In her last start, David and Jill Heerensperger's Indyanne lunged at the start and missed winning Saratoga's Victory Ride Stakes (gr. III) (VIDEO) by just half a length. At Keeneland Oct. 4, she got the perfect break and trip, and returned to her winning ways in the $300,000 Thoroughbred Club of America Stakes (gr. III) on the Keeneland Polytrack.
The 3-year-old daughter of Indian Charlie has won five of six starts, including her first graded stakes score by nine lengths in Calder's Azalea (gr. III) this July.
"She should have really been undefeated," trainer Greg Gilchrist said following the filly's frontrunning score. "She got left up there in Saratoga (but) she broke well today. I didn't really like being on the inside of the five (Sugar Swirl) that much, but that's why (jockey) Robby (Albarado) earns the money. He did a great job."
Setting the pace just off the rail, Indyanne and Albarado make quick work of the six fulongs as they jetted through a quarter in :21.77 and a half in :44.54. The gray filly had the lead coming down the stretch, but a late-running Wild Gams came out under Miguel Mena to threaten her lead. In the end, a head separated the two, with Indyanne coming out the winner in a final time of 1:08.50, just one-fifth of a second away from the track record for the distance.
"It's easy when you ride great fillies like her," Albarado said. "She was very kind about everything she did today. I didn't like being in the one hole today, but she broke well and I was kind of committed. She's very talented, and her time shows it."
Indyanne returned $5.40, $3.40, and $2.80, while Wild Gams paid $3.40 and $2.60, and Sugar Swirl brought $3. Indian Delight, Sweet Hope, Any Limit, Cash's Girl, and Graeme Six completed the order of finish. Dhanyata and Golden Doc A scratched.
With her Thoroughbred Club of America score, Indyanne qualified for a berth in the Sentient Breeders' Cup's Filly and Mare Sprint Oct. 24 at Santa Anita. Wild Gams will likely be retired.
"We had kind of planned that," said trainer Benjamin Perkins Jr. "She's here, and she'll probably stay right here."
Indyanne, bred in Kentucky by Offshoot Farm, is out of the Silver Ghost mare Merchant. From six starts she has five wins and one second, with earnings of $434,870.
Earlier in the $250,000 Phoenix Stakes (gr. III) (VIDEO), Tom Durant's Sing Baby Sing was sent off at odds of 26-1, but no one told the 5-year-old son of Unbridled's Song that he wasn't supposed to steal the show.
In his first outing over an artificial surface, the Jack Bruner trainee benefited from wicked early fractions set by the frontrunning Talent Search under Rafael Bejarano, who was pushed for the lead by Semaphore Man. Talent Search, the 8-5 favorite, ran a quarter in :21.58 and a half in :43.95, but by the quarter-pole Sing Baby Sing was moving three-wide to get up by three-quarters in a final time of 1:08.48.
"They were going fast in front of us," said jockey Justin Shephard. "My main concern, really, was if he'd like this track, and he seemed to love it today."
"The 12 horse kept pushing and pushing him," Bejarano said of his trip aboard Talent Search. "If I had gotten a chance to get him to relax I think he would have gotten it."
Sing Baby Sing shipped into Keeneland off a second-place effort in Zia Park's Sept. 14 Premier Handicap, and took a definite step up in class when he won the six-furlong test at the Lexington oval. His previous starts, including a score in the Remington Sprint Championship, came at Oaklawn Park, Lone Star Park, Remington Park, Prairie Meadows, and Zia Park. Sing Baby Sing has started only five times in the past 12 months, but every time prior to the Pheonix he finished second, including a runner-up finish in the Iowa Sprint Handicap this June.
"We wanted to try him on the Polytrack, to see what we could get done there," Bruner said. "I didn't quite feel like I had him exactly where I wanted him in his last race; he had some feet issues that we've since resolved. I was very pleased with him today."
Bred in Kentucky by ClassicStar, Sing Baby Sing is out of the Rollin On Over mare Roll Over Baby He now has eight wins and six seconds from 17 starts, with earnings of $399,620. Bruner did not say where the sprinter would head for his next start.
Sing Baby Sing returned $55.20, $17.00, and $9.20. Talent Search brought $3.60 and $2.80 to place, while Carnacks Choice brought $5.60 to show.