Cleveland, OH (SportsNetwork.com) - East Hall, ridden by Juan Leyva, put down a furious rally down the stretch to win Saturday's 1 1/16-mile, $300,000 Ohio Derby at ThistleDown Racino.
Trained by Bill Kaplan, East Hall broke from the far outside post in the 11- horse field of 3-year-olds. He raced in mid-pack before swinging wide around the far turn.
East Hall, 9-1 on the board, moved to the outside for racing room and rallied sharply through the stretch. The chestnut gelding, owned by Jack Hendricks and Roger Justice, surged in the final yards and got his head on the wire for the victory.
Finishing second was 2-1 second pick Jessica's Star followed by 3-2 favorite Almost Famous, Russellin, Bump Start, Saa Mi, Cleburne, Larcenyinmyheart, Brothersofthetime, Mushu and Avgolemono. Harry's Holiday was scratched.
The time for the 80th Ohio Derby was 1:44.22 on a 'wet fast' track.
East Hall, in his 16th career start, got his first stakes win and third overall. The victory was worth $180,000 to double the gelding's earnings to $360,370.
This year, the 3-year-old was fourth in the Fountain of Youth, eighth in the Tampa Bay Derby, fifth in the Florida Derby and second mostly recently in both the Sir Bear and Quality Road Stakes.
East Hall paid $20.00, $7.40 and $4.00. Jessica's Star returned $3.80 and $2.80, and Almost Famous paid $2.60 to show.