April 20, 2024

Derby and Oaks highlight big Saturday at Indiana Grand

Mr. Money recorded his second straight convincing stakes win with a 6 1/2-length romp in the Matt Winn (G3) (c) Coady Photography

by John Mucciolo

Six stakes events will be held during a big day of racing at Indiana Grand on Saturday. Purses in excess of $1 million will be on the line in the black-type events, with a pair of Grade 3 tilts leading the way.

A field of 11 sophomores will travel 1 1/16 miles in the lucrative $500,000 Indiana Derby (G3). Mr. Money, who rolled home to convincing wins in the Matt Winn Stakes (G3) and Pat Day Mile (G3) in succession, tops the field for conditioner Bret Calhoun. The surging son of Goldencents draws widest among the group but is the one to beat if he duplicates the recent form he has displayed at Churchill Downs. Gabriel Saez stays in the saddle atop the Kentucky-bred.

Math Wizard was claimed for $25,000 in January and has since run four strong races, with the last trio coming against stakes foes. The chestnut son of Algorithms comes in off a big second in the recent Ohio Derby (G3) and rates an obvious chance with slight improvement at Indiana Grand. Regular rider Edgard Zayas has the assignment.

Rebel Stakes (G2) star Long Range Toddy, a distant third in the Ohio Derby, can challenge for the top prize with his best performance. The Steve Asmussen pupil has the back class to be a major factor inside the final furlong.

Multiple stakes victor Alwaysmining finished a respectable third in the Easy Goer Stakes at Belmont Park last out for trainer Kelly Rubley. The Maryland-bred will have Julien Pimentel in the silks in this spot. U.A.E. Derby (UAE-G2) runner-up Gray Magician is making his first start since finishing last in the Kentucky Derby (G1) for conditioner Peter Miller. The son of Graydar will be paired with pilot Ricardo Santana Jr.

With Dignity wins a Churchill Downs allowance on June 2, 2019 under jockey Julien Leparoux, (c) Coady Photography/Churchill Downs

In the $200,000 Indiana Oaks, and overflow field of 14 three-year-old fillies will go 1 1/16 miles in search of graded glory. Street Band, the 5-2 morning-line choice, makes her first appearance since a seventh-place finish in the Kentucky Oaks (G1). The Larry Jones trainee, who was victorious in the Fair Grounds Oaks (G2) two prior, retains the services of jockey Sophie Doyle.

Honeybee Stakes (G3) queen Chocolate Kisses will go from turf-to-dirt following an unplaced run in the grassy Wonder Again Stakes (G3) at Belmont Park. The late-running bay smoked a bullet half-mile in preparation of this affair, and she will be doing her best work from well off the pace.

Barretts Debutante Stakes heroine Kim K draws the rail for trainer Peter Miller. The chestnut daughter of Will Take Charge had a fine prep for this contest with a runaway allowance tally at Churchill Downs last out. Jockey Brian Hernandez Jr. will guide the surefire contender.

Ian Wilkes’ With Dignity is unbeaten from two career tries and looks to be a fine prospect going forward. The daughter of rising young sire Declaration of War won going away in impressive fashion in a Churchill Downs allowance tilt most recently. She will be rolling home late beneath jockey Julien Leparoux.

Panthers Stakes runner-up Drinking Dixie, Golden Rod Stakes (G2) third High Regard and three-time stakes-placed Sweet Diane, are also worth mentioning in this well-matched cast.