turf horse Hasten to Add and Canadian Grade 1 winner See How She Runs.
OHIO DERBY QUOTES
Peter Eurton, trainer Core Beliefs, winner
“I heard rumors that a lot of guys were sending, that some of the local horses were sending and some of the natural speed was going to send, so (jockey) Joe (Talamo) was just going to play it by ear. I’m glad he did because he would have fried himself going around the first turn, about five wide probably. We had to go a little further than everybody but I think I’d rather do that that get stuck four wide on the pace.”
Joe Talamo, jockey Core Beliefs, winner
“We had a pretty good trip. Three or four horses went to the lead, so I tried to tuck in as much as I could and let him do the work all the way around. Around the turn I got his momentum going, and he was all heart down the lane. There were a couple coming at him. He was giving me everything he had.”