How to play the early Pick 5 on Indiana Derby Day

Profile Picture: Vance Hanson

July 13th, 2018

Indiana Grand recently introduced a Pick 5 wager on its first five races, and the pool should be healthy Saturday night when the track hosts its biggest card of the year, highlighted by the $500,000 Indiana Derby (G3).

Be sure to take advantage of's Indiana Grand Pick 5 bonus offer. Opt in and bet at least $50 into the Pick 5 pool and get a 10% bonus if you win or a 10% refund if you lose, up to $50.

Here are thoughts on Saturday's first Pick 5 (Races 1-5) sequence:

Race 1 -- Allowance

Undoubtedly the toughest race in the sequence as we're dealing with some rather unpredictable Indiana-bred fillies.

#3 SILKEN GOODS (8-1) is less exposed than the rest after winning at first asking last month. Among the vanquished was next-out winner Charm of the City. Has early speed and a good post to flash it from, and we'll likely see how she handles a fast track this time. #8 UNNECESSARY DRAMA (3-1) was hung wide in her first attempt at this level but could fare better this time. #9 MY ROCKET LADY (9-2) shortens up after being outrun in the slop last time. Two and three back she was second best behind fillies that eventually won two straight.

Race 2 -- Maiden Special Weight

Among the previous starters, #5 BRENDA'S FEVER (8-1) and #7 SAVVY SHIPMAN (8-5) offer the most appeal. Brenda's Fever placed in several tough heats at Fair Grounds last winter, and this doesn't appear as deep a spot as the ones she exit at Churchill. Savvy Shipman has placed in three of four starts and is an obvious threat.

First-time starter #6 BIG MEESH (2-1), from the dangerous Brad Cox barn, is by dual champion and Epsom Derby (G1) winner High Chaparral and out of Italian Group 1 winner Noble Pearl, who has already reared New York H. (G2) heroine Noble Stella.

Race 3 --  Allowance/Optional Claimer

A good mix of older horses and rising three-year-olds in this entry-level allowance/$25,000 claimer. The sophomores include #2 PLAINSMAN (4-1), who was no match for good ones like Magnum Moon and Tenfold at Oaklawn earlier this year, and #8 COME ON DOVER (6-1), who likely bounced last time after a hard try against subsequent Iowa Derby runner-up Mr Freeze.

#7 CHICORY BLUE (8-1) is a three-time allowance/optional claiming winner this year alone who tends to blow hot and cold. Cooler last time against starter foes, he could be more on his game for this one.

Race 4 -- $100,000 Mari Hulman George

Stakes-winning #6 PINCH HIT (3-1) comes off her best effort since September and kicks off would could be a big night for the Cox barn in the stakes action that commences here. #3 TORRENT (2-1) takes a significant drop in class and seems a better fit around two turns.

Race 5 -- $100,000 Michael G. Schaefer Memorial

The class of the field is #2 SEEKING THE SOUL (3-5), winner of the Clark H. (G1) last fall and a distant fifth in the Pegasus World Cup (G1) when last seen in January. If for some reason he's not completely cranked off the long layoff, #3 PIONEER SPIRIT (6-1) is the potential controlling speed who should move forward second off the bench for Cox.

Here's the 50-cent ticket:

3,8,9 with 5,6,7 with 2,7,8 with 3,6 with 2,3 = $54.

Good luck!