Two-time national champion Indian Blessing has traveled far and wide in adding accomplishment after accomplishment to her vaunted graded-stakes resume. And her lesser-known older brother has had his fair share of journeys, too, though more often due to court-related drama - including a criminal arrest - than for racing glory.
Following her half-mile workout March 23, two-time champion Indian Blessing walked the quarantine barn area Tuesday morning in preparation for the $2-million Dubai Golden Shaheen (UAE-I), Sponsored by Gulf News, Saturday night at Nad Al Sheba in Dubai.
Still reeling from the effects of the worldwide financial crisis, buyers approached the Ocala Breeders' Sales Co. March select sale of 2-year-olds in training cautiously, and their reluctance to spend the really big bucks was a major factor in the opening session's setbacks. Compared to a year ago, when the auction enjoyed a record-setting run, the gross revenue dropped 29.6% while the average price fell 32.6%,and the median price declined 22.2% March 17 in Central Florida.
After pondering the possibility of canceling her trip, trainer Bob Baffert decided March 6 to send champion filly Indian Blessing to take on males in the $2 million Dubai Golden Shaheen (UAE-I).
Proud Spell, an earner of $2,123,610, has not raced since finishing second in the Fitz Dixon Cotillion Stakes (gr. II) at Philadelphia Park last September. Prior to that effort, she scored in the Alabama Stakes (gr. I), and the Kentucky (gr. I), Alabama (gr. I), and Fair Grounds (gr. II) Oaks.
Surgery for the brilliant filly Indyanne, who fractured a sesamoid in her left front ankle while leading in the stretch of the La Brea Stakes (gr. I) at Santa Anita Park Dec. 27, has been postponed, trainer Greg Gilchrist said the morning following the accident.
The champion filly Indian Blessing won her fifth grade I race when she inherited the lead from an injured Indyanne in the homestretch and went on to victory in the $250,000 La Brea Stakes (gr. I) at Santa Anita Dec. 27.
Keeneland's November sale continued its downward trends Nov. 12, but was bouyed by the weanling market as an Indian Charlie weanling colt topped the session.
It was more of the same for the fourth session of the 2008 Keeneland November breeding stock sale Nov. 6 at the Central Kentucky auction house as the number of horses sold, gross, average, and median all fell from last year's marks.
Sam-Son Farm-bred Danceinthesunlight, the first horse through the sales ring, got the fourth session of the 2008 Keeneland November breeding stock sale off to a strong start Nov. 6 when she was purchased by Southern Equine for $675,000.
Mr. Nightlinger picked a good year for a strong improvement in form. The son of Indian Charlie could soon find himself in the Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred championship, contesting the inaugural Turf Sprint.
Indyanne, a contender in the Oct. 24 Sentient Flight Group Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Sprint, will miss the race after developing a low grade fever, according to her trainer, Greg Gilchrist.
Pacesetter Indyanne may scratch out of the Sentient Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Sprint due to fever.
Indian Charlie, who was the highest-priced stallion at Brereton C. Jones' Airdrie Stud in 2008, figures to remain the highest priced stallion at the farm for 2009.
Local hope My Pal Charlie put it all together in the $515,000 Super Derby (gr. II) with his first stakes victory for owner B. Wayne Hughes and trainer Albert Stall Jr. Sept. 20 at Louisiana Downs in Bossier City.
For the third consecutive time, heavy favorite Indian Blessing demolished sprint rivals when she coasted to victory by 6 1/4 lengths in the $150,000 Gallant Bloom Handicap (gr. II) at Belmont Park Sept. 20.
An Indian Charlie filly topped the Sept. 16 session at the Keeneland September yearling sale, going for $250,000.
An Indian Charlie colt produced from the Touch Gold mare Touched brought a top price of $400,000 during the Sept. 15 session of the Keeneland September yearling sale.
A $1.1-million Medaglia d'Oro filly that topped the fourth session of the Keeneland September yearling sale was resold privately by Keeneland officials to celebrity chef Bobby Flay Sept. 13 after the original purchaser and his client were unable to provide sufficient proof of credit, according to Keeneland vice president Harvie Wilkinson.
Moved from the main track for the first time this year, the $200,000 Arlington Sprint Handicap was won in gate-to-wire fashion by odds-on choice Mr. Nightlinger, who set a course record for 5 1/2 furlongs on the firm Arlington Park turf course Aug. 23.
Hal and Patti Earnhardt's homebred filly Indian Blessing, who began her remarkable career almost a year ago by breaking her maiden at Saratoga, returned for the first time Aug. 2 in the $250,000 Test Stakes (gr. I) and like she did in her debut, destroyed the competition. This time, the 3-year-old daughter of Indian Charlie won by seven lengths to earn the fourth grade I victory of her career.
David Jill Heerensperger's Indyanne remained undefeated with a dominating 9 1/2-length romp in the $250,000 Azalea Stakes (gr. III) July 12, the first of four graded stakes on 'Summit of Speed' day at Calder Race Course.
Cutting back to six furlongs, Hal and Patti Earnhardt's Eclipse Award-winning filly Indian Blessing returned to the winner's circle for the first time since February, as she took over at the top of the stretch and drew away for a convincing five-length score in the $250,000 Prioress Stakes (gr. I) July 5 in the mud at Belmont Park.
Under an agreement with the Kentucky Horse Racing Authority, Churchill Downs has agreed to pay a $15,000 administrative penalty stemming from actions involving an assistant starter at this year's Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I).
Race favorite Mr. Nightlinger led from start to finish as he defeated seven rivals in the $100,000 Aegon Turf Sprint (gr. IIIT) at Churchill Downs May 2. Salute the Count checked in second, while Atticus Kristy came running late to grab third.
Millennium Farms' Student Council will try the turf--a surface he's never won over--for the first time since December of 2006 when he tackles seven other starters in the $200,000 John B. Connally Turf Handicap (gr. IIIT) at Sam Houston April 5, but trainer Donnie von Hemel expects Going Ballistic to put up a fight.
Denis of Cork, Blackberry Road, and My Pal Charlie worked at Churchill Downs March 30 as they prepared for final starts before the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I).
After suffering her first defeat March 8 in the Fair Grounds Oaks (gr. II), Bob Baffert said 2007 2-year-old filly champion Indian Blessing would receive a break and possibly miss the Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) on May 4.
Three days ago, trainer Larry Jones said he hoped Proud Spell would pressure Indian Blessing through the early lead in the Fair Grounds Oaks (gr. II). Although Brereton Jones' homebred Proud Citizen filly didn't exactly do that, she did manage to wear down the Eclipse Award winner and get her own score in the March 8 event in New Orleans.
In a recent Q&A with Blood-Horse staff writer Jason Shandler, trainer Bob Baffert said the Eclipse Award-winning Indian Blessing is "so talented, I think she can handle anything." The 3-year-old daughter of Indian Charlie will only have to handle three other runners in the $400,000 Fair Grounds Oaks (gr. II) March 8.
Why Tonto, not favored Cowboy Cal, won the Feb. 16 Hallandale Beach Stakes at Gulfstream.
Derby prospect Cowboy Cal will start in the Feb. 16 Hallandale Beach at Gulfstream Park instead of taking a traditional route.
Leprechaun Racing's Friends Lake colt among top prospects at OBS sale.
Eclipse Award winner Indian Blessing will attempt to maintain a perfect record for Hal and Patti Earnhardt when she leads a field of seven in the $200,000 Silverbulletday Stakes (gr. III) at Fair Grounds Feb. 9.
The Fasig-Tipton Midlantic winter mixed sale enjoyed increases of 75.7% in gross revenue and 21.6% in average price Monday at Timonium in Maryland.
Indian Blessing was rewarded for an impressive 2007 campaign that included three victories in as many starts by winning the Eclipse Award for 2-Year-Old Filly Jan. 21 at the Beverly Wilshire Four Seasons Hotel in Beverly Hills, Calif.
Undefeated Indian Blessing cleared her first hurdle of 2008, but she unexpectedly had to outlast the strongest challenge of her brief career in the $150,000 Santa Ynez Stakes (gr. II) at Santa Anita Jan. 13.
The 3-year-old colt Wise Answer will make his turf debut in the Jan. 1 Tropical Park Derby.
Six of the 10 2-year-olds entered in the $100,000 Generous Stakes (gr. IIIT) at Hollywood Park on Nov. 23 are coming into the one-mile turf event off victories. But the winner could very well be a colt whose record shows the worst effort of the group last time out -- Todd Pletcher trainee The Leopard, whose seventh-place finish in the Oct. 26 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf came over a soggy grass course that left many floundering.
Last year's champion older female Fleet Indian is scheduled to sell in foal to Storm Cat on the opening day of the 2007 Keeneland November mixed sale. Taylor Made Sales Agency, agent, will consign the 6-year-old mare, who is believed to be carrying a colt based on fetal sexing, on behalf of her owner, Paul Saylor.
Indian Charlie, sire of Grey Goose Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I) winner Indian Blessing, will stand for $50,000 at Brereton C. Jones' Airdrie Stud near Midway, Ky.
- By Ron Mitchell
Indian Blessing, winner of the Grey Goose Juvenile Fillies (gr. I), is thoroughly a product of the racing and breeding program of Hal and Patti Earnhardt III, who raced not only the filly's sire but also her stakes-winning dam.
Indian Blessing, the 8-5 favorite, led he 13-horse field on a merry chase in the $2-million Grey Goose Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I) at Monmouth Park Oct. 27, cruising to an easy 3 1/2-length gate-to-wire victory.
Frizette Stakes (gr. I) winner Indian Blessing was installed as the 3-1 morning-line favorite for the $2-million Grey Goose Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I) Oct. 27 at Monmouth Park.
Trainer Todd Pletcher didn't think his chances looked so great for Why Tonto to get in off the alternate list of the $1 million Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf Oct. 26, so he entered the colt in the Oct. 21 King Cugat Stakes at Belmont Park.
After flashing brilliant speed in her debut, Indian Blessing showed she's got some stamina as well with a commanding 4 1/2-length victory in the $400,000 Frizette Stakes (gr. I) for 2-year-old fillies Oct. 6 at Belmont Park.
When Paul Saylor purchased Fleet Indian at the 2006 Keeneland January mixed sale, he had modest expectations and plans for the then 5-year-old mare.
Fleet Indian, who suffered an injury to her left front suspensory ligament during the Nov. 4 running of the Emirates Airline Breeders' Cup Distaff (gr. I) at Churchill Downs, had surgery Nov. 20 to fuse her left front fetlock.
Following Fleet Indian's scheduled start in Saturday's Emirates Airline Breeders' Cup Distaff (gr. I) at Churchill Downs, she heads to Keeneland to be offered Monday during the first session of the November breeding stock auction.
Include, one of the leading freshman sires in several categories, and Indian Charlie, whose daughter, Fleet Indian, takes an eight-race win streak into the Emirates Airline Breeders' Cup Distaff (gr. I), have undergone important stud fee increases for 2007 at Brereton C. Jones' Airdrie Stud near Midway, Ky.
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