Connections considered the Belmont Stakes following a third in the Preakness Stakes but opted to send Owendale to Saturday’s $500,000 Ohio Derby (G3) at Thistledown. The Grade 3-winning colt has been installed as the 9-5 morning line favorite but faces no easy task in the 1 1/8-mile race, with Peter Pan (G3) winner Global Campaign and Grade 2 scorer Long Range Toddy providing opposition in the seven-horse field.
Owned by Rupp Racing and trained by Brad Cox, Owendale rebounded from an unplaced stakes debut with a smashing victory in the April 13 Lexington (G3) at Keeneland, rallying from off the pace to win going away at 1 1/16 miles. He stretched out to 1 3/16-miles last time but did not receive a favorable trip when traveling extremely wide over an inside-favoring Pimlico track, losing second in the final strides by a nose.
Owendale retains the services of Florent Geroux and the Into Mischief colt shows a five-furlong bullet work (:59 2/5) in preparation.
Long Range Toddy comes next on the morning line at 5-2. Winner of the first division of the Rebel (G2) at Oaklawn Park, the Steve Asmussen-trained colt will try to rebound from a pair of unplaced efforts in the Arkansas Derby (G1) and Kentucky Derby. The near-black colt was roughed up leaving the far turn of the latter and the last two came on wet tracks. The son of Take Charge Indy has proven consistent under fast conditions, either winning or placing in six straight prior to the Arkansas Derby, and Jon Court will guide.
Global Campaign easily captured his first two career starts at Gulfstream Park earlier this season but sustained a minor injury when finishing fifth in his stakes bow, the Fountain of Youth (G2). That’s been the only setback so far for the exciting Curlin colt, who returned from a two-month freshening to capture the May 11 Peter Pan and defeated subsequent Belmont Stakes winner Sir Winston in the process. Global Campaign registered a field-best 102 BRIS Speed rating defeating last time and Luis Saez rides.
Bethlehem Road will bring an unbeaten record from Parx to his first graded appearance. Since opening his career in early April, the gelded son of Quality Road has rolled to three consecutive wire-to-wire wins, including a 1 1/2-length decision most recently in the May 21 Parx Spring Derby. Castro Rodriguez will accompany the Dee Curry trainee.