This Saturday sees the running of the premier race of the Indiana Grand race schedule, with the running if the Grade 3 Indiana Derby.
Airoforce Trying to Make Amends in $500,000 Spiral Stakes
On Saturday at Turfway Park, the featured race is the $500,000 Spiral Stakes. Restricted to three-year-olds, the Grade 3 event offers points towards a start in the Kentucky Derby (G1) and will be run at a mile and an eighth on the synthetic main track.
Topping the overflow field of fourteen as the morning line favorite at odds of 3-1 is Airoforce for trainer Mark Casse. A gray son of Colonel John, he was purchased for $350,000 as a yearling and has won three of his five starts. As a two-year-old, he was a graded stakes winner on both turf and dirt. He will be trying to rebound after a disappointing tenth-place finish in the Risen Star Stakes (G2) in his sophomore debut. Albin Jimenez will be aboard and they will break from post position ten.
Azar already a winner on turf and conventional dirt
Second choice at morning line odds of 5-1 is Azar for trainer Todd Pletcher. A dark bay son of Scat Daddy, he sold for $300,000 as a yearling and has been on the board in five of his seven starts. He was a graded stakes winner as a juvenile and will be stepping back up to stakes company after winning an optional claiming race last time out at Gulfstream Park. Manuel Franco will be in the irons and they will break from the outside post.
Ralis trying to regain comeptitive form
Also in the field at morning line odds of 6-1 is Ralis for trainer Doug O’Neill. Bred and owned by Reddam Racing, the bay son of Square Eddie has two wins from eight starts and was a Grade 1 winner at Saratoga last summer. His form has tailed off dramatically since then and he was last seen finishing tenth in the Rebel Stakes (G2).Corey Nakatani will be aboard and they will break from post position eleven.
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.