Thistledown Picks for June 26: Masqueparade to shock in Ohio Derby

Luis Saez is coming into Thistledown to race Promise Keeper in the Ohio Derby for Todd Pletcher
Luis Saez is coming into Thistledown to race Promise Keeper in the Ohio Derby for Todd Pletcher

The $500,000 Grade III Ohio Derby highlights the ten-race card at Thistledown this Saturday. Our editor has drawn this card and he previews the race below along with picking the whole card…

Two months ago the Kenny McPeek trained King Fury (#4) was starting to attract some serious Kentucky Derby buzz. He was a 20-1 shot on the Morning Line before being scratched late. Initially the hope was to turn him around quick and run in the Preakness at Pimlico but plans changed. His connections clearly have big plans for him the rest of the year with the likes of the Jim Dandy and Travers being spoken about. First up though is the Ohio Derby and he’s coming off a win last time out in the Grade III Lexington at Keeneland. That was his only run as a three-year-old and with McPeek training him, you always expect progression. I would not be surprised one jot if he goes off as favorite.

The Morning Line however has Promise Keeper (#1) as the betting choice. The son of Constitution through Tapit clearly as an outstanding bloodline and looked strong last time out in the Grade III Peter Pan at Belmont. What I really liked about that run was the kick in the final eighth of a furlong to put clear air behind him and Nova Rags. I can see why he’s the top choice. Belmont Stakes winning jockey Luis Saez is coming into town for this ride.

Keepmeinmind (#8) has a record so far in 2021 of 6/5/7/4 in four races. That isn’t good but when you look at the quality of the races in which he’s been entered for then it doesn’t look so bad. He finished behind Rombauer, Midnight Bourbon and Medina Spirit in the Preakness but his three-year-old season has been considerably poorer than his two-year-old turn where the only horses to beat him were Arabian Prince on his debut, Essential Quality in the Breeders’ Futurity and the same horse again along with Hot Rod Charlie in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile. I’m going to pass on him here.

My top pick on single tickets will be Masqueparade (#10). The Al Stall Jr. trained three-year-old has yet to step up in class but anyone who saw the way he dominated an Allowance race on the Kentucky Derby under-card would have circled his name to see where he popped up next. He was hung wide on both turns but still won by just over ten lengths and ran a mile and an eighth in 1:48.1. If he runs that well in the Ohio Derby then I’m not sure anyone can keep up.

So Masqueparade is my Pick but on multiple race tickets you would be risking it not including both Promise Keeper and King Fury. 

You can bet on the Ohio Derby via any of our betting partners. Our Race Card is below and all of our picks for Saturday's card at Thistledown are above...