2023 Indiana Derby & Indiana Oaks Recap

After several near misses in elite graded company, the Brad Cox trained Verifying was finally able to win the first graded race of his career with a gutsy success in the 2023 Indiana Derby.

In the Indiana Oaks, it was Defining Purpose who cemented her position as the favorite, taking this year’s race in game fashion. 

Breeders Cup Odds

2023 Indiana Derby

Grade 3, 1 mile and a sixteenth, Dirt, open to horses aged three. Total prize pool: $300,000

  1. Verifying +160
  2. Raise Cain +1000
  3. Cagliostro +800

Winning time: 1:43.15

Heading into this year’s Indiana Derby, Verifying was winless in his last four starts which included placed efforts in the Grade 1 2023 Blue Grass Stakes, Grade 3 2023 Matt Winn Stakes, and the Grade 1 2022 Champagne Stakes.

This time it would be a different story, as Verifying was able to just hold off the surging Raise Cain to take the Indiana Derby courtesy of a photo finish. 

Traveling strongly throughout the race, Verifying hit the front just off the home turn. However, there were dangers strewn all over the track. 

Emerging from the back of the lead group from the wide outside was the Ben Colebrook-trained Raise Cain, clearly still full of running, it looked like he would draw alongside Verifying and power clear.

2023 Indiana Derby Race Video


Verifying takes the 2023 Indiana Derby by a head #Horseracing #Horsesoftiktok #Horsetiktok #FYP #Sports

♬ original sound – horseracingtote – horseracingtote

Spotting his rival on his haunches, Verifying dug in and wouldn’t be for passing. The two set down to battle with neither refusing to budge. As the pair hit the line, Verifying looked to have timed the head bob to perfection and the subsequent photo finish confirmed it.

Despite not being able to claim the victory, it was a brilliant performance from Raise Cain who almost backed up his win in the 2023 Gotham Stakes. Cagliostro finished the best of the rest in third. 

Indiana Derby Payouts

Position Horse WinPlace Show
2Raising Cain$3.80$2.60

2023 Indiana Oaks

Grade 3, 1 mile and a sixteenth, Dirt, open to fillies aged three. Total prize pool: $200,000

  1. Defining Purpose +160
  2. Taxed +200
  3. Lily Poo +500

Winning time: 1:43.83

Defining Purpose was able to add this year’s Indiana Oaks to the Grade 1 2023 Central Bank Ashland Stakes that she won earlier this year.

Having been off the track since May, she put any fitness issues to one side to produce another classy graded performance. 

In a closely fought race, it was the outsider of the field, Sandra D, who led the field through the early proceedings. Giving way as she hit the home turn, it was Defining Purpose who took up the running and was keen to push on.

Rounding the home turn in the lead, she had the rest of her rivals hard at work and looked to be in complete control.

Finding a seam on the wide outside was Taxed and despite the fast pace, she looked full of plenty of running. 

Gaining with every stride it looked like this race would make it a fantastic Indiana double for Brad Cox, but Defining Purpose had other ideas.

2023 Indiana Oaks Race Video


Sensing danger on her outside, she put her head down and found more. With both the line and Taxed finishing fast, she was able to do just enough to hold off her rival and win this year’s Indiana Oaks by the barest of margins. 

Taxed continues to look like a horse to keep on the side following yet another strong performance here. Lily Poo was able to grab third place but finished several lengths behind the front two. 

Indiana Oaks Payouts

Position Horse WinPlace Show
1Defining Purpose $6.40$2.80$2.20
3Lily Poo$2.60

Stay tuned for the latest Breeders’ Cup Odds. Check out the World’s major Racetrack entries, Breeders Cup qualifying races, Breeders Cup Win and you’re in.

Preview banner

Don’t forget to Sign-up and get up to a 10% horse rebate. Get the best horse betting Free Picks & promotions.

Follow us on Social Media for instant 2023 Indiana Derby updates!