Thistledown is the scene of eight races on Thursday in Cleveland, Ohio. There is a total of $118,300 up for grabs on the dirt today. Thistledown had its showcase event this past weekend on Saturday. The Ohio Derby took place and had a slightly surprising outcome. Dean Martini won the race as a +1400 underdog. There weren’t many handicappers that identified Dean Martini, but those who did were rewarded for their faith in him.
I ignored the Ohio Derby completely because I thought it was a wide-open race and was correct with that assumption. Sometimes the bet you don’t make is just as good as a win. If you’re looking for Dean Martini in his next assignment, there is a good chance he’ll enter the Ellis Park Derby in August. You don’t have to wait that long for a big race to handicap. The holiday weekend is going to provide a plethora of action, especially on the Fourth of July. Belmont Park is offering a lot of money on Saturday.
As far as today is concerned, if you’re looking for a strong horse check out Cezanne at Los Alamitos Race Course. He is the biggest lock of the day, though you will have to pay a heavy price for Bob Baffert’s $3.6 million trainee. Cezanne may not be tested until the Kentucky Derby in September. Money will pour in on Cezanne, so don’t expect the best payout, but he’s nevertheless a horse to keep an eye on as we get closer to Labor Day Weekend. Head below for our free Thistledown Selections for July 2, 2020.
Post Time: 1:20 p.m. EST
Distance: 1 Mile
We will get started with Race 2 at Thistledown for our Thursday card in Cleveland. Six horses are scheduled to run a mile on the dirt for a $9,300 purse. Tropical Cyclone, Uncle Carlito, and Piazza Del Campo are expected to be involved in the stretch. Tropical Cyclone is 2 for 24 in his career, and while that doesn’t sound amazing, he’s been consistently in the mix near the front.
Tropical Thunder has finished in the top-3 in 5 of his previous 7 races, though that wasn’t the case in his most recent performance on June 23. He finished 5th following a 2nd place finish on June 10. He was 5 ¾ lengths back of Giant’s Willow. Tropical Thunder came on strong from 7th at the ⅜ pole to get 2nd place money. That was the same class of a race as today, with a $9,300 on the line in that event.
Tropical Thunder followed up with 5th on June 23. That event was for $9,3000 as well. Which version of Tropical Thunder are we going to get on Thursday? That’s the big question in Race 2. I think at a minimum Tropical Thunder is going to be a candidate to show against this field. The same goes for Uncle Carlito, who has finished 2nd, 2nd, 3rd, 3rd in his previous four races. He has a slightly better win percentage than Tropical Thunder with 2 wins in 20 races in his career.
Piazza Del Campo gets a bump down in class today after finishing 6th, 3rd, 4th in his previous three events. He was 3rd, 1st, 2nd before going up in class. Piazza Del Campo was a winner on September 10, 2019 by 1 ¾ lengths over Art of the Dream in a race that is more difficult than today’s event. That was for a $12,000 purse. This should be a competitive race with Piazza Del Campo a bit better than his foes.
Post Time: 1:50 p.m. EST
Race 3 will feature another $9,300 purse on the dirt. This will be shorter with 6 furlongs of racing in this event. Anita Marie and Nice Ride are good options for the shortlist. Nice Ride is 7 for 48 in her career. The mare began her career back on August 14, 2017 at Presque Island. It has been an up and down career for her ever since the start.
Not much has really changed, with some quality performances scattered in with more poor outings. Nice Ride has finished 5th, 4th, 8th, 5th, 5th, 4th, 7th in her previous seven races. That isn’t great at all. She has not shown since November. However, Nice Ride is getting a much needed class drop for Thursday. That should bode well to get Nice Ride up in contention for Race 3.
Anita Marie is getting eased in class for today as well. However, Anita Marie has had better success against faster horses. Anita Marie was finishing in the top-3 against tougher horses than she will see today in Race 3. She has finished 2nd, 8th, 3rd, 3rd in her previous four races. In her latest performance, Anita Marie showed in a race that was worth $21,500. It isn’t much of a conversation what the harder race was between today and that event on June 18. That event was considerably harder than what she’ll see today.
Overall, Anita Marie is 17 for 96 in her career with $298,032 in earnings, which dates all the way back to October 20, 2012. She’s a veteran that should run well here. The last time she was in a similar class, Anita Marie won on September 21, 2019 in a blowout by 8 ¼ lengths. A win should be within reach for Anita Marie. I believe her team found a race she can break out of the winless slump in.
Post Time: 2:50 p.m. EST
Race 5 is one of the biggest races of the day at Thistledown. This is for a $24,300 purse across a mile of racing on the dirt. We have a coupled entry with Silver G T O and Grecian Prince teaming up for trainer Ronald G. Brown. Both horses have a decent chance of winning this one, with Silver G T O the stronger of the two. Joining those two on my shortlist is Gone too Soon. Gone too Soon is a winner in 10 of 49 races in his career. He made a bang on New Year’s Day to win over Tiz a Rush by 4 ¼ lengths. That was a solid run to win the top prize out of a $33,700 purse.
However, since that win, Gone too Soon has gone winless in four straight races. His best form was his last outing on March 11. He finished 3rd as a fairly big underdog. That was for $25,000, so it’s within reason to expect that Gone too Soon is going to threaten in this one. He has finished 4th, 5th, 5th, 3rd since the win on January 1. Gone too Soon made two workouts in June, with times of 3 furlongs at 37.50 seconds and 4 furlongs at 51 seconds.
Grecian Prince heads into Thursday with plenty of momentum. He has placed in three straight outings and in 6 of his previous 7 outings. This is a bigger ask than Grecian Prince witnessed at Mahoning Valley, but he was still in strong form and has a decent chance of outshining his teammate, Silver G T O. Overall, he is a winner in 9 of 58 races. If Grecian Prince can’t get the win here, there’s a good chance Silver G T O is able to get to the winner’s circle.
Silver G T O is 7 for 33 in his career and he’s currently in the form of his career. He is coming off a hat-trick with wins from February 5 to June 16. Silver G T O went on a four month layoff, but it didn’t hurt him at all. He won in June over Oaken by 6 ¾ lengths for a $23,000 purse. There is a reasonable chance that Silver G T O gets another win for his fourth straight walk to the winner’s circle on Thursday.