This Saturday sees the running of the premier race of the Indiana Grand race schedule, with the running if the Grade 3 Indiana Derby.
Distinctiv Passion Takes on Five Accomplished Rivals in $200,000 Palos Verdes
The stakes action at Santa Anita on Saturday kicks off with the 63rd edition of the $200,000 Palos Verdes. The Grade 2 race will be contested at and has drawn a competitive field of six colts and geldings.
Distinctiv Passion tops the field as the morning line favorite at odds of 2-1 for trainer Jeff Bonde. A five-year-old son of With Distinction, he has won six of his thirteen starts, three of which have come at Santa Anita. He will be making his first start of the year and concluded his 2014 season with back to back victories including a front-running score in the Midnight Lute (G3). Mike Smith will be aboard and they will break from the rail.
Secret Circle trying to return to winning form
Secret Circle, second in the 2014 Palos Verdes (G2) by a neck, has been tabbed as the second choice at 5-2 on the morning line. A six-year-old son of Eddington, he is trying to earn his first win since the 2013 Breeders’ Cup Sprint (G1) and was on the board in four of his five starts last year. He has been training forwardly for his seasonal debut and has had a recent bullet workout. He will get blinkers back on and have regular rider Martin Garcia aboard from post four.
Wild Dude back to the races off of layoff
Also in the field at morning line odds of 4-1 is Wild Dude, the defending Palos Verdes (G2) champion. Trained by Jerry Hollendorfer, the five-year-old son of Wildcat Heir has won four of his ten starts and is returning to the races off of just over a nine-month layoff. He has had a recent bullet workout in preparation for his comeback effort and will break from post position five under regular rider Rafael Bejarano.
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.