By Emily Shields
The $200,000 Indiana Oaks (G3) will take play Wednesday, July 8, as part of a top card from Indiana Grand Race Course. Also on the evening’s race schedule is the $300,000 Indiana Derby, the $75,000 Jonathan B. Schuster Memorial, the $75,000 Indiana General Assembly Distaff, and two divisions of the $75,000 Hoosier Breeders Sophomore Stakes.
The 1 1/16-mile Oaks drew 11 sophomore fillies, with trainers such as Steve Asmussen, Ken McPeek, Bill Mott, Shug McGaughey, Mike Maker, and Brad Cox all taking part.
Cox has favored #6 Shedaresthedevil (9-5), who was a Grade 3 winner at Oaklawn Park earlier this year and has flourished most recently, winning a race over this distance at Churchill Downs by six lengths. She has been top three in seven of eight starts, and Florent Geroux will come in to ride the daughter of Daredevil. She has never been worse than third at the distance.
#7 Aurelia Garland (6-1) puts blinkers on for this. The daughter of Constitution returned off a one-year layoff from breaking her maiden to run third twice in a pair of Churchill Downs allowance races. She has been favored in two of her three starts, and should appreciate this surface.
#10 Bayerness (5-1) hails from the Cherie DeVaux barn. She was a sharp winner in her first two starts, at Keeneland and Churchill Downs, then faced Grade 2 company at Gulfstream Park in February and ran seventh. She improved to be third in the Dogwood at Churchill last out; that was June 6, a perfect prep for this spot.
#9 Alandra was a winner at Belmont Park last out on a muddy track, winning by 2 ½ lengths under Joel Rosario, who will be back aboard for this. The Shug McGaughey-trainee by Blame is out of the nice A.P. Indy mare Altesse. She was Grade 1 placed last year as a juvenile at Keeneland, and was second and fourth in two starts sprinting this year before her win going longer. Distance should ultimately be her game and success.
The rest are double digit shots. #8 Spartanka (12-1) is trained by Mike Maker. This was a Godolphin bred daughter of Street Sense who cost just $19,000 as a yearling. She took 13 tries to break her maiden, but she did going a mile at Gulfstream, then added another one-mile allowance win by over three lengths on May 25. She ran eighth in Grade 2 company before that, but has improved throughout the year and could make noise here.
Fire Coral, Lucky Betty, Tempers Rising, Miss T Too, Impeccable Style, and Gibberish complete the field. Watch Indiana’s best night of racing with TVG.
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