Mount Joy Stables' Smooth Air won the Grade II $300,000 Ohio Derby on Saturday at Thistledown in North Randall, Ohio, the third consecutive Tampa Bay Downs graduate to capture the 11/8-mile test for 3-year-olds.
Ridden by Manoel Cruz for trainer Bennie Stutts Jr., Smooth Air defeated Cherokee Artist by 4 lengths in 1 minute, 50.26 seconds.
Smooth Air, who finished third in the Sam F. Davis Stakes at Oldsmar, paid $5.80 to win.
Z Fortune, the 3-2 favorite, was 21/2 lengths farther behind.
Tampa Bay Derby winner Deputy Glitters won the Ohio Derby in 2006, and Tampa Bay Derby third-place finisher Delightful Kiss prevailed last year.
Smooth Air finished 11th in the Kentucky Derby, 21 lengths behind winner Big Brown.
BELMONT: Raw Silk scored a pacesetting win in the $150,000 Sands Point Stakes for 3-year-old fillies. Alan Garcia sent his filly right to the lead, engaging in a cat-and-mouse game with the competition. Every time a rival crept closer, Garcia let out another notch and Raw Silk again sprinted clear. Raw Silk led by 3 lengths at the top of the stretch, finishing 4¼ in front of Life Is Sweet, the 6-5 favorite.
HOLLYWOOD PARK: Santa Anita Derby winner Heatseeker dominated a field of four in the $250,000 Californian Stakes, beating Oaklawn Handicap winner Tiago by 5¼ lengths. Meanwhile, Zenyatta won for the fifth time in five starts, taking the Grade II $183,300 Milady Handicap by 21/2 lengths.
WOODBINE: Callwood Dancer held off a late charge by Quiet Jungle to win the $319,000 Nassau, a Grade II race.
MEADOWLANDS: McCedes took the lead in the stretch and held off a late charge by Rudy Rednose to win by half a length in the $500,000 Anthony Abbatiello SBOA New Jersey Classic.
Times corespondent Don Jensen contributed to this report.