Michael Hammersly Jan 11, 2020
PHOENIX – Ohio romped by more than six lengths in last year’s Cotton Fitzsimmons at Turf Paradise. The margin was a lot less this year but nonetheless the 9-year-old gelded son of Elusive Quality still got the job done in Saturday’s $75,000 renewal.
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Owned by Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners and Bruce Treitman and trained by Michael McCarthy, Ohio ($4.80) sat midpack from the start in this mile turf race under Jose Valdivia Jr. and came with a smart run on the far turn to reach contention. Ohio gamely reeled in then-lead leader Mr. Jagermeister by midstretch, but then had to fight hard to get to the line a neck to the good of crack local Arizona Moon. River Boyne, like the winner a proven top-class SoCal performer, rallied for third in the field of 11. Mr. Jagermeister, the pacesetter who had done his best work on dirt, finished fourth, while Gato Guapo, considered the best local hope, was an even fifth.
Ohio, the 7-5 favorite, ran the distance in 1:35.85. The winner’s share of $44,175 pushes his earnings to $585,293 from 10 wins in 33 starts. After winning this race last year he went in Santa Anita’s Grade 3 Thunder Road, so a similar plan of attack figures in store this year, with the Thunder Road slated for Feb. 8.