The Player makes stakes debut on stakes-packed Indiana Derby program
Saturday’s evening card at Indiana Grand features six stakes races, including the $500,000 Indiana Derby (G2) and $200,000 Indiana Oaks (G2), and TwinSpires is offering a 1 Million Points Exactamundo contest where players can compete for point prizes by cashing exacta tickets on the 10-race program.
First post is 6:05 p.m. (ET).
Here are my thoughts on the six stakes and recommended exacta wagers:
Indiana Derby (Race 9): An eye-catching 5 ½-length maiden winner, The Player stamped himself as an up-and-coming member of the 3-year-old division when recording a convincing 1 ½-length score over a salty entry-level allowance field at Churchill Downs on June 3. The exciting Street Boss colt will make his stakes debut in the 1 1/16-mile Indiana Derby for Buff Bradley and given his tactical speed, the chestnut figures to receive an ideal trip on or close to a moderate pace. The Player can continue to show more with Shaun Bridgmohan.
I’ll play straight exactas over Cherry Wine, Pilot House, Cupid and Star Hill.
Exactas: 5 over 2,3,11,12
Indiana Oaks (Race 8): With more pace types entered in the 1 1/16-mile Indiana Oaks, Dream Dance should receive a proper set up. The Afleet Alex filly recorded a nice win at Keeneland two back before experiencing a rough outing in the Kentucky Oaks (G1) and I liked her effort last time; the Neil Howard trainee was in the midst of a winning rally before being stopped cold by Family Tree, who drifted in slightly to force her rival to check and alter course. Dream Dance recovered to finish a close third in the deep allowance and the multiple Grade 2-placed filly can prove best today with a clean trip.
Dothraki Queen and probable favorite Family Tree will be included underneath in straight exactas.
Exactas: 1 over 2,7
Indiana General Assembly Distaff (Race 3): Brad Cox could have moved up in class with Cash Control following a nice win in the Mint Julep (G3) at Churchill but the conditioner elected for a much more manageable spot against listed company. The classy mare will be keyed over Seeking Treasure, the likely second or third choice in the wagering; and Annulment, who will offer better value off a good third versus males.
Exactas: 1 over 5,11
Warrior Veterans (Race 5): Conquest Typhoon experienced severe trouble two back and was caught too wide behind a moderate pace last time. The 4-year-old colt adds blinkers and Julien Leparoux for Mark Casse and appears capable of a minor upset with a clean trip. The top two choices on the morning line, Pleuven and Thatcher Street, will be used in straight exactas along with the better-priced Nun the Less and Watchyourownbobber.
Exactas: 7 over 5,6,9,10
Mari Hulman George (Race 6): Brooklynsway is listed at 4-5 on the morning line but the Grade 3 winner must avoid leaving herself too much to do from off the pace. I will try to beat her with Lady Fog Horn, who figures to break running from the rail post in an attempt to lead all the way. The 4-year-old filly owns six wins over the Indiana Downs track and keeps top local jock Albin Jimenez. The Casse-trained Conquest Curligirl will be used underneath as well as the heavy favorite.
Exactas: 1 over 2,7
Michael G. Schaefer Memorial (Race 7): A contentious field of 10 older horses will square off and Rocket Time rates top billing. Third in the Lone Star Park (G3) last time and a three-time winner this season, the hard-hitting gelding likes to string together quality efforts for Al Stall. Morning-line favorite General A Rod will be included in exactas along with defending champ Ulanbator and Geothermal.
Exactas: 5 over 1,7,8
In addition to the 1 Million Points Indiana Derby Exactamundo, the 10% Late Pick 4 Bonus Every Day at Indiana Grand is offering a 10% bonus on gross winnings in the Late Pick 4, up to $500, to players on TwinSpires.com.
And the opportunity to earn 20x Points Every Tuesday at Indiana Grand is available through October 25.