Saturday will be among the busiest days for Oaklawn-raced horses since the 2019 meeting ended May 4, with several big names entered in stakes events from coast to coast.
Indiana Grand’s biggest day is highlighted by two major races for 3-year-olds – the $500,000 Indiana Derby (G3) and the $200,000 Indiana Oaks (G3) for fillies. Long Range Toddy, the only horse to compete in all four of Oaklawn’s Kentucky Derby points races, is among 11 entrants in the 1 1/16-mile Indiana Derby.
Campaigned by owner Willis Horton of Marshall, Ark., and Hall of Fame trainer Steve Asmussen, Long Range Toddy exits a third-place finish in the $500,000 Ohio Derby (G3) June 22 at Thistledown.
Long Range Toddy opened his 3-year-old campaign with a runner-up finish in the $150,000 Smarty Jones Stakes Jan. 25 at Oaklawn. After finishing third in the $500,000 Southwest Stakes (G3) Feb. 18 at Oaklawn, Long Range Toddy scored his biggest career victory to date in the first division of the $750,000 Rebel Stakes (G2) March 16. Long Range Toddy collared previously unbeaten Grade 1 winner Improbable near the wire to win by a neck in Oaklawn’s final major prep for the $1 million Arkansas Derby (G1) April 13.
In the Arkansas Derby, Long Range Toddy finished sixth behind second-division Rebel winner Omaha Beach, who would be the Kentucky Derby morning line favorite. Long Range Toddy finished 16th in the Kentucky Derby.
Long Range Toddy (12-1 on the morning line) is scheduled to break from post 9 under 2000 Oaklawn riding champion Jon Court and carry equal top weight of 124 pounds.
Math Wizard, Roiland and supplemental nominee Chess Chief, who were fourth, fifth and sixth, respectively, in the inaugural $300,000 Oaklawn Invitational May 4 at Oaklawn, are also entered. The consistent Math Wizard – never worse than fourth in his last eight starts – finished second, beaten a half-length, in the Ohio Derby. Math Wizard is the early 9-2 second choice for the Indiana Derby.
Probable post time for the Indiana Derby, which goes as race 9, is 9:02 p.m. (Central).
Recent Rebel winners Lookin At Lucky (2010) and Cupid (2016), both trained by Hall of Famer Bob Baffert, also captured the Indiana Derby.
Oaklawn stakes winners Chocolate Kisses and Bye Bye J are among 14 entered in the 1 1/16-mile Indiana Oaks.
Chocolate Kisses won the $200,000 Honeybee Stakes (G3) March 9. Bye Bye J won the $100,000 Rainbow Miss Stakes for Arkansas-breds April 20. Other Oaklawn-raced horses entered are Sundaysatthebeach and Blessed Again.
Probable post time for the Indiana Oaks, which goes as race 8, is 8:10 p.m. (Central).
Indiana Grand will run four other stakes races Saturday, including the $100,000 Michael G. Schaefer Memorial at a mile and 70 yards and the $100,000 Mari Hulman George Memorial for fillies and mares at 1 1/16 miles.
Schaefer entrants include Oaklawn-raced Pioneer Spirit, Silver Dust, Casino Star, Thirstforlife and Title Ready. Myladycurlin, a March 17 Oaklawn allowance winner, is seeking her fourth consecutive victory in the Hulman.
Lady and the Champ
Game Winner, the country’s Eclipse Award-winning 2-year-old male of 2018, drew the rail for the $150,000 Los Alamitos Derby (G3) Saturday at Los Alamitos.
Trained by Hall of Famer Bob Baffert, Game Winner suffered his first career loss in the second division of the $750,000 Rebel Stakes (G2) March 16 at Oaklawn, beaten a nose by Omaha Beach in his 3-year-old debut. Game Winner will be making his first start since a fifth-place finish in the Kentucky Derby May 4. Parsimony, a 12-race maiden, is among only three other horses entered in the 1 1/8-mile Los Alamitos Derby. Parsimony finished eighth in the second division of the Rebel.
Probable post time for the Los Alamitos Derby, which goes as race 6, is 5:28 p.m. (Central).
Elate, a multiple Grade 1 winner for Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott, bids for her second consecutive victory in the $750,000 Delaware Handicap (G2) Saturday at Delaware Park.
Elate raced twice this year at Oaklawn, finishing second in the $350,000 Azeri Stakes (G2) March 16 and third in the $750,000 Apple Blossom Handicap (G1) April 14. Both races were won by Midnight Bisou, the country’s top-ranked older female this year. Elate won the $250,000 Fleur de Lis Handicap (G2) June 15 at Churchill Downs in her last start.
Also entered in the 1 ¼-mile Delaware Handicap are Escape Clause, beaten a nose by Midnight Bisou in the Apple Blossom; Promise of Spring, runner-up in the $200,000 Bayakoa Stakes (G3) Feb. 18 at Oaklawn; and Blue Prize, seventh in the 2018 Azeri.
Probable post time for the Delaware Handicap, which goes as race 8, is 4:25 p.m. (Central).
Vexatious, third in the $400,000 Fantasy Stakes (G3) for 3-year-old fillies in 2017 at Oaklawn, is entered in the $150,000 Modesty Handicap (G3) Saturday at Arlington Park. … Super Steed, unraced since winning the $500,000 Southwest Stakes (G3) for 3-year-olds Feb. 18 at Oaklawn, recorded a 3-furlong bullet workout (:35.40) Saturday at Ellis Park for trainer Larry Jones. Super Steed returned to the work tab June 28 after being sidelined with bone bruising in a front leg, Jones said.