We're really getting into the meat of the summer racing season. This Saturday is a biggie, with the Arlington Million card in suburban Chicago, plus stakes races at virtually every other track. It's a sure sign that summer is in full swing.
While there are no stakes races today, there is a very playable Tuesday card in at Indiana Grand, so we'll head there to wet our whistle for the action this weekend. It will be warm, and while there is a chance of rain today, we are expecting, or maybe hoping, that it will be fast and firm. Let's go.
Indiana Grand, Race 1, 2:15 pm ET
Allowance, 6 furlongs, dirt, Indiana-bred fillies & mares 3 & up
This is an allowance for horses who have never won two races, and most of the field has tried at this level without winning; most of them have tried and failed repeatedly.
Because of that, we're going with a fresh horse, 5-Destined for Gold. She has not yet raced at this level -- she has run only once, winning a maiden race at Indiana on July 13 -- but that also means that she has not yet failed to win at this level. She also has an edge in early speed over the rest of the field. We see her going right to the front and not looking back. We will bet her to win at 6-1. The bet: Indiana Grand, Race 1, $15 to win on 5-Destined for Gold.
Indiana Grand, Race 3, 3:11 pm ET
Starter Allowance, 1 1/16 miles, turf, 3 & up
Nine are entered here. 9-Artie's Rumor is coming off a bad race, when he was 4th as the 6/5 favorite, but we are going to give him a pass for that one: he ran wide all the way around the track, including being a ridiculous 6-wide on the far turn, and his jockey lost the whip at the top of the stretch. Today he gets a very positive jockey change, from low-percentage Jack Gilligan to Martin Pedroza, a very capable and competent veteran who has been hot lately (24% win rate at the current Indiana Grand meet). We're not much for jockey angles, but this is one we like, and with a decent trip, we expect Artie's Rumor to improve significantly off his last race, and to take the money here. Even better: because of his last race, we get 7/2. We'll take it, and bet him to win. The bet: Indiana Grand, Race 3, $35 to win on 9-Artie's Rumor.
Indiana Grand, Race 5, 4:07 pm ET
Maiden Special Weight, 1 mile, turf, 2-year-old fillies
This race is absolutely wide open; it looks on paper as though any of the 12 entrants could win. But we like 3-Wood Bee, a first-time starter. She is a Calumet Farm homebred, and a well-bred one, by English Channel out of an A.P. Indy mare. Winning first out can be tough, especially on grass and around two turns, but she appears to have the ability to handle that. Even better: trainer Mike Maker has good win rates with both first-time starters and with horses making their first start on turf. We will bet her to win at 6-1. The bet: Indiana Grand, Race 5, $30 to win on 3-Wood Bee.
Indiana Grand, Race 8, 5:31 pm ET
Maiden Special Weight, 6 furlongs, dirt, Indiana-breds 3 & up
Ten are entered here; this is a good betting race. We're looking for a horse to come off the pace here, as there appears to be quite a bit of speed that will not last. We are going for a price here with closer 4-Moonshine Justice. This modestly-bred 3-year-old went long on the grass in his debut, where he showed a bit of run before fading late. Now he cuts back to a sprint, and changes surfaces from turf to dirt, an angle we've always liked. We think he possesses enough speed to stay within sight of the speedsters, and we expect him to be rolling late. Even better: he's 30-1 on the morning line. So we'll try to end the day by blowing up the toteboard; we will bet Moonshine Justice to win. The bet: Indiana Grand, $25 to win on 4-Moonshine Justice.
That's all for today. Good luck at the windows.