“We are really happy about his ground-saving post,” said O'Neill via text following the draw. “He's doing really well.”
Irap arrived at Indiana Grand Sunday, July 9 and has had the opportunity to get on Indiana Grand's oval this week in preparation for Saturday's race. The royally-bred son of Tiznow will face second choice Untrapped again, who finished third to him in the Ohio Derby.
Trained by Steve Asmussen, Untrapped also competed in this year's Kentucky Derby, finishing 12th. The Trappe Shot colt, owned by Michael Langford, has been selected as the second choice on the morning line at odds of 6-1 and will begin from post nine with Jockey Ricardo Santana Jr. aboard.
The Indiana Derby will also have some crossover horsepower as Hall of Fame Indy Car Driver A.J. Foyt will have a horse in the field. Foyt owns Colonelsdarktemper, who finished second in his last start in the Grade III Matt Winn at Churchill Downs. Trained by William “Jinks” Fires, the Colonel John colt will be ridden by two-time Indiana Derby winning jockey Jon Court from post 10 at odds of 10-1.
“At least we didn't draw the one,” said Court, who thinks his outside post works in his favor since the horse to beat (Irap) drew inside. “I can dictate a little bit how I can place myself. Hopefully, we'll come up with a strategy and we can execute it. If not, we'll go to Plan B. Sometimes Place C comes into play.”
Another horse that will get early play in the Indiana Derby field is Awesome Saturday, who starts from post eight with jockey Brian Hernandez Jr. aboard. The Any Given Saturday colt has a very impressive win in his last start at Churchill Downs and will be making his first start against stakes company in Saturday's Indiana Derby.
“Sounds like there's a bit of speed in there,” said Brian Hernandez Jr. “Being somewhat on the outside, we'll be able to see what everybody else does going into the first turn.”