The next stop on the Road to the Kentucky Derby is the Indiana Derby (G3), held at Indiana Grand Racing & Casino. This race has been one of the premier races in the Midwest since its inauguration twenty-six years ago and has been promoted to an even higher standing by becoming a Kentucky Derby “points race” for the first time in its history. Promising horses from all over the country will be loaded into the starting gates, each of them with dreams of getting to Churchill Downs for the First Saturday in September.
Leading the list is Winning Impression, a beautiful grey son of Paynter out of the Unbridled’s Song mare Unbridled Sonya. Winning Impression was purchased for just $77,000 at the OBS Two-Year Olds in Training Sale in April of 2019. Though he has only won one race in seven starts, Winning Impression recently finished fourth in the Arkansas Derby (G1).
The Indiana Derby will provide a bit of class relief for Winning Impression. A victory there would secure him twenty-points for the Kentucky Derby, giving him a chance to take his co-owners at West Point Thoroughbreds to Churchill Downs.
The other top contender is Major Fed, a gorgeous bay son of Ghostzapper trained by Greg Foley. Major Fed has been seen in some of the nation’s top Kentucky Derby preps. After breaking his maiden on New Year’s Day, he swept wide around the far turn to snag second in the Risen Star Stakes (G2). He then tried his luck in the Louisiana Derby (G2), but a slow break and a very wide move around the far turn stopped him from finishing any better than fourth. Major fed tried again in the Matt Winn (G3) at Churchill Downs, but finished dead last. Nevertheless, trainer Greg Foley hasn’t lost hope in his horse. “I think you can draw a big line through that race. Maybe I'm wrong. If he doesn't run well in this one, I'd say maybe he just isn't that type,” Foley told Paulick Report. “But I don't see that… He's no bad gate horse. He's smart. He doesn't do anything wrong. It's just whatever you want to call it. Bad luck is all I can call it.”
If Major Fed wins the Indiana Derby, he will be virtually guaranteed a chance to run for the roses in September.
[Video: Watch Major Fed (#7) finish second in the Risen Star Stakes]
Extraordinary is another horse running in the Indiana Derby that fans should keep their eyes on. He is bred beautifully; his dam Fiftyshadesofhay (Pulpit) was a four time graded stakes winner. She even finished third in the Indiana Oaks (G3) in 2013. Extraordinary is sired by Speightstown, a highly-desirable stallion known for his blazing speed on the racetrack. The Rodople Brisset trained Extraordinary broke his maiden at Gulfstream Park earlier this year. Though he hasn’t even raced in stakes company yet, the $750,000 that China Horse Club / Maverick Racing shelled out for him at the Keeneland September Yearling Sale in 2018 suggests that his connections believe he is more than capable of winning at high levels.
There are plenty of other very talented horses in the Indiana Derby field. Taishan defeated the likes of Basin, Shoplifted, and Thousand Words when he finished third in the Oaklawn Stakes in April. Earner is a lightly raced yet good looking horse for trainer Steve Asmussen. All in all, it’s going to be a great betting race with the potential for big payouts, especially in exotic wagers. Tune in at 7:45 p.m. ET on Wednesday, July 8th to see which of these horses will be making their way south for the Kentucky Derby in September.
The entire field is:
No Getting Over Me
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