Indiana Grand: The GIII, $300,000 Indiana Derby at 1 1/8 miles (Kentucky Derby qualifying points: 20-8-4-2)
by Brian Nadeau
Brian handicaps at Capital OTB and Horseplayer Now, and he’ll offer analysis and selections of Derby points races, hoping to make us all a little money as we head to the Belmont Stakes. Follow him on Twitter here.
If you thought a Kentucky Derby prep on Saturday, July 4 was weird, what about one on Wednesday night, July 8? Yet here we are, with a pretty decent little Indiana Derby as well, though getting one of these upstarts to Louisville might be a reach, as they are definitely off the radar and lacking points, as of now. Being lightly raced in these types of spots is never a bad thing, and that’s what you get with #4 EARNER (8-1), a Carpe Diem colt who was third while facing winners in an AOC Churchill Downs last time for Asmussen, can be placed anywhere, has plenty of upside, and should be a square price, too. The buzz horse could be #5 SHARED SENSE (4-1), as he was just second to the en vogue Art Collector in his own AOC, and Cox is calling the shots, but this son of Street Sense was some 6 1/2 lengths behind, and barely clear of third, which suggests he may be a bit dressed up. Stretch-running ML favorite #9 WINNING IMPRESSION (3-1) was a well-beaten fourth to Charlatan in the GI Arkansas Derby at Oaklawn Park when last seen, yet that will attract plenty of support here for West Point and Stewart, but he’s no faster than anyone else, and might not like the race flow, either, so let’s make him prove it on top. If I like Earner, then I have to like #2 EXTRAORDINARY (10-1) a bit, since he was just 1 3/4 lengths back at CD for Brisset, and this son of Speightstown is another with plenty of upside off just four starts, though a win still might be a bit out of reach.
#5 Shared Sense
#9 Winning Impression