The Indiana Derby (G3) is coming up at Indiana Grand this Saturday. With six stakes races on the card, it's the year's biggest race day in Shelbyville.
We have a full preview of the day's pair of graded races, as well as selections in all six stakes, in a separate piece. But, before we get to the selections, it's time to follow the Chicago contingent. A host of horses with local ties have entered stakes races on the Indiana Derby card. There's one local in the Michael G. Schaefer memorial, a dirt route; there are three in the Indiana General Assembly Distaff, a turf route for fillies and mares. However, horses with ties to the Chicago circuit loom large the open-company turf route, the Warrior Veterans Stakes: of fourteen entrants, six have ties.
Here's your rundown, so you can follow along:
Race 5: Michael G. Schaefer Memorial Stakes
- Nun the Less: Nun the Less is currently trained by Cipriano Contreras, a longtime Michael Reavis assistant who has been on his own since 2016. Contreras also co-owns the six-year-old gelding with Raul Bahena; the pair also owns Matrooh, winner of this year's Hanshin Cup (G3). They claimed Nun the Less from his last outing, a third-place finish at Arlington on June 3. He has previously been owned by Lothenbach Stables and trained by Chris Block. For those connections he was multiple graded stakes placed, including third-place finishes in both the 2015 American Derby (G3) and 2015 Hawthorne Derby (G3).
Race 6: Indiana General Assembly Distaff
- Kyllachy Queen: The Ben Colebrook trainee, owned by Castleton Lyons, has raced at Arlington in her last two starts. The six-year-old mare finished sixth in this year's Arlington Matron (G3), and then fifth in the Chicago Handicap (G3).
- Lovely Bernadette: Long in the barn of Chicago local Jim DiVito, this four-year-old filly makes her second start for new trainer Bernie Flint. She is still owned by James M. Miller, as she has been her full racing career. For DiVito, Lovely Bernadette was third in the 2017 Pucker Up Stakes (G3). She also has stakes form last summer at Indiana Grand, winning the Indiana Grand Stakes and finishing third in her division of the TaWee Stakes as well.
- Lovely Loyree: This seven-year-old Illinois-bred mare is trained by local Michele Boyce, and owned by a partnership that includes her trainer, Margaret Burlingham, Terry Biondo, and Marty Nixon. Third behind Tepin in a pair of graded stakes at Tampa Bay Downs in 2016, she won the Mike Spellman Memorial Handicap in 2017 and finished third in her division of the 2014 Hatoof Stakes. Her one previous voyage to this track went well, as she won the Indiana General Assembly Distaff in 2016.
Race 7: Warrior Veterans Stakes
- Blue Sky Kowboy: An Illinois-bred four-year-old gelding, Blue Sky Kowboy is trained by Michele Boyce and owned by a partnership that includes Boyce, Laura Donohoe, Margaret Burlingham, and Terry Biondo. He has three career wins, all at Arlington, including an allowance victory on June 8. In his only stakes attempt to date, he finished second in the 2017 Hawthorne Derby. Blue Sky Kowboy is second on the also-eligible list for the Warrior Veterans Stakes.
- Cammack: Eight-year-old Illinois-bred gelding Cammack is trained by Chris Block, owned by Team Block, and is a half-brother to multiple graded stakes winner Fort Prado. Cammack has won 11 of his 33 lifetime starts, including the 2016 Black Tie Affair Handicap and the 2017 Les Ahrens Memorial Stakes, both at Arlington. In his most recent start, on June 9, he finished third in an off-turf edition of the Black Tie Affair.
- My Bariley: This four-year-old gelding is trained by Anthony Granitz and owned by Captain Jack Racing (John Loven). Though he was bred in Kentucky, he is a half-brother to stakes-winning Illinois-bred America Mon Amie. My Bariley came to Chicago twice last year, with success. He finished third in the American Derby (G3), and he won the Hawthorne Derby.
- Nun the Less: Nun the Less, discussed in the section about the Schaefer, is cross-entered in this race.
- One Mean Man: One Mean Man, a five-year-old intact, is trained by Bernard Flint for a partnership that includes himself and Hillerich Racing (Ron Hillerich), raced three times at Arlington in 2016, as a three-year-old. He finished second in the Arlington Classic (G3), won the American Derby (G3), and finished fourth in the Secretariat Stakes (G1).
- Swagger Jagger: This five-year-old intact is trained by Mike Maker for owner Freddy Lewis, III. For different ownership, Maker brought Swagger Jagger to Arlington three times, including a third-place finish in the 2016 Arlington Classic (G3) and a fourth-place finish in that year's American Derby (G3).
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