Phil and Sheva Chess' Indian Express, a fast-closing fourth in the San Pedro Stakes last time out, will make his next start in the Santa Anita Derby (gr. I) on April 5, trainer Bob Baffert said.
The late running style he displayed in the ungraded 6 1/2-furlong San Pedro, which was March 22, prompted the decision to send him nine furlongs in the Arcadia oval's major 3-year-old event.
"He was absolutely rolling at the end of (the San Pedro)," Baffert said. "So that's why he's going to run in the Santa Anita Derby."
Indian Express, a Utah-bred son of Indian Charlie, began his career in Panama last fall at Presidente Ramon racetrack where he broke his maiden at 6 1/2 furlongs by 10 3/4 lengths. He followed that effort up with a 10 3/4-length listed stakes win at six furlongs before being imported back to the U.S. early in 2003. His lone North American start was his San Pedro effort where he was beaten just 2 1/2 lengths after racing from the back in the early going.
Jockey Tyler Baze has the call on Indian Express in the Santa Anita Derby. The bay colt with $11,189 in career earnings will work once before the race, likely on Monday or Tuesday, Baffert said.