How to bet the opening Pick 3 on Indiana Derby Day

Profile Picture: J. Keeler Johnson

July 7th, 2021

Wednesday’s stakes-packed card at Indiana Grand is highlighted by the Indiana Derby (G3) and the mandatory payout of a $166,573 Pick 6 carryover.

But those can’t-miss events are slated for the second half of the 12-race card. If you want to build your budget for the late-afternoon feature events, let’s review the first three races of the day and assemble $40 worth of Pick 3 tickets.

Race 1: $5,000 claiming (1 1/16 miles, 2:25 p.m. ET)

#3 Itasca (7-5) is the logical favorite, after he finished second by a neck in a 5 1/2-furlong sprint at this track and class level.

The four-year-old gelding previously hit the board in a couple starts against tougher company over one mile at Indiana Grand, so the drop in class and stretch back out in distance might be a recipe for victory.

Race 2: $30,000 maiden claiming (one mile on turf, 2:57 p.m. ET)

#7 Beach Peach (1-1) finished second in her debut at this class level and earned a 71 Brisnet Speed rating. But that effort came on dirt, so the transition to turf is a question mark. As a result, #3 Lucy’s Cakes Fly (3-1) — eighth in her debut against $35,000 company over the Gulfstream turf course — offers upset appeal.

Race 3: Allowance (six furlongs, 3:28 p.m. ET)

The stakes-placed #5 Miss Deputy Star (7-5) finished second and third in her last two runs at this track and class level, which stamps the sophomore filly as a logical favorite.

But #1 Express Lady (3-1) finished well clear of Miss Deputy Star two starts back and was beaten less than a length by the favorite when she finished third, with an unexpected pacesetting trip, two weeks ago. A change in tactics Wednesday may shift the circumstances back in favor of Express Lady.

The ticket

If we can beat Beach Peach and/or Miss Deputy Star, the Pick 3 should yield a solid return. We’ll play the sequence with a trio of tickets that count on at least one upset winner.

$15 Pick 3: 3 with 7 with 1
$15 Pick 3: 3 with 3 with 5
$10 Pick 3: 3 with 3 with 1
Total: $40

Good luck!