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Las Vegas, NV - Indiana Grand Race Course in Shelbyville, Indiana will be the scene of the Grade 2 Indiana Derby on Saturday, July 18. A group of three year olds will take to Indiana Grand Race Course's dirt track and race 1 1/16 miles searching for the winner's portion of the $500,000 purse.
A field of eight have been confirmed for the Indiana Derby - race 9 on Indiana Grand's Saturday card. Post time is 9:41 PM. Here is a peek into the past performances of all eight combatants for this Grade 2 stakes - Indiana's richest race.
Mr. Z 2-1 - has just two wins in 15 career starts for trainer D. Wayne Lukas but enters off one of those wins - in the minor Ohio Derby at Thistletown June 20. Before that result were two off-the-board finishes against top competition- a fifth in the Preakness Stakes and a thirteenth in the Kentucky Derby. He does have four third place finishes the last seven months as well including the Grade 1 Arkansas Derby in April and the Grade 3 Southwest Stakes in February. Mr. Z hasn't been scared of top competition in his career yet and enters in OK form. He looks for his second stakes score in a row Saturday with Joe Bravo in the saddle of the morning line favorite from the rail.
Divining Rod 5-2 - races for the eighth time for trainer Arnaud Delacour and is coming off consecutive third place finishes - behind Mr. Z last time out in the minor Ohio Derby at Thistletown June 20 and behind American Pharoah in the Preakness Stakes in May. Before that was a good win in the Grade 3 Lexington Stakes April 11 which followed another third in the Grade 2 Tampa Bay Derby March 7, a good second in the Grade 3 Sam F. Davis Stakes in January and a third in an Allowance Optional Claiming December 26. Divining Rod has placed in all seven career starts with two wins, a second and four third place finishes - competitive every time out and should be again this weekend. Alex Cintron will get the call on the morning line second choice from gate 2.
Island Town 3-1 - Ian Wilkes trained gelding has three wins in six career starts and enters this weekend on a nice two race win streak. Last time out was a score in his graded stakes debut - the $100,000 Grade 3 Matt Winn Stakes at Churchill Downs June 13 after an Allowance Optional Claiming score on that same track in May. Island Town arrives with plenty of momentum on his side and hopes to keep the roll going with Julien Leparoux in the irons from gate 6.
Tiz Shea D 6-1 - Bill Mott trainee won his first career start - a maiden score at Parx February 7 and followed that with a very good second - behind El Kabeir in the Grade 3 Gotham Stakes at Aqueduct March 7. He took a step backward after that - a fifth in the Grade 1 Wood Memorial Stakes at Aqueduct April 4 and went on to a fourth in the Grade 2 Peter Pan Stakes at Belmont Park May 9. Last time out was a second in an Allowance at Belmont Park June 6. Tiz Shea D hopes to claim victory for the first time since his debut when he leaves from post 3 with Jose Lezcano aboard at 6-1 odds.
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Bold Conquest 12-1 - Steve Asmussen trained colt has a win, three seconds and two third place finishes in nine career starts and looks for his first win since breaking maiden in his second career starts in August. He does have a pair of thirds in graded stakes action - the Grade 2 Rebel Stakes at Oaklawn Park in March and the Grade 1 Breeders' Futurity in October but has failed to place in his last two graded stakes tries. Last time out was a fourth in the Grade 3 Matt Winn Stakes June 13 and he had a fifth in the Grade 1 Arkansas Derby in April as well. Jockey Ricardo Santana has been tabbed with securing Bold Conquest's first ever stakes score when they leave from post 5 Saturday.
Far Right 12-1 - Ron Moquette pupil has placed in eight of 11 career starts - three wins, three seconds and two third place finishes but has failed to his the board in his last two overall. Last time out was a sixth in the minor Ohio Derby June 20 which followed a distant fifteenth in the Kentucky Derby. Before that was a second good in the Grade 1 Arkansas Derby April 11, a nice win in the Grade 3 Southwest Stakes in February, a win in the minor Smarty Jones Stakes in January and an OK third in the Grade 3 Delta Downs Jackpot in November. Far Right looked good in the spring but has struggled in the summer. Corey Lanerie has been tabbed with getting him back on track when they leave from post 7 Saturday.
Alabaster 15-1 - Eoin Harty trained colt has two wins and a third place finish in nine career starts and enters off a fourth place finish in the Grade 3 Iowa Derby at Prairie Meadows June 27 - his stakes debut. Before that was a fourth in an Allowance Optional Claiming at Arlington June 6 after an Optional Claiming score at Tampa Bay in March and another fourth in an Allowance Optional Claiming prior to that. Alabaster has been just OK so far in his career and could be in tough in this race. Julio Felix gets the call from gate 4.
Deliverance Day 20-1 - local connection will make his stakes debut Saturday after eight career starts produced three wins and a third place finish. He enters on the heels of two straight wins - an Allowance Optional Claiming at Churchill Downs June 21 and a Starter Allowance in May. Deliverance Day steps up in the best form of his short career and will have Albin Jiminez in the irons from the outside gate 8asthe longest shot on the field.
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