Together Indy rallied under Kent Desormeaux to win the $245,000 Commonwealth Stakes (gr. II) (VIDEO) by one length at Keeneland April 10, capturing his first graded race in his synthetic track debut for trainer George Weaver.
Owned by Randy Hill's R. A. Hill Stable and Vic Fontana, the New Jersey-bred Together Indy scored his first victory other than two previous wins over state-breds. The 4-year-old son of Not for Love was sent off as the longest shot in the field at odds of 5-1.
Facing just four rivals in the seven-furlong Commonwealth, Together Indy chased a solid pace set by Ravalo and Imperial Council before angling out approaching the eighth pole and charging from fourth to overtake Congressional Page under right-handed urging by Desormeaux. The final time was 1:22.34 over the Polytrack.
Congressional Page, who had taken a short lead mid-stretch for Javier Castellano, held on gamely for second. It was 1 3/4 lengths back to third-place finisher Imperial Council and Julien Leparoux, who edged late-running Not For Silver by a neck. Ravalo, the 2-1 favorite in the evenly-matched field, weakened to last.
Ravalo, along the inside, and Imperial Council vied through early fractions of :23.18 and :46.12 and led the field into the stretch before Congressional Page, rallying while three paths wide, gained the advantage. Together Indy, who broke last, was hustled early to rate in fourth while never further than about three lengths behind the leaders.
"The most important part was in the paddock when Mr. Weaver told me he had tried to put some speed in this horse in the mornings and wanted me to use it this afternoon," Desormeaux said. "I think the first 50 yards won the race because of his training. The rest of the race was eventful, too, as I was working diligently to get him a path to let him stretch his legs. I finally got it inside the three-sixteenths pole. He took dead aim at the leaders and won the race.”
Together Indy was coming off a last-place finish in the Appleton Stakes (gr. IIIT) on the Gulfstream Park turf March 20, his only prior start this year. The dark bay or brown colt, a $325,000 Fasig-Tipton Florida buy in February 2008, broke his maiden in May and followed that effort with a first-level allowance win. Both victories came at Monmouth Park.
“Well, I saw this horse train a long time ago back in Ocala over a synthetic surface and he trained very well," Weaver said of his decision to try the Polytrack. "We needed the race at Gulfstream and this race was coming up to my liking.
“I think this horse can handle six, seven furlongs, even a one-turn mile," Weaver added. "We even thought he was pretty good on the grass. We’ve got a lot of options in front of us.”
Overall, Together Indy has compiled a 3-1-1 mark in seven starts with earnings of $221,554. The Commonwealth victory was worth $150,000.
Rock Talk Farm bred the winner, who is out of I Ain't P T, by A.P. Indy.
Racing at equal weights of 118 pounds, Together Indy paid $13.20, $5.60, and $3.20 while topping a $50.40 exacta. Second choice Congressional Page returned $3.80 and $2.60. Imperial Council paid $2.40 to show.
“We thought seven-eighths might be a little too far for him, so I tried to rate him early on but he was just rank the whole way," said John Velazquez of the beaten favorite Ravalo, who ran fourth in last year's Commonwealth. "Then down the stretch he just didn’t have anything.”