2024 Shelby County Handicap Stakes at Horseshoe Indianapolis - Analysis, picks, and predictions

Pick Pony |June 4, 2024, 7:59 p.m.

About the Shelby County Handicap Stakes

A 6-furlong sprint for Indiana natives

The Shelby County Stakes is a 6-furlong race run on dirt at Horshoe Indianapolis. The race is restricted to registered Indiana-sired fillies and mares three or older. The purse is $100k. 

2024 Shelby County Handicap Stakes entries, picks, and predictions

Girls Are Tuffer

Girls Are Tuffer, brings the pace to this race alongside Imagine The Moon. Her E1 pace continues to improve. However, her LP pace has cratered. She hasn’t made the board since late 2023. Her overall speed ratings took a mysterious nosedive, too. Something is amiss. Toss—until she gets this straightened out.

Forever Pink

Forever Pink’s speed falls alongside Juradicial and Imagine as the second fastest horse in this race, and with an ROI return percentage of, get this, 100%, it’s hard to bet against her. She’s only finished lower than 2nd on one occasion (a third-place Show). But here’s the catch - she’s never raced against competition like this - and her speed has turned downward in the last three races. Even Emmanuel Esquivel can’t squeeze water from a stone.

BrittanysGldnfaith

Brittanysgldnfaith’s works have been unimpressive, and her second start after a six-month layoff leaves little hope that she’ll see her speed numbers climb much further. She’s simply outclassed in this race. Toss.

Bella Bolle

Bella Bolle’s speed is only average, but she has shown improvement in her last three outings. However, her E1 and E2 pace are among the best in the group. Still, she’s racing against several horses she’ll see today and hasn’t beat a single one of them. Her speed is trending down and her works are nothing to write home about. Some handicappers have predicted she’ll come close to finishing in the money. We think the best she’ll see is a middle-of-the-pack finish.

Juradicial

Juradicial is in a three-way speed tie with Forever Pink and Diamon Solitaire, making her one of the fastest horses in the group. Her works are not impressive, but her speed is very erratic. AI, however, is predicting a spike upward in this race, which is high enough to put her in the money.

We expect a strong showing from her, and there could be an overlay on this one. We’re putting her in the third spot ahead of Forever Pink.

Botox Katie

Botox Katie is slow, slow, slow. This seven-year-old mare has seen better days for sure. Works are getting slower, speed is trending down, and the time between races is getting longer and longer. Toss.

Compressed Energy

One good thing we can say about Compressed Energy is she’s consistent - consistently slow. Toss.

Evil Intentions

Evil Intention’s speed rating has surged in her last three races, but she still finds herself in the lower quadrant overall. So which Evil Intentions will we see - the slow of old or the new revamped faster version? With Robert Dobbs in her corner, it’s certainly possible.

Evil Intentions needs a bit more early speed in this race to rouse her presser style to an advantage. As it stands, though, she’ll have a rough go at it. We predict she will finish in the middle of the group.

Imagine the Moon

Imagine The Moon is another speedster in this group with chops to match Forever Pink and Juradicial with the second fastest average speed times. However, her distinction is her last three runs, where she turned in some of the fastest times in this group. And she’s one of the fastest early runners, meaning she and Girls are Tuffer could set the pace for this race.

Imaging the Moon has previously faced Evil Intentions, Forever Pink, Brittanysgoldnfaith, and Tizzy Jojo. She won in each instance by at least a length and a half. We could see a wire-to-wire win from Imagine The Moon.

Tizzy Jojo

On paper, Tizzy Jojo has only average speed. However, she faced tougher competition in April and made the tote board. How? Her speed rating and other rankings appear low because of Tim Eggleston’s insistence on running her in routes when she clearly favors sprints like this one. Remove those routes from the equation, and you will have one of the top horses in the group. We don’t think she’ll win, but 2nd or 3rd is within her reach. Watch for an overlay.

Bella Francesca

One of the slowest horses amongst the twelve, Bella Francesca, lacks the speed required to keep up with this group. Toss.

Diamond Solitaire

Diamond Solitaire is the fastest horse in this race, with the fastest average speed, fastest speed on dirt, and fastest speed at this distance. However, she has little experience in six-furlong sprints, with only a single sprint in her career. That sprint was against a group that compares quite nicely to this one.

She’s had a few long layoffs recently, likely due to injury - or is it age? The drop to sprints and increased time away from the track could be age-related. However, she could have a few more years in those old bones. 

The layoffs did her well—both vacations occurred before she produced her fastest race a few weeks ago. We believe she’ll do even better in this race, putting her in second and possibly even an upset win against Imagine The Moon. The result will likely depend on Ethan West’s tactics and Alex Achard’s ability to execute them.