The Grade 3, $200,000-guaranteed Indiana Oaks at Indiana Grand in Shelbyville, Ind., has assembled the largest group of 3-year-old fillies in the 24-year history of the race. Indiana's first graded stakes event will lead into the G3 $500,000-guaranteed Indiana Derby Saturday, July 13, as the eighth race with a post time of 9:15 p.m. ET. A total of 14 entries were taken for the race with 12 set to enter the starting gate for the Indiana Oaks.
The morning line favorite for the Indiana Oaks is Street Band from the Larry Jones barn. The daughter of Istan last competed in the G1 Kentucky Oaks and was a winner in the start before that in the G2 $400,000 Fair Grounds Oaks. Street Band has two wins in four starts for 2019 and will begin her journey from post five at odds of 5-2. Sophie Doyle, who has ridden the filly in her last six starts, will come in to ride. A win for Doyle would make her the first female jockey to ever win the Indiana Oaks.
“She means a lot,” Doyle told Eclipse Award-winning turf writer Jennie Rees earlier this week. “As a jockey, they come along once in a lifetime. She's definitely doing that for me … As a female jockey, too, it's always hard to come along a really good one like this and keep the mount on it. It's fantastic to ride for Larry Jones and have great owners like MyRacehorse, that bought a part of her to get new fans into racing.”
Joining Street Band as an early favorite is Chocolate Kisses from post nine. The Candy Ride filly trained by Mark Casse was fourth in her last start in the G3 Wonder Again Stakes at Belmont Park on the turf. She has two wins in five outings for 2019 and will be ridden by Shaun Bridgmohan at odds of 5-1 as the second choice on the morning line.
The entire field, in post position order with jockey and odds includes: Kim K (Brian Hernandez Jr., 6-1); Drinking Dixie (DeShawn Parker, 15-1); Shacklette (Martin Chuan, 20-1); Sundaysatthebeach (Gabriel Saez, 10-1); Street Band (Sophie Doyle, 5-2); Blessed Again (Jon Court, 12-1); High Regard (Corey Lanerie, 15-1); Sally's Curlin (Channing Hill, 30-1); Chocolate Kisses (Shaun Bridgmohan, 5-1); With Dignity (Julien Leparoux, 6-1); Bye Bye J (Marcelino Pedroza Jr., 20-1); and Sweet Diane (Declan Cannon, 8-1).
The Indiana Oaks and Indiana Derby are part of a stakes-filled night at Indiana Grand with more than $1.1 million in stakes purses set for the 10-race card. The evening will include an all Stakes Pick 4 on races 6 through 10 as well as an appearance by former Indianapolis Colts player and Super Bowl champ Jeff Saturday, who is serving as the honorary chairperson. The first 2,500 that arrive will receive a free Indiana Derby T-shirt. Guests 21 and older may sign up for a drawing for one of three $2,500 Megabets on the Indiana Derby. Gates open at 3 p.m. and the first race goes to post at 5:30 p.m. General admission and parking is free, and the event is open to guests of all ages.
Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse racing continues through Wednesday, Nov. 6. Racing is conducted Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday at 2:15 p.m. and Saturday at 6:15 p.m. More information about the season is available at www.indianagrand.com.
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