This Saturday sees the running of the premier race of the Indiana Grand race schedule, with the running if the Grade 3 Indiana Derby.
Road to the KY Derby Continues with Grade 3 Gotham Stakes
With 85 Kentucky Derby points at stake in the Grade 3 $400,000 Gotham Stakes March 7 at Aqueduct, a field of ten three year-old colts is set to contest the mile and one sixteenth event on the main track.
El Kabeir is the 8/5 morning line favorite for trainer John Terranova, and missed winning his third consecutive graded stakes race last out, finishing second in the Grade 3 Withers. Prior to that effort, El Kabeir reeled off consecutive wins in the Grade 2 Jockey Club Stakes and Grade 3 Jerome Stakes. The gray or roan son of Scat Daddy out of an Unbridled’s Song mare has won three of seven career starts for earnings of $438,892.
Classy Class tries stakes foes again
Kiaran McLaughlin will saddle 7/2 second choice Classy Class who finished third behind El Kabeir in the Withers. Classy Class broke his maiden October 25 at Belmont and went straight into stakes competition from there, finishing fourth in the Grade 2 Remsen. The son of Discreetly Mine will be in search of his second career win.
Inexperienced Pletcher trio make stakes debut
Trainer Todd Pletcher will send out a trio of runners competing as an entry with the lightly-raced Don’tbewithbruno, Uninfluenced, and Blame Jim making their stakes debuts. All three runners have just a maiden victory to their credit. Don’tbewithbruno notched his first win at Aqueduct February 1 with Uninfluenced scoring over the local surface on February 22. Blame Jim ships in from Gulfstream after recording his maiden win as a two year-old at Saratoga.
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.