Rattle N Roll wins the American Derby July 2 at Churchill Downs
A field of 10 that includes recent American Derby victor Rattle N Roll and Texas Derby winner King Ottoman is set for the $300,000 Indiana Derby (G3) to be run Saturday at Horseshoe Indianapolis.
Several horses come into the Indiana Derby off victories in their most recent starts.
King Ottoman, a son of Curlin, owned by Three Chimneys Farm, has drawn post four and will team up with Horseshoe Indianapolis leading rider Marcelino Pedroza Jr. for the first time. The lightly raced 3-year-old hails from the Steve Asmussen barn, and the Indiana Derby will be his fifth career start at his fifth different racetrack.
Trainer Ken McPeek also has entered Rattle N Roll, who on Saturday (July 2) won the off-the-turf American Derby at Churchill Downs.
“Rattle N Roll might be hard to beat three times in a week,” joked Asmussen in a reference to Rattle N Roll’s most recent win in Louisville and also being cross-entered in upcoming Iowa Derby Saturday at Prairie Meadows with the Indiana Derby sandwiched in between.
King Ottoman won the Texas Derby, his first career victory, after breaking from post four, and Asmussen was pleased with drawing post four again for the Indiana Derby.
“Number 4 for King Ottoman; it’s his lucky number,” Asmussen said.
Rattle N Roll has drawn post six for the Indiana Derby. The chestnut son of Connect was a $210,000 yearling purchase from the Keeneland September Yearling Sale. Rattle N Roll has three wins, including the 2021 Claiborne Breeders’ Futurity (G1), in 10 starts with more than $600,000 in career earnings.
“We didn’t work him going into the American Derby,” McPeek said. “We went into it off just gallops. The horse has been doing just fantastic. There are limited opportunities for a horse like him. We looked at the calendar and there isn’t another race for him until maybe middle to late August.
“I know it’s unconventional. I’m a little nervous about it. But we jogged him up and back Sunday morning after the race. He cleaned up (eating) by 8 o’clock the night after he ran. He cleaned up the next morning. He’s never been better. We buy horses to race them. It could be exciting. We’re going to look at the PPs. Nothing is set until we ship him up there.”
Brian Hernandez Jr. gets the call aboard Rattle N Roll for McPeek.
One horse returning to the track after a big campaign on the Kentucky Derby (G1) trail earlier this year is Un Ojo, who has moved to the Robertino Diodoro Stable. The one-eyed son of Laoban was a winner this spring in the Rebel Stakes (G2) at Oaklawn Park before incurring a foot bruise that took him out of this year’s Kentucky Derby. He makes his return from post 9 with David Cohen aboard. Un Ojo is the richest entrant in this year’s Indiana Derby with over $782,000 in career earnings. He has a win and a second in three starts for 2022
The field for the Indiana Derby, in post position order with jockey, includes Trademark (Rafael Bejarano); First Glimpse (Orlando Mojica); Mowins (Jon Court); King Ottoman (Marcelino Pedroza Jr.); New Year’s Fever (Rodney Prescott); Rattle N Roll (Brian Hernandez Jr.); Best Actor (Florent Geroux); Actuator (James Graham); Un Ojo (David Cohen); and Fowler Blue (Sonny Leon).
Prior to the Indiana Derby, the 27th running of the $200,000 Indiana Oaks (G3) will lead into the Derby.
Eight fillies have been entered for the Oaks, slated as Race 11, including Black-Eyed Susan winner Interstatedaydream from the Brad Cox barn. The Classic Empire filly, owned by Flurry Racing Stable, has not raced since Preakness Day in mid-May, but comes into the event with two wins and a second in three starts for 2022. Interstatedaydream has drawn post five with Florent Geroux aboard.
A total of eight stakes are included on the Indiana Derby Day racing program.