This Saturday sees the running of the premier race of the Indiana Grand race schedule, with the running if the Grade 3 Indiana Derby.
Pondering Exotic Wagers in 2016 Preakness Stakes
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.
Following the announcement that third-place Kentucky Derby finisher Gun Runner would skip the Preakness, Nyquist figures certain to head to post as an odds-on favorite - possibly as low as 3/5. Equally as predictable, Derby runner-up Exaggerator will be the second bettting choice in the wagering, likely settling somewhere between 4/1 and 9/2. While it's difficult to fault horse players who refuse to look outside the top two, those looking to create betting value might see the race in different terms.
Where to use the obvious two
While plausible that Exaggerator is capable of beating Nyquist, the former has failed in that endeavor four times at three race tracks and four different distances ranging from six furlongs to a mile and a quarter. If nothing else, the unbeaten Nyquist has proven two things: he loves winning and he's faster/better than Exaggerator at this stage in both colt's careers. Still, Exaggerator is in top form and would seem primed for another big run, making him a very obvious candidate to finish second or third. That opinion, while hardly an impressive one, might allow trifecta enthusiasts to create value by either keying Nyquist on top - or taking the contrarian route and looking for an outside contender to upend the Derby champ in Baltimore.
Most impressive newcomer
The intriguing new shoot Stradivari is fresh off consecutive double digit-length wins at Gulfstream Park and Keeneland where the Todd Pletcher trainee was jaw-droppingly impressive. Despite just three career starts, Stradivari has proven to have ample talent and could leave exotics players pondering whether to use the lightly-raced colt on top or underneath, or in combination with the top two choices.
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.
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.