Grade 1 winner Ohio tries synthetic in Presque Isle Mile
Nicole Russo Sep 06, 2019 DRF
The $200,000 Presque Isle Mile on Monday night at the Erie, Pa., track has attracted an eclectic cast of horses who have made their most recent start at seven different tracks in six different states and Canada, and were bred in Great Britain, Brazil, Kentucky, Illinois, and Maryland. The Presque Isle Mile – which actually is run at 1 1/16 miles on the Tapeta main track – drew a field of 12 3-year-olds and up plus two also-eligibles.
Among those traveling in for the race is Brazilian-born and California-campaigned Grade 1 winner Ohio, who has earned more than $500,000. Ohio is making his synthetic-track debut after most recently running on turf on the Southern California circuit for trainer Mike McCarthy. Ohio won the Grade 1 Frank E. Kilroe Mile in March at Santa Anita, but has been unplaced in three outings since, most recently finishing fourth in the Grade 2 Del Mar Mile in August. He attracts the services of Tyler Gaffalione for Monday’s race.
Illinois-bred Dabo cruises in off back-to-back wins at Arlington Park for trainer Dale Romans, both under Jose Valdivia Jr., who remains aboard for the Presque Isle Mile. Dabo won the Springfield Stakes against Illinois-breds on July 27, then rallied to win the Bruce D. Memorial Stakes on Aug. 10.
British-born Mr Ritz is coming off a win in the Grade 3 Seagram Cup at Woodbine, while Lanier won the Grade 3 Hanshin Stakes at Arlington earlier this year.
Those with experience at Presque Isle are led by More Than Good, winner of the Karl Boyes Memorial Stakes in June on the all-weather track, and stakes winner English Minister, who has won four consecutive races at Presque Isle and on the Laurel Park turf. Dubby Dubbie and Knights Key are both coming off open-lengths optional-claiming scores at Presque Isle.
◗ The Presque Isle Mile shares billing on Monday night’s card with the $100,000 Malvern Rose Stakes for Pennsylvania-bred 3-year-old fillies. Gotta Be Strong is the lone stakes winner in the field, sporting a win in the New Start Stakes in June at Penn National. She is returning to statebred company after facing open company in her last three outings, finishing third in the Alma North Stakes at Laurel, sixth in the Grade 3 Delaware Oaks, and sixth in an optional-claiming race at Parx Racing.
Malvern Rose entrants Key Light and Wrong Color are both stakes-placed this season.