This Saturday sees the running of the premier race of the Indiana Grand race schedule, with the running if the Grade 3 Indiana Derby.
String King to Defend Title in Louisiana Turf
The $100,000 Louisiana Champions Day Turf December 12 at Fair Grounds features a competitive field of ten set to go a mile and one sixteenth on the grass.
8/5 morning line favorite String King has been a force against state-bred horses over the course of his 38-race career, including victories in 14 of 27 turf races. The seven year-old gelding trained by Charles Smith has won 6 of 11 at Fair Grounds and once again figures prominently as the one to beat while breaking from the rail under jockey Richard Eramia. String King has been idle since winning the Unbridled Stakes September 12 at Louisiana Downs, his third straight victory. In 2015, String King has been in exceptional form winning 4 of 5 starts to go with a second –place finish.
Well's Gold rates a look
Well’s Gold (6/1) returned from a two-month layoff in his last start to run poorly in the Gold Cup at Delta Downs on dirt November 14, but deserves a long look based on his exceptional turf speed figures in 2015. The Dewaine Loy trainee was twice-beaten by String King at Louisiana Downs while posting Beyer Speed Figures of 97 and 93. His front-running style could play well in a field lacking quality speed.
McGehee's Mercy can be dangerous
McGehee’s Mercy (12/1) could be viewed as an excellent value play if able to run back to his better turf performances. The Trace Richards trainee posted a 96 Beyer Figure while winning the Dixie Poker Stakes last February at Fair Grounds, and will be making his second start off a lengthy layoff.
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.