This Saturday sees the running of the premier race of the Indiana Grand race schedule, with the running if the Grade 3 Indiana Derby.
Kentucky Derby Week Kicks Off with $100,000 Kentucky Juvenile Stakes
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.
Lady Aurelia, one of four fillies in the race facing male rivals, tops the field as the morning line favorite at odds of 8-5 for juvenile specialist Wesley Ward. A bay daughter of Scat Daddy, she is a homebred for Stonestreet Stables and will be trying for her first black type victory. She broke her maiden at first asking at Keeneland last time out and romped by 7 ½ lengths. Julio Garcia will be back aboard and they will break from post position four.
Hey Mike getting class test after maiden win
Second choice at morning line odds of 5-2 is Hey Mike for trainer Michael Maker. Bred and owned by Michael Hui, the bay son of Cape Blanco (IRE) is stepping up in class after breaking his maiden at first asking at Keeneland. He defeated six rivals and won by half a length under jockey Javier Castellano. Castellano has retained the mount and they will break from the outside post.
Ambitious debut spot for Thirstforlife
Also in the field at morning line odds of 8-1 is Thirstforlife for trainer Mark Casse. A chestnut colt from the first crop of stallion Stay Thirsty, he is out of a graded stakes winning mare and was purchased for $240,000. He will be making his career debut and has been training forwardly with a recent bullet workout from the gate at Keeneland. Florent Geroux will be aboard from the rail.
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.
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.
On Saturday at Los Alamitos, the featured race is the $100,000 Los Angeles Stakes. Scheduled to be run at five and a half furlongs, the Grade 3 race has drawn a field of six colts and geldings.