Friday, July 13, 2018

Next Race Up: Indiana Derby

Here are my thoughts on the entries for the Indiana Derby which runs around 8:30 CDT Saturday, July 14th.

Indiana Grand runners/odds.

1. Trigger Warning (8-1): This son of Candy Ride has exactly 2 good starts in his history, but they were his two recent starts. I really liked his 3rd in the Ohio Derby (where he went off at 86-1, but not much else.  Probably will be a player in the bottom of my exacta and might make it into my pick 4.

2. Blame The Rider (6-1): A horse with questionable dirt breeding who has shown his best form on the turf but is being put in against some fairly solid horses this time around….on the dirt. He’s going to have to show something he’s never shown when the track isn’t green. I’ll pass and take my chances getting beat by him.

3. Givemeaminit (20-1): Son of my least favorite sire, Star Guitar, and he’s a pure closer and he’s not run well against the same class.  All three angles in my “handicappper’s toolkit” that I typically fade.  Needs a hot pace and a perfect trip to win. If he gets it, then I’m wrong about him. Pass.

4. Dark Vader (8-1): Trainer Peter Eurton won this Ohio Derby with Core Beliefs by putting him on the exact same path Dark Vader finds himself on here. He has tactical speed and a ton of talent. He’s a son of Tale of Ekati which is a plus in my book and he’s an improving horse that appears to be ready to take the mythical “next step” here. Will be my key horse in all bets.

5. The Money Dance (20-1): Bred in Indiana this will be the sentimental favorite, home-breds always are, but he’s going to need a lot of things to happen in order to win. The two races he has won have been in impressive fashion however but I still think he needs to improve mightily to contend with this group.

6. Axelrod (5-1): Much like Blame the Rider, Axelrod has switched between the dirt and the turf, unlike Blame the Rider, Axelrod has looked MUCH better on the dirt. He’s a fast horse who has outran Solomini in the past, make of that what you will. Axelrod will feature in the bottom of my exotics but I think the post time price will be too cheap to back him for the win.

7. Title Ready (12-1): Stop me if you’ve heard this before, trainer Steve Asmussen has a 3 year old that he thinks highly of but might be a late bloomer. He’s REALLY going to have to bloom in a hurry to jump out in front here and hold on to beat this field. He might run a heady 3rd however so I will include him in my exotics.

8. King Zachary (6-5): The prohibitive post time favorite based mainly on his win in the Gr 3 Matt Winn stakes at Churchill, where he beat similar competition by around 5 lengths. He then ran horribly in the Wood, which we’re being told by the connections to draw a line through. I don’t see it. Yes, he’ll be in my exotics and he’ll certainly be in my Pick 4, but I’m having trouble backing this horse at what is sure to be less than even money.

9. Funny Duck (10-1): It’s starting to look like his win at the Pat Day Mile was a fluke driven primarily by the rain on that day. Although it’s not supposed to, if it rains, you might want to include Funny Duck in just about every bet you make. If it’s dry and the track is fast I think his odds will really inflate. I’ll be taking a piece as my longshot in case there’s some “there” there.

Picks: 4-8-5-7-9

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