A total of six stakes races with combined purses exceeding $1 million headline a huge day of racing at Indiana Grand. I tabbed a few contenders who look to be worth a play in the very competitive events.
RACE 9 – Indiana Derby (G3)
The headliner attracted 11 and the horses to beat drew widest in the field. With very little early speed toward the inside of the race, I will give ALWAYSMINING (#6) (8-1) a chance to return to his winning ways. Five-time stakes victor tired when chasing swift fractions in the Preakness (G1) two prior, and he hung around through the finish going a one-turn route in the Easy Goer Stakes at Belmont Park most recently when third. The Kelly Rubley charge has a chance to lead this field early and perhaps steal it under jockey Julian Pimentel.
RACE 8 – Indiana Oaks (G3)
Deep edition of this race attracts an overflow field of 14 for the 1 1/16-mile affair. I am not sure that SUNDAYSATTHBEACH (#4) (8-1) can beat the whole cast in her stakes debut, but I do like the way the Brendan Walsh trainee is progressing in preparation of the affair. The daughter of Medaglia d’Oro has earned BRIS Late Pace figures of 101 and 106 in her two most recent showings, and if things fall into place, she could be a late presence in this spot at a price that will drift up higher than the morning-line number.
RACE 6 – Warrior Veterans Stakes
Nine will travel 1 1/16 miles on the green in a very talented field for the level. DOT MATRIX (#8) (4-1) was a convincing winner of the race in 2018 and, judging by his latest, looms large in hopes of defending his title. The Brad Cox pupil went last-to-first with a rush in his seasonal bow at Churchill Downs over a decent field last out. The New York-bred son of Freud should get an honest pace to rally into with Shaun Bridgmohan on board.
RACE 5 – Mari Hulman George Memorial
A field of 10 fillies and mares will go 1 1/16 miles in this affair. I have a liking for SHE’S PRETTY LUCKY (#4) (8-1) in her return to the dirt. The Eddie Kenneally charge is four-for-six on a fast surface and has the ability to give the top guns in the cast a serious run with her top performance. The Lookin at Lucky four-year-old has a hint of class and should be fit and ready with Declan Cannon aboard.
PHOTO: Alwaysmining (c) Maggie Kimmitt/Maryland Jockey Club