NORTH RANDALL, Ohio (CMC) — Jamaican Jermaine Bridgmohan shook off a near six-hour drive from Toronto to Thistledown racetrack to win the US$100,000 Grade III Ohio Derby Stakes with the 3-5 favourite Prospective on Saturday.
In a race over 1-1/16th miles in sweltering heat, Bridgmohan collared the field with the three-year-old dark bay colt to win by 2-1/2 lengths in a time of one minute, 42.84 seconds which was just outside the track record.
The time was the fastest in the Ohio Derby since it was reduced to its current distance two years ago.
"Prospective is a fighter. Once he gets a clear path, he goes on," said winning trainer Mark Casse.
"I think the race was won in the first turn, when Jermaine got the horse out. It looked like the horse to the outside (Z Rockstar) was going to push him down inside, but Jermaine didn't let that happen.
"He pushed his way out on the first turn and I think that was the difference. He didn't let him get caught down inside."
Bridgmohan was scheduled to fly out of Toronto on Saturday morning but his flight developed mechanical problems and the reinsman decided to drive the distance.
He arrived at Thistledown just moments before Prospective's connections were obligated to substitute jockeys.
In a four-horse field, Z Rockstar and Politicallycorrect duelled on the backstretch as Bridgmohan held Prospective in third.
He then brought the colt into contention just before the race reached the eighth pole, drawing level with the leaders before edging ahead.
Politicallycorrect chased in the stretch but Bridgmohan kept Prospective to task well in the late stages.
The race was the first time Bridgmohan had paired with Prospective.