This Saturday sees the running of the premier race of the Indiana Grand race schedule, with the running if the Grade 3 Indiana Derby.
$1 Million Toyota Blue Grass Stakes Draws Wide Open Field of Sixteen
On Saturday at Keeneland, the featured race is the $1 million Blue Grass Stakes. Restricted to three-year-olds, the Grade 1 event will be contested at a mile and an eighth on the main track and offers points towards a spot in the Kentucky Derby (G1).
With an overflow field of sixteen colts and geldings entered, Zulu has been tabbed as the morning line favorite at odds of 5-2 and is one of three entrants for trainer Todd Pletcher. A bay son of Bernardini, he was purchased for $900,000 as a two-year-old and has won two of his three starts. He made his stakes debut last time out in the Fountain of Youth Stakes (G2) and finished second behind Mohaymen. Javier Castellano will be aboard and they will break from post position four.
Brody's Cause trying to rebound after disappinting race
Second choice at morning line odds of 4-1 is Brody’s Cause, one of two horses from the Dale Romans barn. A bay son of Giant’s Causeway, he has been on the board in three of his five starts and is trying to earn his third victory. He was a graded stakes winner as a juvenile and finished third in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1). He made his first start in five months last time out and was seventh in the Tampa Bay Derby (G2). Luis Saez will be aboard from post six.
Maiden Laoban takes another shot at stakes company
Also in the field at morning line odds of 12-1 is Laoban for trainer Eric Guillot. A dark bay colt from the first crop of champion Uncle Mo, he was purchased for $260,000 as a yearling and is a maiden from four starts. He has been on the board against graded stakes competition in his last two starts, most recently a runner-up effort in the Gotham Stakes (G3) at Aqueduct. Jose Lezcano will be in the irons and they are scheduled to break from post position seven.
Players looking to create betting value in the 2016 Preakness May 21 at Pimlico face a familiar dilemma in horse racing: create value underneath the heavy favorite or decide whether the heavy favorite is beatable for the top spot.
On Thursday at Churchill Downs, the Kentucky Derby week festivities will begin with the $100,000 Kentucky Juvenile Stakes. The five-furlong contest has drawn a field of nine two-year-olds.
Likely a top three betting choice in the Kentucky Derby, Santa Anita Derby winner Exaggerator is a bit of a puzzling case as handicappers begin the process of sorting out contenders in the weeks leading up to the big race.