Indian Blessing, the 7-5 morning-line favorite for the $300,000 Ruffian Handicap (gr.I) at Belmont Park Sept. 6, was scratched the morning of the race.
According to Tonja Terranova, who serves as the assistant trainer on the East Coast for Indian Blessing’s trainer Bob Baffert, the filly is in perfect health.
“Bob and (owner) Hal (Earnhardt) talked and decided this wasn’t the right spot for her,” Terranova told the New York Racing Association’s press office. “She is 100 percent.”
Baffert told Daily Racing Form that he scratched the 3-year-old filly, who won last year’s Grey Goose Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I) and subsequently the Eclipse Award, because he wishes to keep Indian Blessing at sprint distances. The Ruffian is run at 1 1/16 miles.
DRF reported the $400,000 Presque Isle Downs Master Stakes at six furlongs Sept. 13 is a likely target for Indian Blessing, a daughter of Indian Charlie.