Core Beliefs is central to Ohio Derby wagering strategy

The Grade III Ohio Derby is the Saturday feature at Thistledown. A field of 12 three-year-olds will pursue a $500,000 purse in this 1 1/8-mile showdown. Post time for the Ohio Derby, Race 9 of 10 on the day, is 6:10 p.m. EST. As always, be sure to take part in FanXT’s Daily Fantasy Jockey game!

#10 CORE BELIEFS (5-1) is the top preference despite losing a sizeable late lead in the Peter Pan last time. He was off awkwardly from the rail that day and was sent along a bit too early under Tyler Baze. Joe Talamo takes over on this talented runner that was also third in the Santa Anita Derby behind Justify. CORE BELIEFS should be close to a modest pace set by FLAMEAWAY. He just has to negotiate a potentially sloppy strip.

#2 FLAMEAWAY will have the target on his back in more ways than one in the Ohio Derby. The 5-2 morning-line favorite figures to grab the early lead as he usually does under Jose Lezcano. He was simply overmatched in the Kentucky Derby last time out but put forth some good, honest efforts in the Sam F. Davis (a win) as well as the Tampa Bay Derby and Blue Grass Stakes (second in both) earlier this season. Mark Casse has FLAMEAWAY, who has two wins in three starts on off-tracks, training sharply for this.

#3 LONE SAILOR (3-1) looks for just his second win in his 11th career start this Saturday. He was a close second in the Louisiana Derby before faltering in the Kentucky Derby. He returned to run a decent fifth in the Preakness and has been rested since then. Irad Ortiz Jr. sees fit to ship in and ride this Tom Amoss trainee, who couldn’t be working much better. LONE SAILOR is 3-1-0-0 over off-tracks, with those two off-the-board finishes coming in his two Triple Crown starts.

The play: $3 exacta box 2/10, $2 exacta 2,10/3 ($10)

DFJ analysis: Irad Ortiz Jr. is leaving Belmont behind this Saturday, creating opportunities for some other riders there. Junior Alvarado is scheduled to ride in all 10 races, with five of those mounts at single-digit odds. That includes the shortest-priced favorite of the day, 3-5 Long Eyelashes, in Race 5. The affordably-priced Alvarado offers value in the Daily Fantasy Jockey game this Saturday.

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