The $300,000 Indiana Derby at Indiana Grand drew a field of ten three-year-olds who will look to earn points on a Wednesday evening toward entry into the Kentucky Derby.
The 12-race card at Indiana Grand gets underway at 2:20 ET with post time for the feature coming at 7:45 ET. The race is a Road to the Kentucky Derby points race with 20-8-4-2 points up for grabs to the top four finishers.
The co-feature is the $200,000 Indiana Oaks (G3) which drew a field of 11 three-year-old fillies. The race serves as a prep for the Kentucky Oaks (G1), with 20-8-4-2 points awarded to the top four places.
Winning Impression is the 3-1 morning line favorite for the Indiana Derby. The Dallas Stewart trainee was fourth in one of the divisions of the Arkansas Derby (G1). He was beaten by 9 ¼ lengths by Charlatan, who is now off the Derby trail.
Major Fed is the second choice on the morning line at 7-2. The colt tossed in a dud after a wide trip in a 10th place finish in the Matt Winn (G3) at Churchill Downs in his last outing. His best effort this year was a runner up finish in the split Risen Star (G2) at Fair Grounds back in February.
The Steve Asmussen trained Earner gets the call. The colt makes his stakes debut off a third-place finish in a strong first level allowance optional claimer at Churchill Downs in his last outing. Asmussen has won this race twice, with Wilburn in 2011 and Zanjero in 2007.
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Wednesday is also opening day of the abbreviated Keeneland meeting. The five-day meeting ends on Sunday. There are 10 graded stakes coming up from Friday through Sunday including the $600,000 Blue Grass (G2).
Let’s head out to Indiana Grand for Wednesday’s featured race of the day:
Indiana Grand Race 11 The Indiana Derby (G3) Post time 7:45 ET
4 Earner 8-1
8 Major Fed 7-2
5 Shared Sense 4-1
9 Winning Impression 3-1
The Asmussen trainee makes his stakes debut after running third against Alw-1 optional claimers at Churchill Downs going nine furlongs in his first start against winners. The colt set the early fractions and weakened late, beaten two lengths. The runner up in that race was Dean Martini, who came back to win the Ohio Derby (G3) at Thistledown in his next outing on June 27 at 14-1. Our top pick broke his maiden at Oaklawn Park two back in his second career start and first at a route. He did it sitting off the pace, taking over heading for home and drawing away smartly to win by 3 ¾ lengths. He ran second to Echo Town in his debut at Fair Grounds back in January, that colt running second in the Bachelor at Oaklawn Park and most recently a second in the Woody Stephens (G1) on June 20 at Belmont Park. The $425,000 Keeneland purchase is out of a stakes placed Medaglia d’Oro mare and looks as if he still has some upside. He can lead or sit just off the pace here and the 8-1 morning line looks generous.
This colt put in two good efforts at Fair Grounds, a runner up finish in one of the divisions of the Risen Star (G2) and then making a mild late run to finish fourth in the Louisiana Derby (G2) despite getting off a beat slow. He came back in the Matt Winn (G3) at Churchill Downs where he drew the outside post, was very wide around the far turn and wide throughout, fading to finish a well beaten 10th in a disappointing effort. The Foley trainee has come back with a couple of good works and he should get a good pace set up there as there are three in here that have some early zip. He is much better than he showed in his last outing.
The Cox trainee tracked the early pace and was no match for Art Collector last out in a runner up finish against non-winners of three optional claimers. He has come up short in his two stakes tries, a sixth in the Smarty Jones and two back a sixth in the War Chant on turf. He is bred to get the added ground, by Street Sense out of a Bernardini mare, her first foal to race. He is in good hands with Cox and also should benefit if the early pace is strong.