Gary and Mary West's Power Broker found clearance at a key point early in the race and continued on under pressure to win the $514,000 Indiana Derby (gr. II) for 3-year-olds on a sloppy track at Indiana Downs Oct. 5 (VIDEO).
Ridden by Martin Garcia for trainer Bob Baffert, Power Broker rebounded from a distant second-place finish behind Verrazano in the William Hill Haskell Invitational (gr. I) in late July. He was taken off the Triple Crown trail earlier this year after a fifth-place finish in the Santa Anita Derby (gr. I) but subsequently won an allowance race at Churchill Downs and the Easy Goer Stakes at Belmont Park.
"He's a nice horse," said Jimmy Barnes, Baffert's assistant trainer. "We tried to find the right spot for him. He did show up in the Haskell; he just ran against a monster. He runs well fresh, and he certainly showed up today."
Power Broker had post 5 in the 12-horse Indiana Derby field and was able to get away behind a wall of horses vying for the early lead. When things settled past the opening quarter-mile mark in :24.03, Ruler of Love held the lead over Bradester, with favored Power Broker along the rail and Uncaptured to his outside.
At that point Garcia found room and guided Power Broker off the rail to stalk the top two as Uncaptured backed off a bit after a half-mile in :47.06. Bradester battled for the lead two-wide before Ruler of Love faltered and Power Broker made his bid three-wide after six furlongs in 1:10.42.
Power Broker steadied a bit when front-running Bradester drifted out in the lane past the mile mark in 1:35.48 but recovered to slowly pull away to win by 1 3/4 lengths in 1:41.95 on the sealed surface. Bradester held on for second, a half-length on fast-closing Holy Lute; Micromanage rallied from far to finish a nose back in fourth.
Power Broker, a 3-year-old colt by Pulpit out of the Wild Again mare Shop Again, was bred by Jamm Ltd. in Kentucky. The winner's share of $286,812 pushed Power Broker's earnings to $865,612 on a record of four wins, two seconds, and a third in 10 starts.
Garcia indicated he had a decent trip because he was able to get Power Broker off the rail as the field headed up the backstretch. Barnes agreed.
"He had to negotiate the first turn, and I think he won the race at the 6 1/2-furlong mark when Martin got him to the outside," Barnes said. "I had told him (before the race) to get off the rail if he had to; he rode him with a lot of confidence.
"Bob always thought he was a distance horse, one that could go a mile and a quarter. I don't know what his plans are for the horse, but I think he'll be a better 4-year-old. We're looking for him to mature a little bit more.
"We'll go back to California and see what the plans are," Barnes said when asked about a possible start in the Breeders' Cup for Power Broker.
Power Broker paid $5.40, $3.80, and $3.20 across the board. Bradester, at 9-1, paid $8.20 and $7, while Holy Lute returned $3.80. The exacta paid $58.20 and the trifecta $460.