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Indiana Derby: Full Race Analysis and Odds for Horseshoe Indianapolis This Saturday!

Written by: Brian Zipse
Updated July 6, 2023
13 min read

Indiana Derby Odds and Post Position

Check out our predictions and odds for the 2023 Indiana Derby at Horseshoe Indianapolis!

PPHorseTwinSpires OddsJockeyTrainer
G CorralesP Lobo
L MachadoB Colebrook
O MojicoL Rivelli
L FuentesS Asmussen
M Pedroza JrB Cox
E PerezT Medina
B J Hernandez JrK McPeek
E MoralesC DeVaux
A AchardW Walden

Odds provided by author Brian Zipse.

Indiana Derby Predictions and Best Bets

Here are my plays ($50 in total)

$50 Win - Verifying = $50

If you're playing only to win, go with my top pick Verifying (8/5).

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Indiana Derby prediction

Already second in three graded stakes races, Verifying will look to get over the hump when he headlines a field of nine entered in Saturday’s Grade 3 Indiana Derby at Horseshoe Indianapolis. 

Trained by Brad Cox, he comes into the 8 1/2-furlong test off a narrow defeat at the hands of Disarm in the Grade 3 Matt Winn Stakes at Ellis Park four weeks ago. 

The son of Justify also finished second in last year’s Grade 1 Champagne Stakes, as well as the Grade 2 Blue Grass Stakes in April at Keeneland.

Chief among his challengers in the $300,000 feature will be the Kenny McPeek-trained two-time stakes winner Hayes Strike. 

He finished a well-beaten third behind the classy Two Phil’s just two weeks in the Grade 3 Ohio Derby. Before that, he got up late to win the $300,000 Texas Derby at Lone Star Park.

Raise Cain is the only graded stakes winner in Saturday’s field. Trained by Ben Colebrook, he surprised the field in the Grade 3 Gotham Stakes back in March. 

More recently, the son of Violence finished eighth in the Kentucky Derby and then fourth behind Disarm and Verifying in the Matt Winn.

Indiana Derby Predictions and Race Analysis


It’s a little bit hard to believe that this son of the Triple Crown winner Justify has still not won a stakes race. He has won both of his non-stakes starts impressively but is 0-for-6 in stakes racing. Having said that, he has run plenty of strong races. 

His game second in the Grade 1 Blue Grass this spring was a very good performance. After fading badly in the 10-furlong Kentucky Derby, he bounced back well with another strong effort last time when second in the Matt Winn. 

At a distance that suits him, I really do like his chances to get the job done here. A similar effort to those recent runner-up efforts will likely land him in the winner’s circle on Saturday. He is the top pick.

Hayes Strike

Trainer Kenny McPeek always seems to be heard from this time of year, and 2023 is no different. This stretch-running son of Connect won two stakes races this spring and looks to be the second choice on Saturday. 

Although he has numerous chances in stakes company, the two victories came in easier spots than he will see here. Against top competition, he has fallen short, as he did last time when finishing a dozen lengths behind Two Phil’s in the Ohio Derby. 

He is a threat, especially if the pace is fast to set the table for his closing kick, but I do not like him any better than second best here.

Raise Cain

Winless in three starts since pulling off an impressive upset victory in a sloppy edition of the Grade 3 Gotham Stakes, this son of Violence will look to regain his winning form. 

Those three defeats came against very good company in the Blue Grass, Kentucky Derby, and Matt Winn. He didn’t run poorly in any of the three, but he never threatened for the win either. 

Beaten by Verifying pretty easily last time, he looks more of a threat for the exotics than the win, but as the only graded stakes winner in the field, he should not be ignored.

Act a Fool

Trainer Larry Rivelli recently had to retire his stable star Two Phil’s due to an injury. He hopes to continue his winning ways in 3-year-old graded stakes with this promising son of Oscar Performance. 

After showing little in his career debut at Turfway Park, he has been on a big roll at Hawthorne Park up in Chicago with four consecutive easy wins. 

The first three all came on dirt, while the last one was on turf. That last win in the Hawthorne Derby was very impressive and it makes me wonder if he may be best on grass. Still, he is a threat here.


Although he has only won once in five career starts, this Upstart colt has run some nice races. Last out he came running late to just miss in a good allowance race at Churchill Downs. 

In his only stakes appearance, he faded out of the picture down the lane to finish eighth against a big field in the $1 million Louisiana Derby. He did break through the gate in that one, so he may have an excuse for tiring. 

There are numerous horses in the Indiana Derby more accomplished than him, but he could be on the verge of a breakthrough. He is a dangerous floater.

Georgie W

Both of this one’s two career races have come at Horseshoe Indianapolis and he comes into his stakes debut undefeated.

The son of Tapiture had to work hard in his debut while racing on the turf, but things were much easier when he was switched to the main track. Winning by nearly ten lengths in allowance company recently, he looked like a good thing. 

Having shown both toughness and talent in his first two races, he looks like a developing nice horse. I can’t dismiss him here, but I am siding with others as he jumps up in class against more experienced runners.


A winner of 3-of-4 lifetime, it’s still pretty hard to know how good this well-bred son of Gun Runner is. He has done everything asked of him in his three tries against weaker competition but failed against graded stakes company. 

That defeat, though, came on a sloppy surface in the Gotham and can be easily excused if he did not care for the track. 

His latest race came almost seven weeks ago and was a nice performance over the track. He also has some speed to be involved early. He is one of many in here with a shot to run a good race.


This son of Quality Road looks to have made some nice strides of late for trainer Steve Asmussen. After losing his first three career races at Oaklawn Park, he moved to Texas and started winning. 

I’m not sure about the competition he was facing at Lone Star Park, but his improvement is certainly clear. After overcoming traffic to break his maiden in May, he romped home in allowance company three weeks ago. 

This will be a big bump up in class, but in the hands of one of the best in the business, this improving colt should not be ignored.


Still, a maiden, this son of Accelerate has been placed far out of his league in this Grade 3 test on Saturday. 

Running and losing in maiden claiming races is no way to prepare for a race like the Indiana Derby. He will be a huge longshot here and has no legitimate chance.



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How to Watch the Indiana Derby

  • What: Indiana Derby (Grade 3) 
  • Location: Horseshoe Indianapolis
  • Time: Saturday, July 8 - 6:40 pm Eastern time
  • How to Watch: FanDuel TV
  • Purse: $300,000
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Brian Zipse

288 Articles

Taken to the races at a very young age, Brian has been a passionate fan of horse racing his entire life. Professionally, his work has been published on several leading industry sites. Brian served as the Editor of Horse Racing Nation from 2010-2017, where he still writes a regular column and hosts the popular weekly webcast HorseCenter.

Email: [email protected]

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