October 21, 2021

Promise Keeper favored at 7-2 in 11-horse Ohio Derby

Promise Keeper
Promise Keeper wins the Peter Pan Stakes (Janet Garaguso/Coglianese Photos)

Promise Keeper will enter the $500,000 Ohio Derby (G3) at Thistledown on the upswing for Todd Pletcher, rolling to a 2 1/4-length victory most recently in the May 8 Peter Pan S. (G3) at Belmont Park. The three-year-old colt has been installed as the 7-2 morning line favorite against 10 rivals.

After winning three of his last four starts, including two straight at Saturday’s 1 1/8-mile distance, Promise Keeper will face his toughest task yet. The chestnut son of Constitution was briefly under consideration for the final leg of the Triple Crown, the June 5 Belmont S. (G1), before targeting Ohio Derby, and Luis Saez will be in to ride.

King Fury will return for Kenny McPeek. Scratched from the Kentucky Derby (G1) due to a fever, the Curlin colt drew off to a 2 3/4-length decision when making his three-year-old reappearance in the April 10 Lexington S. (G3) at Keeneland. Corey Lanerie picks up the mount on the two-time stakes victor.

Grade 2 juvenile scorer Keepmeinmind exits an encouraging fourth in the Preakness (G1). Seventh in the Kentucky Derby two back, the Robertino Diordoro-trained late runner adds blinkers and Lasix, and David Cohen has the call.

Proxy established himself as a Kentucky Derby contender by performing well in Louisiana prep races, including runner-up finishes in the Risen Star (G2) and Lecomte (G3), but the Tapit colt earned a freshening following a disappointing fourth in the Lexington. Michael Stidham will remove blinkers, and Joe Bravo rides.

After an eye-catching allowance romp on the Kentucky Derby undercard, Masqueparade will make his stakes debut for Al Stall Jr. The Upstart colt netted a 102 Brisnet Speed rating for the 11-length triumph, the top last-out figure in the Ohio Derby field, and Miguel Mena guides the frontrunner.

Another exciting allowance winner, Ethical Judgement, is set for his initial stakes appearance. By Honor Code, the bay colt has captured 2-of-4 career starts for Brendan Walsh, including a 3 1/2-length tally at Churchill Downs on May 9. Rebel S. (G2) runner-up Hozier, a head second most recently in the May 15 Sir Barton S. on the Preakness undercard, will make his first start for new trainer Rodolphe Brisset.

Channel Fury, Falcons Fury, Hello Hot Rod, and The Reds complete the lineup.