Can Proxy pick up first graded-stakes win in Ohio Derby?

Can Proxy pick up first graded-stakes win in Ohio Derby?
Photo: Parker Waters/Eclipse Sportswire

Will Saturday's Grade 3 Ohio Derby be a breakthrough race for Proxy, where he will pick up his first graded stakes win?

Trainer Michael Stidham likes his chances with the Tapit colt, who will have Joe Bravo aboard and break from post position 9.

"He's doing great," Stidham told Horse Racing Nation Sunday. "He worked yesterday. And he's been at Fair Hill and training forwardly, getting ready for this race."

Proxy's last two works were both 5 furlongs in 1:00.2 on June 13 and 19.

Th Godolphin homebred's last start was a fourth-place finish in the April 10 Lexington (G3) at Keeneland. Before that, he finished fourth in the Louisiana Derby (G2), second in the Risen Star (G2) and second in the Lecomte (G3).

"He ran in some of the toughest of the Derby preps early in the year and was very competitive with those horses," Stidham said. "And so I'm hoping that we can move forward off of those races and put the whole thing together."

Stidham said that when Proxy "breaks well, puts himself into the race, he's kind of a stalking-type position horse. Two of his wins have been on the lead. So if he breaks sharp and puts himself there, he can be on the lead just as easily, too."

One competitor he will not have to face is O Besos. Trainer Greg Foley told HRN Sunday that the Ohio Derby had been the original plan. But after connections decided to run in the May 29 Matt Winn (G2), where O Besos finished second, the "Ohio Derby was a little close for us."

"He's doing great, going to work in the morning," Foley said. "The Indiana Derby's maybe where we're going to look at."

2021 Ohio Derby (G3)

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