This Saturday sees the running of the premier race of the Indiana Grand race schedule, with the running if the Grade 3 Indiana Derby.
Full Field of Twelve Set for $200,000 Mathis Brothers Mile
On Friday at Santa Anita, the stakes action continues on their opening day card with the 15th edition of the Mathis Brothers Mile. Scheduled to be run on the turf at the distance of one mile, the Grade 2 race offers a purse of $200,000 and has drawn a full field of twelve with two additional listed as also-eligible.
Heart to Heart has been installed as the morning line favorite at odds of 5-2 and will be trying to earn his fourth consecutive victory. Trained by Brian Lynch, the Canadian-bred son of English Channel has won a total of five of his twelve starts and is fresh off of a front-running score in the Commonwealth Turf (G3) as the heavy favorite. He has been training steadily since his last race and will have regular rider Julian Leparoux aboard from post position seven.
Long On Value trying to prove upset win not a fluke
Trainer Bill Mott will saddle the second choice, Long On Value, at 5-1 on the morning line. A sophomore son of Value Plus, the bay colt earned the first graded stakes win of his career last time out with an upset victory in the Twilight Derby (G2). He is going for his third consecutive stakes victory and will be trying for the sixth win of his career. Mike Smith will be aboard replacing the recently-retired Rosie Napravnik and they will break from post ten.
Home Run Kitten trying to regain winning form
Also in the field at morning line odds of 6-1 is Home Run Kitten for trainer David Hofmans. A chestnut son of Kitten’s Joy, he is trying to rebound after finishing eleventh in the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint (G1) in November. He has been training forwardly since that performance and does have four wins from ten starts including a win in the Eddie D (G3) two starts back. Joe Talamo, his regular rider, will be back aboard from post position nine.
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.