Almost Famous gets nod as Ohio Derby favorite

The Sports NetworkJuly 16, 2014 

Cleveland, OH ( - A dozen 3-year-olds have been entered for Saturday's 1 1/16-mile, $300,000 Ohio Derby at ThistleDown Racino.

Installed as the 7-2 morning line favorite is Almost Famous, trained by Patrick Byrne and owned by Chuck and Maribeth Sandford. The colt will start from post 4 with Hall of Fame jockey Calvin Borel in the saddle.

Almost Famous most recently was third behind Tapiture in the Matt Winn Stakes on June 14 at Churchill Downs. He had been coming off a victory in an allowance race at Churchill on May 24.

Early this year he was on the Kentucky Derby trail with a fourth-place result in the Holy Bull and consecutive 11th-place finishes in both the Fountain of Youth and Spiral Stakes, all with Borel riding.

Almost Famous comes into the Ohio Derby with three wins in eight career starts for $125,100.

Iowa Derby winner Jessica's Star, trained by Michael Stidham, is the 4-1 second pick among the 12 3-year-olds. He will be ridden from post 9 by David Mello.

Jessica's Star, owned by Mark Breen, won the Iowa Derby to run his winning streak to three. The gelding began his career in February with a second-place finish at Fair Grounds and came back on March 6 to break his maiden.

Sent to Keeneland, Jessica's Star was second on the turf before winning at Churchill Downs on Kentucky Derby Day. He won the Prairie Mile Stakes at Prairie Meadows on May 31 before claiming the Iowa Derby there four weeks later.

Jessica's Star has earned $275,600 in six starts.

Here is the full field for the Ohio Derby: Larcenyinmyheart, Scott Spieth, 15-1; Brothersofthetime, Jose Garcia, 8-1; Bump Start, Deshawn Parker, 12-1; Almost Famous, Calvin Borel, 7-2; Harry's Holiday, Ron Allen Jr., 8-1; Russellin, Ken Tohill, 10-1; Cleburne, Luis Gonzalez, 12-1; Avgolemono, Joe Musarro, 20-1; Jessica's Star, David Mello, 4-1; Mushu, Jareth Loveberry, 20-1; Saa Mi, Jeremy Rose, 15-1 and East Hall, Juan Leyva, 5-1.

The Ohio Derby has an approximate post time of 4:25 p.m. ET.

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