This Saturday sees the running of the premier race of the Indiana Grand race schedule, with the running if the Grade 3 Indiana Derby.
Intriguing Cast Set for $800,000 Sunland Derby
All eyes in the horse racing world will turn to New Mexico March 22 for the Grade 3 $800,000 Sunland Derby with at total of 85 Kentucky Derby qualifying at stake for the first through fourth place finishers.
Firing Line is the 8/5 morning line favorite in the field of eight, and finally escapes the undefeated Dortmund whom he suffered narrow losses to in the Grade 1 Los Alamitos Futurity and Grade 3 Robert Lewis. Trained by Simon Callaghan, Firing Line has won one of four career starts with three second place finishes. The biggest question for Firing Line might be the mile and one eighth distance of the Sunland Derby. Hall of Fame jockey Gary Stevens has the mount breaking from the rail.
Lord Nelson tries to handle added distance
Lord Nelson (3/1) won the Grade 2 San Vicente Stakes February 1 over 2014 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile winner Texas Red at seven furlongs, but faded to fourth in the Grade 2 San Felipe last out. The Bob Baffert trainee has won three of six starts for earnings of $273,571. Like Firing Line, the extended distance of the Sunland Derby is a concern for the speedy colt who has never won around two turns.
Asmussen shipper could be live
Tiznow RJ (5/1) ships in from Fair Grounds for trainer Steve Asmussen after finishing third in the Grade 3 Lecomte Stakes and seventh in the Grade 2 Risen Star in his last two starts. The son of two-time Breeders’ Cup Classic winner Tiznow possesses a high cruising speed and the pedigree to handle the distance.
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.