2021 Ohio Derby Free Picks

The card at Thistledown Racetrack on Saturday, June 26 is the biggest horse racing betting event of the year at the Cleveland-area oval, featuring the Grade 3 Ohio Derby. The race is run at a mile and an eighth on dirt, with a field of $500,000. It features a field of eleven, including a trio of graded stakes winners and several other horses who have held their own against very good horses.

The Ohio Derby often serves as a starting point for later bloomers who are strong contenders in graded stakes races throughout the summer. So, let’s get to know the field and find out the best bets in the 2021 Ohio Derby! 

Where to Bet the Ohio Derby

Picking the right horse in the Ohio Derby matters. But, it matters just as much where you bet the race. After all, choosing the right online sportsbook helps you get the most for your money because it will give you the best odds and bonuses, all with an easy-to-use interface and trusted deposit and cash-out options.

There are hundreds of online sportsbooks to choose from, but we can help you choose the best ones no matter what best you like to make. Our guide to the best online sportsbooks can help you find which one is best for you. Once you find your favorite, you can make an account and be ready to bet the Ohio Derby (and every other race) with confidence!

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History of the Ohio Derby

The Ohio Derby has one of the longest histories of any race in the Midwest. It was inaugurated in 1876, and though the race was put on hiatus after the 1883 edition, it came back in a big way four decades later. In 1924 it returned, with Kentucky Derby winner Black Gold racing to victory.

Since then its most illustrious winners have included notable sire Smarten (1979), multiple Grade 1 winner Broad Brush (1986), 1998 Horse of the Year Skip Away (1997), and Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (G1) winner Caleb’s Posse (2011).

Ohio Derby Horses

This is the official field for the 2021 Ohio Derby. This includes post positions for each horse, their trainers and jockeys, and their morning line odds.

  1. Promise Keeper: Todd Pletcher/Luis Saez (7/2)
  2. Falcons Fury: Timothy Maxey/Edgar Paucar (30/1)
  3. Hozier: Rodolphe Brisset/Chris Landeros (12/1)
  4. King Fury: Kenneth McPeek/Corey Lanerie (9/2)
  5. Ethical Judgment: Brendan Walsh/Martin Garcia (8/1)
  6. Hello Hot Rod: Caio Caramori/Francisco Arrieta (15/1)
  7. The Reds: John Kimmel/Dylan Davis (15/1)
  8. Keepmeinmind: Robertino Diodoro/David Cohen (4/1)
  9. Proxy: Michael Stidham/Joe Bravo (5/1)
  10. Masqueparade: Albert Stall, Jr./Mighel Mena (8/1)
  11. Channel Fury: James Jackson/Luis Rivera (20/1)

Keep in mind that these morning line odds are not guaranteed to hold on race day. Your best bet is to check the odds on the best online sportsbooks, and when you find odds that balance the risk and reward the way you want, to go ahead and get your bets in on your Ohio Derby horse.

Free Ohio Derby Picks

With a field of 11, the Ohio Derby drew an intriguing mix of rising stars and interesting longshots. Let’s look at the field and find out who has the best chances to win the 2021 Ohio Derby.

Ohio Derby Handicapping

Tactical speed plays well at Thistledown, and given the complexion of this year’s Ohio Derby field, there is a good chance it will be the right running style in this year’s runnings. Ethical Judgment, coming off a trio of solid efforts in washed-off turf races, will probably be part of the early pace. Hello Hot Rod, who has shown sprint speed, should also be part of the early going.

Though Masqueparade steps up into stakes company for the first time, there is a lot to like. He romped by 11 lengths last time at Churchill Downs going a mile and an eighth, the same distance as the Ohio Derby. He was able to stalk the pace and take over, a trip that could do well in this. He can get a clean trip from toward the outside, and outer posts tend to play well at Thistledown as well.

Promise Keeper got good through the spring, romping in an allowance at Keeneland two back and then winning the Peter Pan (G3) with authority last out. Both of those races were at a mile and an eighth, both times Luis Saez rode, and two back he proved he could work an off-pace trip from the inside gate.  These bode well for Promise Keeper’s chances. He also has a win in the slop; with rain possible Saturday, that raises confidence.

The Reds has good experience over a mile and an eighth, and has proven he can handle an off track. He ran second in the washed-off Pennine Ridge (G3) last out behind a good horse in Sainthood, and two starts ago he was only beaten a head in a stakes originally carded for dirt, and placed first after being floated out late.

Though Proxy is removing blinkers, which may improve him, he still has yet to prove that he can win a race without making the early lead. If he can run back to his Fair Grounds form fresh off the lay he could be part of this, but he has yet to show the kind of speed that would get him in front of the real early pace. Still, he has a place in exotics.

Two others likely to take money include King Fury and Keepmeinmind, both of whom are already graded stakes winners. Both have to overcome pace questions; they may have too much to do late. Between them King Fury appeals more, as he will be sitting a bit closer and he won impressively over slop in the Lexington (G3). But, his running style may not suit Thistledown great.

Ohio Derby Best Bets

Here are the best bets to make on the 2021 Ohio Derby.

  • $20 Win: #10 Masqueparade
  • $1 Exacta Box: #10 Masqueparade, #1 Promise Keeper, #7 The Reds
  • $1 Trifecta Box: #10 Masqueparade, #1 Promise Keeper, #7 The Reds, #9 Proxy
  • $0.10 Trifecta Box: #10 Masqueparade, #1 Promise Keeper, #7 The Reds, #9 Proxy, #4 King Fury
Tonya Holms

Tonya has been working in the horse racing industry for nearly two decades, moving up from groom to horse owner, to marketing and media. She learned the tricks of handicapping while working in horse racing broadcasting both in the United States and Canada. In her spare time, she loves to read and take care of the farm animals: sheep, goats, ducks, and chickens.