Tawny Port continued his ascension up the three-year-old ranks on Saturday with a one-length victory in the $500,000 Ohio Derby (G3) at Thistledown, the colt’s second graded stakes win from his last three outings.
Ridden by Irad Ortiz Jr. for owner Peachtree Stable and trainer Brad Cox, Tawny Port made a three-wide bid around the far turn, took a slight lead entering the stretch, and was kept to task down the lane to score over Florida Derby (G1) winner White Abarrio in a time of 1:50.46 for nine furlongs on a fast track. The 13-10 favorite in a field of seven, Tawny Port paid $4.60.
Tawny Port, White Abarrio, and third-place finisher Classic Causeway, who finished 1 1/4 lengths behind White Abarrio, were all exiting the May 7 Kentucky Derby (G1). Tawny Port had fared best, finishing seventh to Rich Strike, who like Tawny Port started at odds of 80-1. White Abarrio finished 16th, while Tampa Bay Derby (G2) winner Classic Causeway finished 11th.
There was a five-length gap between Classic Causeway and fourth-place finisher Barese in the Ohio Derby. Completing the order of finish were Droppin G’s, Ethereal Road, and Pineapple Man.
Tawny Port entered the Kentucky Derby picture by winning the April 16 Lexington (G3) at Keeneland. Winner in his first two outings at Turfway Park over the winter, Tawny Port finished fifth in his stakes debut, the Risen Star (G2) at Fair Grounds, to beaten Kentucky Derby and Preakness (G1) favorite Epicenter. Prior to the Lexington, he was second best to Tiz the Bomb in the Jeff Ruby (G3) at Turfway while finishing ahead of Rich Strike. His record now stands at 7-4-1-0, $727,000.
Bred in Kentucky by WinStar Farm, Tawny Port was a $400,000 Keeneland September yearling. By Pioneerof the Nile, he was produced by the Grade 2-placed stakes winner Livi Makenzie, by Macho Uno.
Lady Jacqueline S.
Earlier in the card, Army Wife fended off Crazy Beautiful by three parts of a length as class shined in the $250,000 Lady Jacqueline S. for fillies and mares.
Victorious last season in the Black-Eyed Susan (G2) and Iowa Oaks (G3), Army Wife scored as the 6-5 favorite over 17-10 second choice Crazy Beautiful, who accounted for three graded wins last term. Army Wife returned $4.40 after running 1 1/8 miles in 1:50.80 with Tyler Gaffalione aboard.
Owned by Three Diamonds Farm and trained by Mike Maker, Army Wife was entering off a season debut third in the June 4 Shawnee S. at Churchill Downs. The four-year-old daughter of Declaration of War now sports a line of 14-5-1-5, $786,272.