This Saturday sees the running of the premier race of the Indiana Grand race schedule, with the running if the Grade 3 Indiana Derby.
Nine Fillies and Mares Set for $600,000 Flower Bowl
On Saturday at Belmont Park, a field of nine fillies and mares will compete for an automatic berth into the Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf in the $600,000 Flower Bowl. The Grade 1 event is part of the Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series and will be run at a mile and a quarter on the inner turf course.
Stephanie's Kitten has been tabbed as the morning line favorite at odds of 5-2 and she will break from the outside post under John Velazquez. Bred and owned by Ken and Sarah Ramsey, the five-year-old mare is a daughter of their popular stallion Kitten's Joy. Trained by Chad Brown, she has gone winless from four starts and has been second in her last two outings, both against Grade 1 company.
Phipps homebred a horse for course at Belmont
Second choice at morning line odds of 7-2 is Abaco for trainer Claude McGaughey. A homebred for Phipps Stable, the six-year-old daughter of Giant's Causeway will have Jose Ortiz back in the irons after the pair teamed up to win the Ballston Spa (G2) at Saratoga. She has been first or second in all five starts over the Belmont turf course and will break from the rail as she attempts to earn her second win of the year.
Strathnaver (GB) trying to turn tables on Abaco
Also in the field is Strathnaver (GB) who is trying to avenge her narrow defeat to Abaco in the Ballston Spa (G2). Trained by Graham Motion, the five-year-old daughter of Oasis Dream (GB) is still looking for her first win of the year and earned three victories last year. With regular rider John Velazquez opting to ride Stephanie's Kitten, the bay mare picks up the services of Joel Rosario and they will break from post four.
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.