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Indiana Derby Odds & Betting Preview: Lots of Betting Options With Kentucky Derby Qualifying Points On The Line

Dave Friedman

by Dave Friedman in Horse Racing News

Updated Mar 10, 2021 · 1:57 PM PST

Churchill Downs photo
The Kentucky Derby has been moved from May to September and futures prices are shifting. Photo from Wikimedia Commons.
  • With the Kentucky Derby on September 5, the Indiana Derby is a prep race with qualifying points
  • A balanced field including Major Fed, Winning Impression, and Shared Sense are entered to run
  • The Indiana Derby is a good betting race with no clear cut favorite – find out who we like below

The goal for 10 horses entered in Wednesday’s Indiana Derby is about 100 miles south. Because of COVID-19 the Kentucky Derby has been pushed to September. That means there is still time to qualify for the Run for the Roses at Churchill Downs in Louisville. In order to get in you must perform well in prep races.

For the first time Indiana Grand in Shelbyville, IN, a suburb of Indianapolis, is on the road to the Kentucky Derby. Unlike the Ohio Derby on June 27, this race has attracted several legitimate contenders.

Let’s look at the odds, handicap the field, and see where value is present.

2020 Indiana Derby Odds

Horse Odds
Winning Impression +300
Major Fed +350
Shared Sense +400
Taishan +600
Earner +800
Extraordinary +1000
No Getting Over Me +1200
Juggernaut +1500
Background +2000
Necker Island +2000

Odds taken Jul 3

The horses will go one-mile-and-an-eighth on the main track with the purse set at $300,000. Major Fed, Winning Impression, and Shared Sense are likely to take a lot of money, but you can make an argument for most of the field.

The Favorites

Winning Impression has just one victory in seven tries but has been keeping very strong company, and has been off since May 2. Though he was fourth in the Arkansas Derby division highlighted by Charlatan, finishing among the top half of that field is actually kind of impressive.

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Finishing behind not only Charlatan, but Basin and Gouverneur Morris is really not bad. If he has improved since taking two months off he’ll be tough in the Indiana Derby.

Similar to Winning Impression, Major Fed has just one win. He also has consistently faced excellent competition. In February he nearly caught Risen Star Stakes winner Modernist.

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Since that race Major Fed ran an ok fourth in the Louisiana Derby, and then very poorly in the Matt Wynn Stakes. A reversal of form will put him in the mix against these foes.

This is the first graded stakes try for Shared Sense. He has two wins and has been running at good tracks, but not in their top races. His two tries against stakes company each resulted in sixth place finishes. He was second last month in a pretty high end allowance optional claiming race at Churchill Downs.

The Contenders

Taishan finished last as a longshot beaten by Nadal and several other Triple Crown contenders last time out in the Arkansas Derby. However, he has several data points that suggest he can be a factor with this group. In April he finished third in the Oaklawn Stakes.

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Taishan has two career wins and has faced pretty strong foes consistently.

The lightly raced, Steve Asmussen-trained Earner makes his fourth career start. He didn’t debut until January, picked up his only win in April, and last time out finished third in an allowance optional claiming event that featured Man in the Can and Dean Martini. Man in the Can has four wins in five tries, while Dean Martini was the upset winner of the Ohio Derby.

The Longshot

Juggernaut won his debut last August against lesser competition at Ellis Park and then ran ninth stepping way up in class against stakes horses at Churchill Downs. He began this year with back-to-back clunkers. However, out of nowhere he ran a very strong second in an allowance race June 18 at Churchill. A repeat of that effort gives him a legitimate shot in this race at a big price.

The Bet

Major Fed has talent and now faces a field he can handle. It is unclear what happened last time out. While he didn’t need to beat that group, his performance was ugly. He seems like the most likely winner, though Earner feels like excellent value and you could do a lot worse than taking a stab at +800.

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