SHELBYVILLE, IN (October 5, 2013) – Power Broker powered through the lane to give Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert a record third win in the $500,000-added Indiana Derby (G2) on Saturday at Indiana Downs, and Pure Fun spoiled the party for prohibitive favorite Fiftyshadesofhay in the $200,000-added Indiana Oaks .
Gary and Mary West’s Power Broker, the 8-5 favorite in the field of 12 3-year-old colts, rated behind the early pace dictated by Ruler of Love and Bradester as they set fractions of :24.03, 47.06, 1:10.42 and 1:35.48. When they hit the top of the lane, Power Broker had moved up to second but had to be steadied when a tiring Bradester drifted out into his path in the stretch.
Under Martin Garcia, he then rallied down the middle of the track and kicked clear on a sloppy surface to cross under the wire in 1:41.95 for the 1 1/6 miles to finish 1 ¾ lengths in front of Bradester. Holy Lute also closed willingly to be third, another ½ length back.
“Once he (Garcia) got him out there and got him going, he just kept on going. He was starting to draw off. We’re very proud of him,” said Barnes.
Bradester’s connections were also proud of his effort. Lightly raced with only four starts and making his first try in stakes company, he relished the off going under Brian Hernandez, Jr.
“I think he ran a huge race and we think he has a promising future.” said Dorie Smith, assistant to Eddie Kenneally:
Micromanage, Uncaptured, Fordubai, Mr. Palmer, Ruler of Love, Edge of Reality, Bad Hombre, Miraculousmo, and Skilltopaythebills completed the order of finish.
Power Broker, who was bred in Kentucky by Jamm Ltd and was a Grade 1 winner as a juvenile, won his second graded stakes race and improved his record to 4-1-1 in 10 starts. With the $286,812 winner’s share of the purse, he upped his bankroll to $864,812.
While Power Broker rewarded the backers in the Derby Day crowd of 5,855 who made him the favorite, 2-5 favorite Fiftyshadesofhay, who is also trained by Baffert and was ridden by Garcia, could fare no better than third in the field of seven 3-year-old fillies.
Pure Fun, ridden by Victor Lebron and trained by Ken McPeek for Magdalena Racing, got a perfect trip in the slop as she rated behind fast fractions of :23.61, 1:10.78 and 1:36.98 which the favorite got caught up in. From her stalking position, she was able to put away Fiftyshadesofhay in the stretch while Oscar Party got up for second, 1 ¾ lengths behind. Fiftyshadesofhay finished third, another ¾ lengths behind.
The Oaks was the first victory for Pure Fun since the Kentucky Oaks (G1) on May 3, when she suffered an ankle injury.
“Coming off the pace, that’s her style,” said Lebron, her regular rider. “Our game plan was to take her back and make that big run she always makes. I know how much kick she can give me. I used it to my advantage when the others were running out of horse.”
The rest of the order of finish was Plenty O’Toole, Seaneen Girl, Wild About Irene, and Run Forestry Run.
Bred by Royal Oak Farm LLC in Kentucky, Pure Fun is by Pure Prize out of the Key to the Mint mare Chelsea Green. The win was her second in graded stakes company and fourth overall in 12 starts and her earnings are now $482,652.
The 19th edition of the Derby and the 18th running of the Oaks were held at Indiana Downs on the one-mile oval for the first time as all previous runnings were at Hoosier Park on the seven-eighths mile surface. An enthusiastic crowd of 5,855 was on hand Saturday.
“We are excited to have the Indiana Derby here for the first time and to have all of these big name horses and their connections in attendance,” said Jonathan Schuster, vice president and general manager of racing for Indiana Grand Racing & Casino. “A day like today really puts on display the idea behind one breed, one track and everything Centaur Gaming, in partnership with the breed organizations, has done to continue to take horse racing in this state to the next level."