Batten Down Wires The Ohio Derby

Batten Down | Coglianese

You could say Batten Down has a little bit of family legacy to live up to. The son of champion Close Hatches took a step towards doing just that Saturday at Thistledown with a gate-to-wire win in the GIII Ohio Derby. The full-brother to both MGSW/MGISP Juddmonte sire Tacitus and to GSW Scylla took four tries to break his maiden, finally winning by 8 3/4 emphatic lengths last out at Churchill Downs going 1 1/4 miles Apr. 30. Saturday's Ohio Derby was his first step up from the maiden ranks and the colt went off the 3-1 second choice behind the 2-5 favorite in GII Louisiana Derby winner and GI Preakness Stakes third Catching Freedom (Constitution).

The last to load from the outside, Batten Down broke a step out but was quickly corrected and sent to the lead under Junior Alvarado. Already clear as the scratched-down field went under the wire the first time by, the Bill Mott trainee raced well in-hand and just off the rail with Gould's Gold and the pair of Charleston (Tapiture) and Catching Freedom) all in chase mode. Taking the shortest way around, Batten Down was allowed to run completely alone up front and cruised through opening fractions of :22.86 and :46.82. It was only into the far turn that the field began to make some headway, reeling the leader back to a more manageable gap with both Catching Freedom and Gould's Gold poised to strike past the quarter pole. And with a furlong to run, it seemed to be anyone's race with the leader tiring on his wrong lead against the rail and the closers coming on. But Batten Down would not be denied and, as his rivals faltered in their final efforts, he stayed away to earn the win.

Pedigree Note:
The 104th graded/group winner for Tapit, Batten Down is one of nine foals born from champion older mare Close Hatches (First Defence). Of four to the track, all four have won topped by his aforementioned full-siblings: MGSW/MGISP Tacitus and GSW Scylla. Close Hatches herself is a full-sister to SW/MGISP Lockdown who will be recognized by readers as the dam of another champion in last year's Eclipse-winning older dirt female Idiomatic (Curlin). First Defence earns another feather in his cap in this family with G1 Tattersalls Irish Two Thousdans Guineas winner Siskin coming under the third dam. Juddmonte bought into this family all the way back with Batten Down's fourth dam Silver Star (GB) (Zafonic) who brought a final bid of just 38,000gns from the 2011 Tattersalls December Mare Sale. Close Hatches has an unraced 2-year-old filly by Constitution named Resurge and a yearling Uncle Mo filly. She foaled a filly by Gun Runner this year.


Saturday, Jack Thistledown
OHIO DERBY-GIII, $500,000, Thistledown, 6-22, 3yo, 1 1/8m, 1:50.20, ft.
1–BATTEN DOWN, 126, c, 3, by Tapit
                1st Dam: Close Hatches (Ch. Older Mare, MGISW, $2,707,300), by First Defence
                2nd Dam: Rising Tornado, by Storm Cat
                3rd Dam: Silver Star (GB), by Zafonic
O/B-Juddmonte (KY); T-William I. Mott; J-Junior Alvarado.
$300,000. Lifetime Record: 5-2-1-1, $394,850. *Full to Tacitus,
MGSW & MGISP, $3,767,350; Full to Scylla, GSW, $414,835.
Werk Nick Rating: A+++. *Triple Plus* Click for the eNicks
report & 5-cross pedigree. Click for the free
catalogue-style pedigree.
2–Gould's Gold, 126, c, 3, Goldencents–Goose Martini, by
Bernardini. 1ST GRADED BLACK TYPE. ($100,000 Ylg '22
FTKOCT). O-4 G Racing, LLC, Lance Gasaway and Magdalena
Racing; B-Rock Ridge Thoroughbreds, LLC (KY); T-Kenneth G.
McPeek. $100,000.
3–Copper Tax, 126, c, 3, Copper Bullet–Wilhelmina, by Majestic
Warrior. 1ST GRADED BLACK TYPE. ($45,000 Ylg '22 FTKOCT).
O-Rose Petal Stable LLC; B-Lance Sullenberger (KY); T-Gary
Capuano. $50,000.
Margins: 1 3/4, 3/4, HF. Odds: 3.30, 11.70, 6.20.
Also Ran: Catching Freedom, Uncle Heavy, Charleston. Scratched: Deposition, Frizzante, Mugatu, Who's the King.
Click for the chart and the PPs.
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