This Saturday sees the running of the premier race of the Indiana Grand race schedule, with the running if the Grade 3 Indiana Derby.
Top Juveniles Face Off in $300,000 Del Mar Futurity
Some of the most promising juveniles on the West Coast will compete in the 67th running of the $300,000 Del Mar Futurity. The Grade 1 race will be contested at seven furlongs on the synthetic main track and has drawn a field of nine.
Skyway has been tabbed as the morning line favorite at odds of 7-2 for trainer Mark Casse. The chestnut son of Sky Mesa was purchased as a yearling for $165,000 by John Oxley and has won two of his three starts, both of which came over synthetics. He will have Corey Nakatani aboard for the first time following a win as the favorite in the Best Pal (G2) at Del Mar in August. The pair will break from the outside post.
Holiday Camp training forwardly for synthetic debut
Second choice at odds of 9-2 on the morning line is the Bob Baffert-trained Holiday Camp. The chestnut colt was purchased for $700,000 as a two-year-old in training in March and broke his maiden at first asking at Santa Anita in June. He was sixth and last in his stakes debut in the Santa Anita Juvenile. Since that effort, he has been training sharply at Del Mar and clocked a bullet in his most recent workout. Martin Garcia will remain aboard and the pair will break from post eight.
Seven-figure purchase Iron Fist going for maiden win
Also in the field is Iron Fist who has been installed at morning line odds of 5-1. The ridgling son of Tapit is winless from two starts for trainer Jerry Hollendorfer and was last seen finishing second against maiden company. Purchased for $1,550,000 as a yearling, he is a half-sister to Grade 1 winner Sweet Lulu. Mike Smith has been the pilot in his prior two races and again will be in the irons. Iron Fist is slated to break from post position five.
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.