December 11, 2023

Fulsome tops Indiana Derby; Will’s Secret, Soothsay highlight deep Oaks

Fulsome, with Florent Geroux up, wins the Matt Winn Stakes (Photo by Jamie Newell/TwinSpires)

Wednesday’s 27th running of the $300,000 Indiana Derby (G3) highlights the biggest night of racing at Indiana Grand. A total of six stakes will be offered on the 12-race program, including a dynamite edition of the $200,000 Indiana Oaks (G3), and the premier three-year-old stakes are part of a $100,000 guaranteed All-Stakes Late Pick 4 and mandatory payout in the Straight Fire 6.

Indiana Derby (G3) – Race 12 (8:25 p.m. ET)

A convincing winner of the May 29 Matt Winn S. (G3) at Churchill Downs, Fulsome has been installed as the 4-5 morning line favorite over six rivals in the 1 1/16-mile event. The Juddmonte Farms homebred Into Mischief colt has reeled off three straight win since Brad Cox switched him to turf in mid-April, and Florent Geroux will be in to ride the up-and-coming late runner.

Texas Derby runner-up Mr. Wireless is the 5-2 early second choice. A maiden winner three back in late March, the Bret Calhoun-trained gelding captured an entry-level allowance at Oaklawn before just missing in the May 31 Texas Derby at Lone Star Park. By Dialed In, Mr. Wireless will retain the services of Ramon Vasquez.

Grade 3-placed Starrinmydreams comes next on the morning line at 6-1, and Luis Saez has the call for Dallas Stewart. Convention, Full Charge, Sermononthemount, and W W Crazy round out the field.

Indiana Oaks (G3) – Race 11 (7:43 p.m. ET)

Last seen finishing third in the Kentucky Oaks (G1), Grade 3 scorer Will’s Secret heads a nice field of 11 in the 1 1/16-mile race. The dark bay daughter of Will Take Charge is a slight favorite at 5-2 on the morning line, and regular rider Jon Court will be up for Stewart.

After being forced to miss the Kentucky Oaks, Santa Anita Oaks (G2) queen Soothsay came back from a two-month freshening to finish second at odds-on in the May 30 Summertime Oaks (G2) at Santa Anita. The Distorted Humor filly invades from Southern California for Hall of Fame trainer Steve Asmussen, and she’s listed at 3-1 with Flavien Prat.

Summertime Oaks third Lady Aces, a convincing maiden winner two back, ships in for Peter Eurton. Umberto Rispoli will be up. Lovely Ride merits respect following a 6 1/2-length allowance triumph at Churchill Downs. The Calhoun-trained Candy Ride filly brings a three-race win streak to her stakes debut, and Gabe Saez will pilot.

Li’l Tootsie and Malloy will stretch back to two turns following sharp allowance wins at Churchill Downs. Cox has last-out allowance scorer Marion Francis in the mix, and Kenny McPeek will send out Black Eyed Susan (G2) fourth Forever Boss and Oliviaofthedesert, who exits a victory in the recent Panthers S. at Prairie Meadows.

Michael G. Schaefer Memorial – Race 7 (5:30 p.m. ET)

Unraced since a third in November’s Discovery S. (G3) at Aqueduct, 2020 Indiana Derby winner Shared Sense will kick off his four-year-old season in the $85,000 Schaefer. Trained by Cox and ridden by Geroux, the son of Super Saver will square off against eight rivals over a mile and 70 yards.

Multiple Grade 3 victor Pirate’s Punch will make his second start of the season. Beau Luminaire and Truculent are also entered.

Jonathan B. Schuster Memorial – Race 8 (6:03 p.m. ET)

Midnight Tea Time and Monarchs Glen appear likely to compete for favoritism in the $85,000 Schuster. Eleven older males are entered for the 1 1/16-mile turf affair.

Mari Hulman George Memorial – Race 9 (6:33 p.m. ET)

Eight fillies and mares will contest the $85,000 George at 1 1/16 miles on the main track, and top contenders include stakes winner and Grade 2 runner-up Saracosa; Matera, who will make her stakes debut for Cox; and Chilean Group 2 winner Gran Baby.

Indiana General Assembly Distaff – Race 10 (7:05 p.m. ET)

An overflow field of 13 turf distaffers, including an also-eligible, is set for $85,000 Distaff at 1 1/16 miles on turf. The competitive cast includes Dominga, Raven’s Cry, Sister Hanan, and Summer in Saratoga.