Thistledown is going to be the site of the next big race in the US. No, it’s not a massive event that will garner a ton of attention, but the Ohio Derby is the next stop on the Road to the Kentucky Derby and it comes with a massive purse. The Ohio Derby will take place at Thistledown next weekend. A total of 34 points towards the Kentucky Derby will be offered. 20 points will go to the winner, while 8 goes to second.
More than 20 points is required for the Kentucky Derby, but combined with success elsewhere, this could be the deciding race for some horses. The purse will be worth half of the Belmont Stakes, but a $500,000 purse for Thistledown is a staggering amount. That kind of money will attract some strong horses for the Grade 3 event. There are a total of 12 prep races left on the Road to the Kentucky Derby.
Organizers did a good job of reorganizing everything to fit enough prep races in for the Derby in September. They were thrown a curveball with COVID-19 and the horse racing world has been able to deliver. It will go down as the only sport in North America that did not shutdown at any point throughout the pandemic.
Yes, some tracks had to stop, but there were still racecourses available everyday throughout the country. Thistledown is back and will unfortunately be able to host its spotlight event on Saturday. Before then, though, let’s see what we can do at Thistledown on Monday afternoon on the Daily Double. Head below for our free Thistledown Daily Double selection for June 22, 2020.
Post Time: 3:50 p.m. EST
Distance: 5 ½ Furlongs
Race 7 is the second-to-last race of the day at Thistledown. A purse of $21,500 is on offer for the event, which spans across 5 ½ furlongs on the dirt. There are three likely winners in this race, with the coupled participants of Johnny U and Last Drop of Wine going to be running in the mix. I’d say that Last Drop of Wine is the slightly stronger horse, but either will be a win if you bet No. 1.
Last Drop of Wine is 5 for 34 with a strong performance in his most recent outing on June 9. It was his first event since February and Last Drop of Wine showed signs of improved form. He lost by ¾ lengths behind Liberate after a good try. Liberate was the heavy favorite in that one. Last Drop of Wine did a fine job pushing the favorite to the brink of a loss.
Johnny U is coming off three straight quality performances. Since April 5, Johnny U has finished 1st, 1st, 3rd for a pretty nice stretch of success. Johnny U is 11 for 54 in his career for an acceptable win rate. Finding the right events for Johnny U seems to be the key to his success. This is going to be a bit more of a test for him in this one, though. Even his teammate, Last Drop of Wine, should be a tough horse to beat. That said, all you need is one of those horses if you want to go in that direction.
Dare Day is going to be a threat to all, and despite getting two for one on Johnny U and Last Drop of Wine, it might not be enough to locate a win for that team. Dare Day is the only participant with stakes racing experience, and actually, didn’t do that poorly on the track either. He finished 5th in the Ohio Derby (Gr .3) last year, 2nd in the Best of Ohio Sprint Stakes (Black Type), and 4th in the Steel Valley Sprint Stakes (Listed). In his four other races, Dare Day was a winner. In other words, in every race that wasn’t a stakes event, Dare Day has won. In all, he’s gone 4 for 7 in his career.
If Dare Day just chased easier races and avoided stakes, he could be 7 for 7 right now. In his latest race on June 11, Dare Day cleared the field for a win by 7 ¼ lengths at Belterra Park. The odds were so heavily lopsided that Dare Day was expected to torch the field and he delivered. For a purchase of $25,000 in 2018, Dare Day has proven to be a terrific investment. He should be able to add to his earnings total with a win in Race 7 at Thistledown on Monday.
Post Time: 4:20 p.m. EST
Distance:5 ½ Furlongs
The final race of the day at Thistledown will go for a mile on the dirt for a modest purse of $8,900. Yacht, Johanna’s Pet, and Susies Who are all going to have a good run at the top prize in the event. Susies Who is 1 for 13 in her career and getting a class drop for Monday. After finishing 5th, 8th, 6th, she gets a race that should be a little more manageable. She placed on February 9, and is a good candidate to finish in the top-3 here. Her lone win was on January 11 at Tampa Bay Downs.
Susies Who recorded the win over Diva Dana by a half length at the wire. She was a favorite in that one, so the end result went as expected. This race will be harder than that, but I don’t think you can discount her from this one. A recent 3-furlong workout was nicely done for 36 seconds on June 3, but it didn’t translate to success on June 11. She finished 6th and was never a factor in the race. Improved form will be necessary to get a win.
Johanna’s Pet has raced in just five races and was a winner in one of them. She broke her winner’s circle cherry with a win on January 22 at Mahoning Valley. Prior to that event, Johanna’s Pet finished 7th, 9th, 4th, so it was a nice breakthrough for her. She beat out Lady David by a neck as a +540 horse. Lady David was the favorite but just missed for the win. Credit Johanna’s Pet for excelling there for the first win of her career.
The next event, though, Johanna’s Pet reverted right back in the wrong direction. At a lower price, Johanna’s Pet finished 4th versus five other competitors. In her career she has finished 7th, 9th, 4th, 1st, 4th. We would have liked to see Johanna’s Pet build on her win, but that didn’t happen. Yacht is taking a class drop to find easier opponents like Johanna’s Pet. She will appear in her first race today since finishing 10th on November 5, 2019.
Yacht finished 6th and 10th this past fall before packing things up and taking a break. Prior to that race, Yacht was 1st on October 1, 2019 at Thistledown. Her previous two entries at Thistledown have been a success to finish in the top-3 in both, including that win. She won by ¾ lengths over To Honor and Run in October. It was the first win of her career, as she goes into Monday with a win in 13 races. She looked fine in a workout on June 11 for a time of 49.40 seconds at 4 furlongs. Yacht has a good chance here.