Taishan Still Seeking First Stakes Win

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By Emily Shields

The $300,000 Indiana Derby (G3) highlights the July 8 card  from Indiana Grand Race Course. Also on the evening’s race schedule is the $200,000 Indiana Oaks (G3), 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 1/8-mile Derby drew 10 runners, with #3 Taishan a 6-1 shot to try to get his first stakes win. The $150,000 son of Twirling Candy was well backed when he broke his maiden Breeders’ Cup weekend at Santa Anita over Tizamagician by a length. That win put him on the early 2020 Kentucky Derby trail, but the Richard Baltas trainee finished fourth in the Sham at Santa Anita and fifth in the Southwest at Oaklawn Park. He was heavily favored when he won an allowance in the slop by nearly five lengths, but still ran poorly in the Oaklawn Stakes and Arkansas Derby (G1). He gets serious class relief here and should step up.

#9 Winning Impression (3-1) was fourth in the Arkansas Derby (Charlatan division), beaten nine lengths. The Dallas Stewart-trainee by Paynter was an allowance winner before that over 1 1/16 miles on a sloppy track, and broke his maiden at the Fair Grounds in December. He has one win in seven starts, but Julien Leparoux will make the trip to ride in this spot.

#8 Major Fed (7-2) is trained by Greg Foley. The son of Ghostzapper is out of a Smart Strike mare, and has been running well in Grade 2 company this year. He was second in the Risen Star after breaking his maiden on New Year’s Day by over four lengths. He finished fourth in the Louisiana Derby (G2) but ran tenth as a 7-1 shot in the Grade 3 Matt Winn last out. He went very wide throughout and should get a better trip here.

#5 Shared Sense (4-1) is a Godolphin runner trained by Brad Cox. The son of Street Sense broke his maiden via disqualification in November, then won by a nose February 29 at Oaklawn Park going a mile. He didn’t take to the turf on May 23 at Churchill Downs, but finished second with a highest lifetime speed figure in a June 13 optional claimer there.

#4 Earner (8-1) has only run three times. The son of Carpe Diem is trained by Steve Asmussen, and broke his maiden second time out at Oaklawn Park on April 11. Then he stepped up in trip to this distance at Churchill Downs on June 12 and finished third, beaten just two lengths after setting the early pace. The $425,000 purchase now has the experience at the distance and could hit the superfecta.

No Getting Over Me, Extraordinary, Background, Juggernaut, and Necker Island complete the field. Watch Indiana’s best night of racing with TVG.


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