Indiana Oaks & Indiana Derby Odds, Field & Predictions

The Indiana Derby and Indiana Oaks headline this Saturday’s card at Horseshoe Indianapolis.

The headline race of the day is the Indiana Derby where a field of nine has been declared.

Current favorite for the race is the Brad Cox trained Verifying. Winless in his last four starts, he will be looking for his first graded prize having fallen just short in the Grade 1 2023 Blue Grass Stakes, Grade 3 2023 Matt Winn Stakes and the Grade 1 2022 Champagne Stakes.

In the Indiana Oaks it’s the Kenneth McPeek trained Defining Purpose that looks likely to start as the slim favorite. A winner of the Grade 1 2023 Central Bank Ashland Stakes she failed to fire when finishing in the middle of the pack in the Kentucky Oaks. Back in calmer waters, she will be hoping to bounce back here.

Indiana Derby

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

This year’s renewal of the Indiana Derby looks fascinating with nine talented horses having been declared.

Brad Cox won the Indiana Derby back in 2020 and will be hoping to land the spoils for a second time with Verifying.

Despite running in some highly competitive contests, Verifying hasn’t quite been able to get his head in front, having finished as a runner up in two Grade 1 and one Grade 3 contest. Although he has missed out on key and crucial victories, his form is still amongst the best in the race and this race looks the perfect opportunity for him to break his graded duck.

Hayes Strike has won two of his last four starts including the 2023 Texas Derby and 2023 Private Term Stakes. Although he tasted defeat last time out in the Grade 3 Ohio Derby he ran on with credit and was potentially unlucky not to have finished nearer.

The Larry Rivelli trained Act A Fool arrives at Indianapolis having won his last four races. His win last time out in the 2023 Hawthorne Derby was done in devastating fashion and he looks to be the value angle of the contest.

Cagliostro hasn’t won in his last three starts but has competed in higher graded races than this. His defeat last time out in Allowance company is a worry, and he will need to race much better here.

Whenever Steve Asmussen saddles a runner in any race it has to be respected, and Asmussen will be hoping that Onthestage can pull off the upset. A winner of his last two starts, this will be his first showing in graded company. Arriving at the race as an unknown quantity he could be one of the more attractive big-priced runners.

Set to start at a similar price is the Ben Colebrook trained Raise Cain. A dominant winner of the 2023 Gotham Stakes, he finished in the middle of the pack in this year’s Kentucky Derby. His win in the Gotham came on a sloppy track and if the track is on the slow side, he could be a shrewd choice.

Transect, Stayinyourlane and Georgie W round out the field, with all likely to start as large double figure prices.

Indiana Derby Odds & Betting Pick

Despite being just three, Verified brings in a huge amount of experience and looks the horse to be on. He can consider himself unlucky not to have already won at the very highest level. This race looks the ideal, and a big performance can be expected.

HorseJockeyTrainerOdds by Jazzsports
TransectGerardo CorralesPaulo Lobo+1300
Raise CainLuan MachadoBen Colebrook+900
Act A FoolOrlando MojicaLarry Rivelli+550
OnthestageLuis FuentesSteve Asmussen+900
VerifyingMarcelino PrdrozaBrad Cox+145
StayinyourlaneEduardo PerezTomas Medina+2500
Hayes StrikeBrian HernandezKenny McPeek+300
CagliostroEdgar MoralesCherie DeVaux+675
Georgie WAlex AchardWilliam Walden+1000

Indiana Oaks

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

Eight horses have been entered into this year’s Indiana Oaks. The likely favorite for the contest is Defining Purpose.

A winner of the 2023 Ashland Stakes, that victory catapulted her into the Kentucky Oaks picture where she would go onto finish eighth. Having been off track since, her trainer Kenny McPeek will be hoping the rest will see her return to her best.

Likely to compete for favoritism is Taxed. Representing Randy Morse, she has got better with each run in 2023, finishing second in the 2023 Fantasy Stakes before winning the Grade 2 Black Eyed Susan Stakes. That win was the best of her career, and she clearly has the ability to win this race.

Rounding out the top three in the betting are the duo of Lily Poo and Merlazza.

Lily Poo was a three-length winner of the 2023 California Derby and backed that performance up when finishing second in the Grade 3 2023 Summertime Oaks. Her win in the California Derby was convincing and if she can repeat something similar here, she could represent some terrific value.

Merlazza has won three of her last five starts which includes the 2023 Valley Of The Vapors Stakes. Despite her good form, she does have plenty to prove as she could only finish fifth in the Black-Eyed Susan Stakes which was won by the reopposing Taxed.

At a larger price Cloak of Mercy could be an attractive option. Heading into the race off the back of just three runs, she was finally able to break her Maiden last time out. That Maiden win came at this course and was done in convincing fashion. With improvement on the cards she could be an attractive option at a big price.

The three outsiders of the race look set to be Sandra D, Flamand and Cotton Candy Annie.

Flamand could be worth a small play. A winner of two of her last three starts, both of those wins have come in Allowance company but she did run well to finish third in the 2023 Overnight Stakes.

Sandra D is a last time out winner having won her Maiden at the third time of asking. Pitched into higher company here she might be best watched.

Cotton Candy Annie will be having her first graded start but has won two of her last five starts. Whilst a win looks unlikely, she looks more than capable of running a big race.

Indiana Oaks Odds & Betting Pick

Taxed heads into this year’s race in great form and will hope to land another graded prize. Her win in the Black Eyed Susan Stakes represents some good form and she could be the one to back considering that Defining Purpose has been off the track since May.

HorseJockeyTrainerOdds by Jazzsports
Cotton Candy AnnieGerardo CorralesPaulo Lobo+2600
TaxedLuan MachadoBen Colebrook+175
MerlazzaOrlando MojicaLarry Rivelli+475
FlamandLuis FuentesSteve Asmussen+1800
Defining PurposeMarcelino PrdrozaBrad Cox+160
Lily PooEduardo PerezTomas Medina+475
Cloak of MercyBrian HernandezKenny McPeek+875
Sandra DEdgar MoralesCherie DeVaux+1600
Georgie WAlex AchardWilliam Walden+1000

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