OHIO DERBY Numero uno for Dos Ramos
The winning horse could compete in next month's West Virginia Derby.
NORTH RANDALL -- For Richard Anthony Dos Ramos, what a difference a year makes.
In his only other race at the Thistledown horse racing track, Dos Ramos finished third a year ago in a $3,500 claiming race aboard a horse his father-in-law trained.
At Thistledown Saturday for the 71st Ohio Derby, the stakes were much bigger and so were Dos Ramos' results.
Riding on a fast track on a picture-perfect day, Dos Ramos' horse Palladio made a move at the top of the stretch and never looked back.
Waiting until the time was right, he stormed past Derby favorite Straight Line (who finished fifth) and Magna Graduate, the local favorite that was ridden by nationally-known jockey and Seabiscuit film star Gary Stevens.
In fifth place at the quarter pole, Palladio covered the 1 1/8 mile race in 1 minute, 51.56 seconds.
"The sixth horse Straight Line was a favorite, so I put myself right behind him," said Dos Ramos. "When he drew off, I followed him out of the pack."
"Stevens' horse [Magna Graduate] came on the outside and I waited for him to move a little and my horse accelerated."
Magna Graduate broke poorly and by the quarter pole he was actually seventh of the eight horses. He soon begin a thunderous move and by the second turn was taking over the entire pack.
"We didn't run out of horse, believe me," said Stevens. "I took the lead too early. He wears blinders and needed a bigger target than I could give him."
Trainer Roger Attfield added, "My only concern was that Palladio wasn't going to get enough room. I felt pretty confident in the turn, that if he did get through, he was going to run."
Palladio paid $18.20 to win, $5.80 to place and $4 to show. Magna Graduate earned $3.20 to place and $2.80 to show. It's Time to Smile was third and paid $8.
Palladio earned $210,000 for the win, which increased his lifetime earnings to $362,000.
Questioned on whether Palladio will be part of the field at next month's West Virginia Derby at Mountaineer Park, Attfield said, "That's a very good possibility; I just love to travel."