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Jun 26, 2015

Mr. Z gets rare win with 81st Ohio Derby


Cleveland, OH ( - Mr. Z, making his 15th career start, posted just his second victory with Saturday's $500,000 Ohio Derby at ThistleDown Racino.

Mr. Z, ridden by Joe Bravo for Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas and Calumet Farm, went off at 6-1 in the eight-horse field of 3-year-olds for the 1 1/16- mile race. Lexington Stakes winner Divining Rod was the 2-1 favorite with War Story and Tencendur both 3-1.

Mr. Z got away well at the start and immediately took the lead. The chestnut colt set the pace while racing just off the rail. On the far turn Mr. Z was hooked by Divining Rod and jockey Julien Leparoux.

Divining Rod and Mr. Z battled into the stretch as Tencendur moved closer. Those three battled through the stretch and hit the wire together. Mr. Z posted a nose win over Tencendur with Divining Rod a nose back in third.

War Story was fourth followed by Thirtysilverpieces, Far Right, Dekabrist and Whiskey Ticket. Bodhisattva was an early scratch.

The time for the Ohio Derby was 1:43.60 on a fast track.

Mr. Z won for the first time since winning his debut start at Churchill Downs nearly a year ago. Saturday's win was worth $300,000 to bring the colt's earnings to $997,226.

Mr. Z was 13th in the Kentucky Derby on May 2 and fifth two weeks later in the Preakness. He prepped for the Kentucky Derby with third-place finishes in Oaklawn Park's Smarty Jones and Southwest Stakes, followed by a ninth in the Louisiana Derby and a third behind American Pharoah in the Arkansas Derby.

Mr. Z paid $15.60, $8.00 and $4.20. Tencendur returned $5.40 and $3.60, and Divining Rod paid $2.60 to show.

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