How to Bet the Indiana Derby

Profile Picture: John Mucciolo

July 14th, 2018

A solid field of nine will go 1 1/16 miles in the lucrative $500,000 Indiana Derby (G2) on Saturday evening.

Here is a look at the field:

#1 TRIGGER WARNING (8-1) – Multiple stakes winner by Candy Ride was a close third in the Ohio Derby (G3) and has never been better for trainer Mike Rone. Sophomore colt will be forwardly placed from the inner post slot and has to be considered a contender in this form cycle. Irwin Rosendo has the assignment.

#2 BLAME THE RIDER (6-1) – California import has shown nice improvement since moving to the lawn and will now get back on the main oval. Jimmy Creed colt is a question mark on this surface. But he has improved in a huge way and can’t be tossed with Julien Leparoux taking the call.

#3 GIVEMEAMINIT (20-1) – Dallas Stewart pupil has placed in multiple graded runs and will be doing his best work from off the pace. Colt by Star Guitar shows just a single win to date but could earn a share late stretching out today.

#4 DARK VADER (8-1) – Peter Eurton trainee has paired up big performances, including a neck third in the deep Easy Goer S. on Belmont Day. Son of Tale of Ekati has gotten better following a freshening in the spring and looms large with Corey Nakatani signed on.

#5 THE MONEY DANCE (20-1) – Longshot in the cast showed little on this oval in a local prep for today. He will need vast improvement to challenge this field.

#6 AXELROD (5-1) – Former claimer ships in from the Golden State off a nice runner-up showing in the Affirmed (G3) at Santa Anita. Mike McCarthy trainee has been in the running late in each race following a subpar debut. Three-year-old could be the “now” horse.

#7 TITLE READY (12-1) – Steve Asmussen charge hung in the Ohio Derby last time out when well-placed turning for home but shouldn’t be dismissed. Talented More Than Ready colt has yet to break through with a signature tally, though he looks appealing at a healthy morning-line price.

#8 KING ZACHARY (6-5) – Obvious favorite rolled home an impressive winner of the Matt Winn (G3) recently and could be getting very good for Dale Romans. Chestnut son of Curlin will be a short price with Robby Albarado in the stirrups.

#9 FUNNY DUCK (10-1) – Rusty Arnold charge was outrun in the Matt Winn but romped over a fine field two prior, dominating the Pat Day Mile (G3) in the slop. Chestnut colt draws widest and will be a major player with a repeat of his run two back.


There will be a good amount of pace in the Derby. Four or five in the lineup prefer to be in the hunt early on, which will likely set things up for a closer.

I am not backing King Zachary today. The deserving favorite was on the best part of the track at Churchill last time which could have inflated his victory. He could be vulnerable at very low odds.

Axelrod is my top pick. Warrior’s Reward colt split a nice pair in the Affirmed and I think he is coming into his own in swift fashion. Florida-bred was forwardly placed last time but I see him tracking from a bit off the pace and making a move in early stretch. Florent Geroux riding is a plus, too. 


$15 Win-Place-Show: 6 AXELROD ($45)

$2 Trifecta part-wheel: 6 with 8 with all = $14

$1 Trifecta part-wheel: 6 with 4,7,8,9 with all = $28

Good Luck!