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Horse Racing Picks, Predictions, Odds – Indiana Derby, Iowa Derby, Belmont Derby & More

Dave Friedman

by Dave Friedman in Horse Racing News

Updated Jul 7, 2023 · 1:59 PM PDT

Tractors harrow the track before morning workouts at Belmont Park.
Jun 6, 2023; Elmont, New York, USA; Tractors harrow the track before morning workouts at Belmont Park. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
  • Opportunities abound with Iowa and Indiana celebrating their biggest days of racing plus Belmont Park’s closing weekend
  • Horses who ran in the Triple Crown, and many eyeing Breeders Cup berths, go at it this Saturday
  • Who can you bet on to secure wagering value in this weekend’s horse racing picks?

Saratoga’s season kicks off on Thursday, and the red carpet event that is Opening Day at Del Mark is less than two weeks away. Not to be overshadowed, Horseshoe Indianapolis and Prairie Meadows have huge cards Saturday, and Belmont Park’s final weekend of the year is filled with stakes action. We’ve picked out the top races from those courses this weekend for our top horse racing picks today.

While the Kentucky Derby gets all the attention, winning any derby is a big deal. The Indiana Derby and Iowa Derby have strong competition in Indy and Des Moines Saturday. Meanwhile, Belmont Park features horses, foreign and domestic, sure to be headed towards November’s Breeders Cup.

Let’s break-down the top events for this weekend and try to find some winners in our horse racing predictions.

Expert Horse Racing Picks Today

Race Pick Odds
Indiana Derby Verifying +160
Iowa Derby Eyeing Clover +300
Belmont Derby The Foxes +350
Belmont Oaks Speirling Beag +800

Our top horse racing picks includes picks on Verifying (+160), Eyeing Clover (+300), The Foxes (+350) and Speirling Beag (+800).

While others races are mixed in, Fox Sports 2 has a big event each hour between 4-7 pm ET Saturday. The Belmont Oaks goes at 4:43 pm, the Belmont Derby at 5:49 pm, and the Indiana Derby is slated for 6:40 pm. New York is expecting dry conditions with temperatures in the low 80s, while Indianapolis is likely to get rain on Saturday with forecasts in the 70s. The Iowa Derby follows several stakes events at Prairie Meadows. It goes at 10:38 pm and will air on FanDuel TV. Dry conditions are expected in Des Moines with temperatures in the 60s.

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Indiana Derby Prediction

A grade 3 event set for a-mile-and-a-sixteenth on the dirt attracted a field of nine. After running a tight second in the Blue Grass Stakes, Verifying (+160) raced on the hot Kentucky Derby pace and threw in the towel early. He rebounded to run a tight second last month in the Matt Winn Stakes.

A $775,000 son of Triple Crown winner Justify, Verifying has two wins and has yet to beat a stakes caliber field. That said, this is the weakest group he has been a part of since winning in January at Oaklawn Park. He may appreciate the sixteenth of a mile cutback. His wins are at shorter distances.

Cagliostro (+800) has run five times, and two of them were really sharp. He rallied from eighth last time out to lose by a head at Churchill Downs. He just missed against Iowa Derby contender Denington in February. He was ignored at the betting window and was not close in his lone stakes try, the Louisiana Derby.

Act a Fool (+600) has won four straight, all in Illinois. This is a big step up, but trainer Larry Rivelli helped lead Two Phil’s to a second place performance in the Kentucky Derby, and an easy win in the Ohio Derby.

Raise Cain (+1000) finished eighth in the Kentucky Derby and then was a well beaten fourth in the Matt Winn. His victory in March’s Gotham Stakes is the only graded stakes win for anyone in this field.

Chip Lang Stakes Picks: Verifying (+160)

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Iowa Derby Prediction

A seemingly evenly matched field of 13 is slated to go a-mile-and-a-sixteeth. It feels like there is a ton of early speed, with Bo Cruz (+450), One in Vermillion (+1000), Eyeing Clover (+300), and Black Powder (+1000) among a large group that wants to be forwardly placed.

Being right on a speed duel feels like a bad option, so who can be just off the pace?

Black Powder won moving from second to the lead in the stretch at Oaklawn Park in May. His stakes debut three weeks later in Texas did not go well.

West Coast Cowboy (+600) ran in a couple of Kentucky Derby prep races, and after two months off rallied nicely to beat optional claimers at Gulfstream Park a month ago.

Eyeing Clover was in the front for back-to-back wins to begin his career, and took a stakes at Oaklawn rallying from a couple lengths back on April 1. In late May he rallied and just missed in the Texas Derby.

Bo Cruz is all about speed. He won a pair of races before backing up in the late stages of the Matt Winn.

Denington (+1200) should love a quick tempo. He has been facing better horses, rallying late, and rarely recently has gotten close. That said, this level and a hot pace could be the right mix.

Iowa Derby Picks: Eyeing Clover (+300)

Belmont Oaks Prediction

A very competitive half million dollar mile-and-a-quarter Grade 1 turf race features a nice group of three year old fillies. Mission of Joy (+200) has faced Papilio (+400) in each of their last two races.

On the Kentucky Oaks undercard Mission of Joy finished third with Papilio just behind her. A month later Mission of Joy beat Papilio by a length-and-a-half. Both horses ran their best career races last time out. Papilio has a knack for finding racing trouble.

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Prerequisite (+500) fought off Be Your Best (+1000) to win the Wonder Again Stakes at Belmont on June 11. Prerequisite has gotten better in each of her three starts for top turf trainer Chad Brown. Be Your Best lost by more than five lengths to Papilio in April, but ran a career best just missing last time out.

Brown also has unbeaten Aspray (+600). She has taken giant strides forward each time out and looked awesome down the lane the day before the Preakness Stakes in Maryland.

Speirling Beag (+800) and Aspen Grove (+800) are both Irish breds who have only run in Europe. Speirling Beag beat boys in a Group 3 event to wrap up 2022. Her lone race this year was against better competition, and she was fifth of eight in France on April 1. Aspen Grove has been overwhelmed by dramatically stronger rivals recently. She won a group 3 in Ireland in August.

Belmont Oaks Picks: Speirling Beag (+800)

Belmont Derby Prediction

A grade 1 with a prize of $750,000 for three year old boys going a mile-and-a-quarter has attracted an international field of 11. Irish bred and England based The Foxes (+350) has been facing top level competition and asserting himself nicely. He has three wins in seven starts, including two Group 2 contests. He was +700, stumbled out of the gate, and still finished fifth of 14 in the Group 1 Epsom Derby June 3.

Silver Knott (+600) is trained by top European conditioner Charles Appleby who usually means business when he sends horses to America. He was the favorite in the Breeders Cup Juvenile Turf, but finished second in November. In Great Britain, he was +1400 in a Group 1 race in May and didn’t run well. He returned to the US and finished third, beaten by a length as the favorite in last month’s Pennine Ridge Stakes at Belmont.

Kalik (+500) finished first, and Far Bridge (+400) finished second, ahead of Silver Knott on June 3. Trained by Brown, Kalik has won three straight, improving as the distances have gotten further. Far Bridge won his first two races, and has been close in each of his last two.

Webslinger (+450) beat Far Bridge by a nose on the Kentucky Derby undercard. Then Webslinger returned to beat Mendelssohns March (+3000) among others in a stakes race at Churchill Downs June 3.

Brown also sends out Redistricting (+800). He has run only once, but dominated maidens going a-mile-and-a-sixteenth at Belmont June 3. He did so despite racing wide, and finished with a strong rally.

Belmont Derby Picks: The Foxes (+350)

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