The field is set for the 25th running of the Grade III $500,000-guaranteed Indiana Derby at Indiana Grand Saturday, July 13. Mr. Money, the talented three-year-old son of Goldencents, has been tagged as the early morning line favorite at odds of 6-5 despite the outside post 11 in the race.
Mr. Money, owned by Chester Thomas’ Allied Racing Stable, LLC based out of Madisonville, Ky., has been a late bloomer for his connections. Early setbacks kept the experienced Graded Stakes performer off the Kentucky Derby trail, but his performances in the past two starts, both Grade III wins, make him a major threat for the title in Indiana’s richest horse race.
“That wasn’t what I was hoping for, but it’s not a big deal,” said Trainer Bret Calhoun on drawing post 11. “I’d rather have been inside a few post positions from there. But he’s got speed. If he can get away all right, he’ll be fine. You’ve got the potential of being hung out there a little bit (around the first turn), but he gets away sharp. He’s fast enough. I don’t know how much speed is in there, but he’s a pretty fast horse. If he gets away sharp, he ought to be able to get himself a decent position and not have to worry about getting hung too wide.”
Regular rider Gabriel Saez will come into ride Mr. Money, who has won two of four starts this season and accumulated a bankroll of nearly half-million dollars.
Joining Mr. Money as a major contender is Long Range Toddy from post nine at odds of 12-1 with veteran rider Jon Court aboard. Court, who has won the Indiana Derby twice in the 24-year history of the race, guided the Take Charge Indy colt to a third-place finish in his last start in the Grade III $500,000 Ohio Derby. Prior to that start, Long Range Toddy competed in the Kentucky Derby and was impeded around the final turn to be placed up to 16th. Steve Asmussen trains Long Range Toddy, who was a winner of the $750,000 Rebel Stakes at Oaklawn Park earlier this year. With more than $900,000 in earnings, a win in the Indiana Derby would generously place Long Range Toddy over the million-dollar mark.
Gray Magician and Ricardo Santana Jr. come into the Indiana Derby off a last start in the Kentucky Derby. The Graydar colt, trained by Peter Miller, traveled overseas to the Grade II $2.5 million UAE Derby at Meydan Racecourse where he finished second prior to his run in the Kentucky Derby. Gray Magician starts from post three at odds of 8-1.
“He’s tactical, so the three post should be just fine,” commented Peter Miller, trainer of Gray Magician from post three. “We can break and get a position either in or just behind the first flight.”
Another contender that is Graded Stakes placed is Roiland from post one for the Tom Amoss barn. Amoss, a six-time leading trainer at Indiana Grand, sends his Successful Appeal colt into the Indiana Derby off a fifth-place finish in the $300,000 Oaklawn Invitational Stakes in early May. His best finish to date was in the Grade II $400,000 Risen Star Stakes at Fair Grounds where he finished a hard charging third. DeShawn Parker, second in the current jockey standings at Indiana Grand and winner of more than 5,500 career races, has the call from post one at odds of 12-1.
“There’s no secret as to where Roiland will be early in the race,” said Trainer Tom Amoss. “Drawing the rail post position not only allows us to save ground, but we won’t have to move over to get to the rail at the start.”
The entire Indiana Derby field, in order of post position with jockey and odds, includes Roiland (DeShawn Parker, 12-1); Hero Tiger (Ezequiel Lara, 30-1); Gray Magician (Ricardo Santana Jr., 8-1); Market Garden (Santo Sanjur, 30-1); Frolic More (Corey Lanerie, 15-1); Alwaysmining (Julian Pimentel, 8-1); Eskenforit (Julien Leparoux, 20-1); Chess Chief (Brian Hernandez Jr., 12-1); Long Range Toddy (Jon Court, 12-1); Math Wizard (Edgard Zayas, 9-2); and Mr. Money (Gabriel Saez, 6-5). Post time for the Indiana Derby, which is the ninth on the card, is 10:02 p.m. EST.
Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse racing continues through Wednesday, Nov. 6. Racing is conducted Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday at 2:15 p.m. and Saturday at 6:15 p.m. More information about the season is available at www.indianagrand.com.