For the first Wednesday in what feels like a long time, we have no racing at either Saratoga or Del Mar. So we will turn to Indiana Grand, in Shelbyville, Indiana, which has been putting on some decent cards of late. They have full, competitive fields today, and even a couple of good overnight stakes races. We expect it to be fast and firm in suburban Indianapolis; let's go.
Indiana Grand, Race 1, 2:15 PM ET
$10,000 Maiden Claiming, 6 furlongs, dirt, Indiana-bred fillies & mares 3 & up
A big field of nine goes here, but we like only one of them, 4-On the Money. This 3-year-old filly is winless in five career starts, but is dropping from Maiden Special to the $10k maiden level, and we think that this is what she needs to get to the winner's circle. She catches an incredibly weak group, and stands out on both speed figures and class. We will bet her to win at 5/2. The bet: Indiana Grand, Race 1, $30 to win on 4-On The Money.
Indiana Grand, Race 5, 4:07 PM ET
Maiden Special Weight, 6 furlongs, dirt, Indiana-bred 2-year-olds
The favorite here, 1-El Bohemio, drew the rail, and while his credentials are solid -- he's hit the board in four of his five career starts -- we are looking elsewhere, partly because of the rail post, which is bad at this distance, and partly because he's failed to win a race despite a few good chances. At a short price, he's a play-against.
We're going with a horse making a track and surface change: 3-Top Justice was a well-beaten seventh in his debut last month, a maiden race on the synthetic racing surface at Arlington Park in Illinois, but today ships to Indiana and runs on real dirt. We think the lesser competition will help, but we think the move to dirt will help more: we see this guy moving up significantly from his last start. We expect him to get a good stalking trip, and to get his picture taken in the winner's circle. We will bet him to win at 6-1. The bet: Indiana Grand, Race 5, $20 to win on 3-Top Justice.
Indiana Grand, Race 8, 5:31 PM ET
$200,000 Indiana Grand Stakes, 1 mile, turf, 3-year-old fillies
A full field of 12, plus two also-eligibles, drew into the Indiana Grand. It's a good betting race. We like 5-Winter Sunset: this girl has been competing against much tougher, in graded stakes at in Illinois, Kentucky, and Florida; she's also been going longer, and we think the cutback to a flat mile suits her nicely, as she's 2-for-2 at the distance. She also has a good combination of tracking speed and closing kick: we expect her to stalk the leaders, take control of the race at the top of the stretch, and hold off the closers. We consider her 6-1 morning-line odds a very square price, so we will bet her to win. The bet: Indiana Grand, Race 8, $30 to win on 5-Winter Sunset.
Indiana Grand, Race 9, 5:59 PM ET
$200,000 Caesars Stakes, 1 mile, turf, 3-year-olds
This is the boys' division of today's Indiana Grand stakes, with a dozen colts going a mile on the sod. It came up as a strong race, as there are some pretty accomplished runners here, especially for a midweek card in Indiana. There's even a Kentucky Derby runner entered: it's 3-Gray Magician, who finished last in Louisville on the first Saturday in May. We don't like him in this spot, but it's an indication that there are some pretty classy horses going in the Caesars.
There are two runners we like in here, and they will line up next to each other: 5-Faraway Kitten, who is trained by Mike Maker, and 6-Crafty Daddy, trained by Brad Cox, have been butting heads all summer, running against each other three times since June. We spent a lot of time trying to separate the two, but they are very close to us, and we think they run 1-2 in some order. We will box them in the exacta, and play them on top in the trifecta. In a field this big, the exotics should pay well if they finish first and second either way. The bets: Indiana Grand, Race 9, $10 Exacta Box, 5 (Faraway Kitten) with 6 (Crafty Daddy); $1 trifecta, 5/6 with 5/6 with all. The exacta box will cost $20, and the trifecta will cost $20, for a total investment in the race of $40.
That's all for today. Good luck at the windows.