Tawny Port toasts the competition in the Ohio Derby

June 25, 2022

Classic Causeway makes first start since Kentucky Derby with new trainer McPeek

After a good break for all, 6/5 favorite Tawny Port under Belmont Stakes winner Irad Ortiz, Jr., settled off the pace into fourth behind White Abarrio and Classic Causeway with 44-1 Pineapple Man setting the pace around the first turn with an opening 1/4 of 22.82. 

Classic Causeway and Brian Hernandez, Jr., were close on the leader’s right flank and he began to pass at the 1/2-mile mark with a pace of 47.08. With Tyler Gaffalione up White Abarrio proceeded patiently four lengths off the leaders with Tawny Port a length behind.

Pineapple Man was in tandem with Classic Causeway stride-for-stride as they reached the far turn. Then Classic Causeway, making his first start for trainer Kenny McPeek, slid past the leader as White Abarrio moved up quickly and with a burst of speed Tawny Port came moving up on the outside around the stretch turn. The three were even across as they swept to the stretch. Barese was moving up on the pack, Ethereal Road making a swift move on the inside. 

Coming down the stretch at the mile mark at 1:37.44 Tawny Port turned on his turn-of-foot and broke loose of White Abarrio just enough to take the win by a length. Classic Causeway would be 1 1/4 lengths behind for third. 

With Kendrick Carmouche in the irons Barese, who broke first from post 1 finished fourth by a head over Droppin G’s with Malcolm Franklin up. Ethereal Road under Rafael Bejarano came up short in sixth with Pineapple Man finishing seventh and last after his game effort in the start under T. Houghton. 

Brigadier General was a scratch by the Stewards. Final time for the 1 1/8 miles was 1:50.46. 

Tawny Port is trained by two time Eclipse Award winner Brad Cox. It is the conditioner’s first Ohio Derby victory. Tawny Port finished seventh in the Kentucky Derby for Cox who won the Kentucky Derby and Belmont Stakes in 2021 with Essential Quality. 

A Kentucky WinStar bred was sired by Pioneerof the Nile out of Macho Uno mare Livi Makenzie. The dark brown colt is owned by Peachtree Stable purchased at the 2020 Keeneland September Yearling Sale for an impressive price of $430,000. 

Breaking his maiden on his debut at Turfway on Dec. 4, 2021, Tawny Port followed up with a win in an AOC Jan. 7, 2022, and then fizzled in the G2 Risen Star at the Fair Grounds finishing fifth.

He achieved redemption under Manny Franco when he placed second in the G3 Jeff Ruby Stakes by 2 1/4 lengths to Tiz the Bomb before giving his best performance before today at Keeneland in the G3 Stonestreet Lexington under Florent Geroux besting Major General.

Runner-up White Abarrio was bred by Spendthrift Farm out of their Into Mischief mare Catching Diamonds. The grey colt, sired by Race Day, gets his color from his grandsire, Tapit.

Campainged by C2 Racing Stable and La Milagrosa Racing, White Abarrio was sold at the 2020 OBS Winter Mix sale for $7,500 and then purchased by the current owners at the OBS March 2021 for $40,000 as a two-year-old in training. 

While still in the barn of Brian Lynch, Classic Causeway won his debut at Saratoga Sept. 4, 2021, and jumped up in class to all graded stakes rising to the challenge.

Classic Causeway then blew into 2022 winning the G3 Sam F. Davis Feb. 12 and Lambholm South Tampa Bay Derby March 12, which he wired. In both races he earned 104 Equibase Speed Figures. 

After his Kentucky Derby prep race, the G1 Florida Derby, fell flat, his performance in the Derby also deflated. Classic Causeway broke from gate 17, got into twelfth and got totally stuck there eventually finishing eleventh.

After the Kentucky Derby Classic Causeway was transferred from the barn of Brian Lynch to Kenny McPeek. 

A regal homebred for Kentucky West Racing and Clarke M. Cooper Family Living Trust the chestnut colt is the son of the great Giant’s Causeway out of Private World by Thunder Gulch.

We give a big HIGH FIVE to Pineapple Man for his game effort in the first half of the race. Never having raced in stakes company much less graded stakes company, Pineapple Man has also never raced outside of New York. 

The lone New York-bred, the bay was bred by Monhill Farm and sired by Gormley out of Borrego mare New Doo. With only one win under his belt, breaking his maiden on third outing, Pineapple Man has actually hit the board four out of his five starts. 

Pineapple Man is owned by Justice Racing Stable and Ryan Steigmeier and was purchased at the OBS 2021 as a two-year-old in training for $34,000. 

A Brief History of the Ohio Derby

Held at Chester Park in Cincinnati, the inaugural Ohio Derby in 1876 was won by Bombay under famed African American jockey William Walker. The bay colt was trained by African American Hall of Fame inductee Edward D. Brown who as a jockey won the 1870 Belmont Stakes and as a trainer had won the 1877 Kentucky Derby. 

Bombay was owned by Daniel Swigert of Stockwood Farm for whom Brown worked conditioning many future stars such as Baden-Baden, Spendthrift and Hindoo. 

The son of Planet out of Nora by Sovereign (GB), Bombay completed the then 1 1/2 mile race in 2:46 flat earning a purse of $1,000. 

The race was discontinued in 1884 until it was revived 30 years later at Maple Heights Park.In 1924, the Ohio Derby was cut back to 1 1/8 miles with a purse of $4,000. The winner was Black Gold with a winning time of 1:57.40. … to read more of this story, click here.

By Maribeth Kalinich
Photo by JJ Zamaiko 


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