Indiana Derby Preview, Predictions & Picks 2020: Nice Little Earner

Foley: Indiana Derby PredictionsThe Indiana Derby on Wednesday (7.45pm ET) has significance beyond the bare event itself, as it contributes points towards qualification for September’s Kentucky Derby for the first four horses that pass the wire.

The top end of the betting market for the Indiana Derby looks open with five runners on offer from 5/2 to 6/1. On speed figures, there is some value in backing Earner, the current third favorite. The horse can progress and build on three placed efforts in 2020.

No Getting Over Me is the best option for the place and show markets based on the horse’s past form and ratings. It is difficult to see Winning Impression not making the frame. Major Fed, trained by Greg Foley, is the favorite in the futures betting but the horse was last of 10 on his latest start at Churchill Downs in May. The horse’s position in the market is more based on potential than form on the track.

The Indiana Derby is a Grade 3 race that takes place at the Indiana Grand Racetrack. Only horses aged three are eligible but colts and fillies and mares qualify. The race distance is a mile and an eighth and the track surface is dirt. The purse of $300,000, down from $500,000 in previous years, is the track’s highest for one race. Despite the revised scheduling, it does remain a trial for the Kentucky Derby, with those points on offer as big a draw as the prize itself.

First staged in 1995, Robby Albarado is the leading jockey with three wins, in 1998, 2001 and 2007. Bob Baffert is the top trainer with four wins from 2009 to 2016. He is also the only trainer to win two successive Indiana Derbys, in 2009 and 2010.

Here are some 10-year betting trends for the winners of the Indiana Derby:

  • Average price: 3.7/1.
  • Range of Starting Prices: 2/5 to 16/1.
  • Number of outright and joint favorites: 5.
  • Odds-on favorites: 2.
  • Double-figure priced: 2.
  • Most common range of odds: 4 from 9/10 to 17/10.

The average speed figure for the last 10 winners of the Indiana Derby is 107 in a range from 98 to 116. Eight winners had a rating above 100 and two had a rating of 100 or less. The overall ratings for the race show it is of better quality than the Indiana Oaks.

The highest rated winner in the history of the race is Zanjero in 2007 (121). Mr Money won the race last year with a rating of 116 which was the highest figure since Zanjero’s record breaking win. The winner in 1996 produced a rating of 97 and the only two other horses that prevailed with a speed figure less than 100 won the race in 2015 and 2018.

Earner would be a below average winner because his current figure is 98. That level of ability could be good enough this year because the standard of the entry is relatively modest. The horse is trained by Steven Asmussen and the regular jockey is Stewart Elliott. Asmussen was the trainer of Zanjero but Elliott has not won the race.

The selection has won one race from three starts and $54,100 in prize money. The one win was a maiden race at Oaklawn Park and the win prize money was $36,000 out of a total prize fund of $60,000. However, Earner probably produced a better effort in an allowance optional claimer at Churchill Downs in June. The race was more lucrative and the form has worked out well. Earner can take a stop forward by winning the Indiana Derby.

No Getting Over Me is not far behind the pick on ratings and ran to a mark of 96 last season. There was a dip in form and the horse has not won in six starts. The ability is there and the form is in the book so No Getting Over Me looks a big price to make the payout places.

The horse finished fifth in a $350,000 Grade 3 at Tampa Bay Downs in February. A reproduction of that level of form could see the horse make the frame at a decent price.

However, we are relying on No Getting Over Me recapturing better form from last season. Winning Impression has stronger claims to be placed but beating Earner looks beyond the horse. However, he ran to a rating of 92 in the Grade 1 Arkansas Derby in May which was good enough for fourth place.

That form makes Winning Impression a good place and show bet but Earner is the horse to back in the win market but also in forecasts with No Getting Over Me and Winning Impression.