India Cruises to Victory in Cotillion Handicap

India Cruises to Victory in Cotillion Handicap
Photo: Equi-Photo/Bill Denver
India wins the Fitz Dixon Cotillion Breeders' Cup Handicap at Philadelphia Park.
Lyon Stables' India was staked to a two-length lead mid-stretch and won Saturday's $490,000 Fitz Dixon Cotillion Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. II) for 3-year-olds in geared down fashion at Philadelphia Park.

Ridden by Joe Bravo for trainer Todd Pletcher, India completed the 1 1/16-mile event in 143 1/5 and won by 1 1/4 lengths over Amandatude, who finished a neck in front of Baby Bird.

Just five competed in the Cotillion after the scratch of Ermine and Miss Savannah Rose. Miraculous Miss, the 11-10 favorite who carried top weight of 122 pounds (four more than the winner), trailed the tight field into the stretch and failed to respond when asked by jockey Mario Pino, winding up fourth. Miss Shop trailed.

India, a daughter of Hennessy-Misty Hour, by Miswaki, collected her first graded stakes victory and her fourth win overall in 10 starts. The winning share of $300,000 shot the chestnut filly's lifetime earnings to $452,859.

India was gunned to the lead early but vied with Baby Bird, ridden by Channing Hill, for the early lead as they completed the opening quarter mile in :24 3/5. India held a slight edge after a half-mile in :49 1/5 and began to edge away as Amandatude and Stewart Elliott took over the chase after six furlongs in 1:13 2/5. India shook loose on the turn and finished with something left.

Summer Wind Farm bred India in Kentucky. She was a $400,000 Fasig-Tipton select yearling sale at Saratoga in 2004. She won the Without Feathers Stakes at Monmouth by 5 1/2 lengths in her last start Sept. 10. She previously ran third in the Valley Storm (gr. II) at Aqueduct over six furlongs in November 2005.

Second choice in the field, she paid $7, $3.80, and $4. Amandatude returned $5.20 and $4, and Baby Bird was $5.20 to show.

(Chart, Equibase)

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