Will Numbers Add Up For Math Wizard In Saturday’s Ohio Derby?

Math Wizard will break from the rail in Saturday’s Grade 3 Ohio Derby at JACK Thistledown Racino in North Randall, Ohio, but his biggest break came in January, when trainer Saffie Joseph Jr. claimed him for $25,000 out of a race at Gulfstream Park in Florida.

Math Wizard debuted in a maiden special weight at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky., but then began what appeared to be a career in claiming races. He dropped from a $30,000 tag in his second race to $15,000 in his third. He was claimed in each of his next three starts, all at Gulfstream Park, but his career shifted to higher ground with the last claim, when Joseph took him. In his second start for Joseph he earned points toward the Kentucky Derby presented by Woodford Reserve (G1) with a fourth in the Wood Memorial (G2). The winner and the runner-up in the Wood, Tacitus and Tax, would go on to finish second and fourth, respectively, in the Belmont Stakes (G1).

Asked what he saw in the Algorithms colt to inspire the claim, Joseph said, “He seemed consistent running six and 6 1/2 [furlongs], so sprinting he was face value. But he was out of a mare who was good going long [Minister’s Baby]—she won a graded stake [the 1 1/8-mile G3 Gardenia at Ellis Park]—so we figured he could go long. The Wood was a big race for him. He got into trouble and still did well.”

Math Wizard led gate to wire in the race from which Joseph claimed him, and he won by more than 18 lengths. He had won his previous race by 6 3/4 lengths coming from off the pace. In the Ohio Derby, Joseph expects him to do whatever he needs to do for jockey Edgard Zayas, who was aboard for Math Wizard’s most recent race, a fourth-place finish in the Oaklawn Park Invitational.

“He can sit where Edgard wants him and not rush,” Joseph said. “If the pace is slow, he’ll be closer. Edgard knows him. He’s been working him. The horse is easy going, an easy horse to be around. He’s a kind horse—does what he’s asked.”

Math Wizard has raced nine times at five different racetracks in four states. Joseph said he handles traveling well, including the trip to JACK Thistledown. He arrived Monday evening from Joseph’s base at Gulfstream Park, jogged Tuesday and schooled in the gate and galloped Wednesday.

Global Campaign To Scratch
Director of Racing Patrick Ellsworth announced Wednesday morning that Peter Pan Stakes (G3) winner Global Campaign is an early scratch from the Ohio Derby as the Curlin colt continues to recover from a quarter crack likely initiated when he grabbed a quarter in the Fountain of Youth (G2).

The 10-race Ohio Derby card also features two stakes for Ohio-breds 3 years old and up going 1 1/16 miles: the George Lewis Memorial Stakes for accredited Ohio foals and the J. Wm. Petro Stakes for registered Ohio foals. First post is 1:10 p.m., with the Ohio Derby the ninth race at 5:10 p.m.

The post Will Numbers Add Up For Math Wizard In Saturday’s Ohio Derby? appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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