How to bet the Iowa Derby and Oaks

Profile Picture: John Mucciolo

July 3rd, 2020

A pair of “hundred-granders” for 3-year-olds are part of a big Sunday at Prairie Meadows, with four stakes being contested in total.

Iowa Oaks (G3)

A field of seven sophomore fillies is entered in the $100,000 affair. The Oaks features a well-matched cast of solid prospects, and I will give a slight edge to Gary and Mary West’s homebred #6 Ocean Breeze (4-1). The Wayne Catalano trainee was superb in a dominant maiden triumph at Churchill Downs last time out, and the Curlin filly is bred to easily endure the 1 1/16 miles. It’s a big class jump against a talented crew, but the dark bay continues to train like a really good one and will be up to the task.

#5 Aurelia Garland (4-1) puts the blinkers back on and rates an obvious chance for Brisset. Chestnut Constitution filly could peak in her third assignment of 2020 under the guidance of David Cohen. She is cross-entered to the Indiana Oaks (G3) on Wednesday, so watch for developments.


  • $10 Win and Place: #6 Ocean Breeze ($20)
  • $5 Exacta Box: 5-6 ($10)

Iowa Derby

Six 3-year-olds will go in the $100,000 event at 1 1/16 miles on the dirt. I will give #6 Letmeno (5-1) one more chance as the top selection in the field for conditioner Ian Wilkes. Gray son of Twirling Candy has not progressed like I had hoped following his first pair of juvenile appearances, but I love both the addition of blinkers, and the move back to the dirt following a trio of turf outings. Colt kept good company on the main surface in his lifetime and will sit a nice trip on Sunday. Alex Canchari will be in the stirrups.

Ron Moquett’s #3 Prodigious Bay (4-1) could be especially dangerous as potential lone speed. Dark bay son of Bayern exits a fourth-place result in a loaded Oaklawn allowance most recently, and he faces a beatable group in the Iowa Derby. David Cabrera will send the speedy sort from the break.


  • $20 Win #6 Letmeno ($20)
  • $2 Trifecta: 3,6 with 3,6 with all ($16)