Wilburn Finds Opening, Wins Indiana Derby
Photo: Jamie Linscott/Hoosier Park
Wilburn and Julien Leparoux come through with a win in the Indiana Derby.

Stonestreet Stables’ Wilburn   won his first graded stakes under a smart ride by Julien Leparoux in the $500,000 Indiana Derby (gr. II) at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino Oct. 1 (VIDEO).

Wilburn, winner of the Smarty Jones Stakes at Parx Racing in his last start Sept. 5, was stuck inside on the run up the backstretch and into the far turn. Leparoux, however, guided the colt through an opening along the rail, and he opened up a lead that never was threatened.

Wilburn won the Indiana Derby by 4 3/4 lengths over favored Shackleford  . Leparoux a race earlier won the Indiana Oaks (gr. II) with Juanita by an identical margin.

Fractions for the 1 1/16-mile Indiana Derby were :24 for the opening quarter-mile, :48.60 for the half-mile, and 1:13.40 for six furlongs. Wilburn completed the distance in 1:43.60 on a fast track.

Shackleford, winner of the Preakness Stakes (gr. I) earlier this year and considered among the top 3-year-old males in the country, rated in third for most of the way but couldn’t match the winner’s move at the top of the stretch. Second choice Caleb's Posse  , winner of the grade I King’s Bishop Stakes and grade II Amsterdam Stakes at shorter distances this summer, rallied for third.

Wilburn, trained by Steve Asmussen, paid $7.20 to win as the third choice. It has been feast or famine for Wilburn, who is now five-for-eight with no second- or third-place finishes.

Wilburn, by Bernardini   out of the Carson City mare Moonlight Sonata, was bred in Kentucky by Woodbridge Bloodstock.

Hoosier Park reported total pari-mutuel handle of slightly more than $2 million on the 12-race card.

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