This Saturday sees the running of the premier race of the Indiana Grand race schedule, with the running if the Grade 3 Indiana Derby.
Ten Juvenile Fillies Set for $50,000 Eleanor Casey Memorial Stakes
On Saturday at Charles Town, the featured race is the $50,000 Eleanor Casey Memorial Stakes. Restricted to juvenile fillies bred in West Virginia, the seven-furlong race has drawn a field of ten.
Wayne Catalano will send out the morning line favorite, Harlan’s Destiny, at odds of 7-5. Bred and owned by James Miller, the two-year-old daughter of Harlan’s Holiday has won her last three starts and is undefeated over conventional dirt. She was last seen defeating a field of five rivals by a nose in an optional claiming race at Churchill Downs. Regular rider Rafael Hernandez will be back aboard and they will break from post position nine.
Lady Royal trying for first stakes victory
Second choice at 4-1 on the morning line is Lady Royal for trainer Ronney Brown. A homebred daughter of Eddington for owner Don Cain, the bay filly broke her maiden at first asking at Charles Town in September as the favorite. Last time out, she was third against state-bred rivals in an allowance race over an off track. Jose Montano, the pilot for both previous starts, will remain aboard and they are scheduled to break from post position eight.
Undefeated Country Mamma going for three in a row
Also in the field at odds of 6-1 on the morning line is Country Mamma, one of two horses in the race for trainer Ollie Figgins, III. A dark bay daughter of Bellamy Road purchased for $25,000, she is a perfect two for two. After breaking her maiden in her debut at Charles Town, she came back to defeat a field of five rivals last time out to earn her second consecutive win as the heavy favorite. Xavier Perez will be in the irons and they will break from post two.
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.