Cairo Prince’s Dean Martini wins Ohio Derby (G3) in stakes debut

Dean Martini took advantage of his inside post position in Saturday’s $500,000 Ohio Derby (G3) to record his first added-money victory in what was the stakes debut for the 3-year-old son of Cairo Prince.

Cairo Prince has been a top-five sire with each of his first three crops. He currently leads the Third-Crop Cumulative sire list by black type winners, graded stakes winners and graded stakes horses and is second by lifetime earnings with more than $8 million to date.

Saturday’s victory earned Dean Martini 20 qualifying points toward a starting spot in the Kentucky Derby (G1), which will be run Sept. 5.

“That’s the carrot dangling in front us. I don’t know. We’ll see,” trainer Tom Amoss said about the Run for the Roses.

With Ricardo Mejias in the irons, Dean Martini broke well and was no more than two lengths from the front as Lebda led the field through a half-mile in :47.22. Just before entering the final turn, Dean Martini shot  through an opening on the inside to take the lead. Lebda tried to battle back, but Dean Martini opened up by two lengths entering the stretch. A late surge by South Bend was not enough as Dean Martini won by three-quarters of a length.

Dean Martini covered the 1 1/8-mile distance in 1:51.60.

“I thought that told the tale,” Amoss said. “He had the outside post (in a field of 12 in his runner-up finish in a June 12 allowance at Churchill Downs), had a wide trip, and got beat by a very good horse. That’s when I became very excited about him.” 

Dean Martini has finished in the top three in eight of his ten starts and has now earned $391,380 for Raise the BAR Racing, LLC.

Bred in Kentucky by Brereton Jones and Bret Jones out of the Friends Lake mare Soundwave, Dean Martini was originally bought by Glencrest Farm for $72,000 at the 2017 Keeneland November Breeding Stock Sale. He was then consigned by Four Star Sales to the 2018 Keeneland September Yearling Sale, where he went to Rockingham Ranch for $220,000.