David and Jill Heerensperger’s Indyanne is undefeated and unchallenged in four career starts. The lightning-quick daughter of Indian Charlie looks to continue her domination Aug. 23 at Saratoga, as she takes on seven quality 3-year-old fillies in the $100,000-added Victory Ride (gr. III).
One of four graded stakes on the Travers day card, the six-furlong Victory Ride is race eight and the first leg of the guaranteed $1-million Pick Four. Post time is set for approximately 4:03 p.m. EDT.
Bred in Kentucky by Offshoot Farm, Indyanne has been absolutely terrific in four starts. She broke her maiden by 10 lengths last August at Bay Meadows, won the Bay Meadows Debutante by six lengths the following month, then opened her sophomore campaign in June on the Golden Gate Fields Tapeta surface by romping to a seven-length score in allowance company. The gray filly made her stakes debut look easy July 12 at Calder, going gate-to-wire in the Azalea (gr. III) to win by 9 1/2 lengths under Russell Baze. Added together, she has won all four races by a combined 32 1/2 lengths and has never trailed after first call.
“She’s flat-out fast, there’s no doubt about that,” said trainer Greg Gilchrist. “But we don’t go into these races thinking that she has to have the lead. It has just worked out that she has out-run her competition, and we don’t want to discourage her if she is doing it willingly and easily. We’ve worked her behind horses before and I have no doubt she can rate, but rating is one thing and taking the run out of a horse is another. At Calder, she just dragged Russell to the front when no one else wanted the lead.”
With Baze aboard once again and carrying 123 pounds, Indyanne will be a big favorite Aug. 23. She shipped to New York earlier this week after turning in a final breeze at California, a bullet work of 1:00-flat for five furlongs. Gilchrist has nothing but superlatives for his rising star.
“When we first got her, we knew she was the exceptional one of the young group of horses that she came up with,” Gilchrist said. “And she has handled everything. She handled synthetic surfaces, dirt and then we hauled her to Calder and she shipped well, too. She’s a very laid-back horse. Looking at her record and how she wins her races, you would think she would be very high-strung and precocious. But she is just the opposite.”
Also carrying 123 pounds is William Stiritz’ Palanka City, who could be Indyanne’s biggest threat. The daughter of Carson City won three in a row before finishing fourth in the Aug. 2 Darley Test (gr. I), a race where she led after a half-mile but was swallowed by Indian Blessing.
Trained by Barclay Tagg, Palanka City captured her lone graded stakes May 16 at Pimlico, taking the Miss Preakness (gr. III) by 5 1/2 lengths in the mud. Overall, she is 5-2-1 from 11 lifetime starts. Like Indyanne, Palanaka City is working well coming into the event. She turned in a bullet four-furlong breeze Aug. 20 at Saratoga, getting the half-mile in :47.26. Eibar Coa gets the assignment and will break from the rail.
The other graded stakes winner in the field is Bob Baffert trainee More Happy. Like Indyanne, the lightly-raced Vindication filly has made just four lifetime starts. One of her two wins came last August in the Adirondack Stakes (gr. II) at Saratoga. She has been off the board in two starts this year.
In her most recent effort, More Happy was fifth to current entrant Porte Bonheur in the restricted Flanders Stakes Aug. 2 at Saratoga.
$100,000 Victory Ride (gr. III, Race 8, 4:03 p.m.), 3-year-old fillies, Six furlongs (Dirt)
PP. Horse, Weight, Jockey
1. Palanka City (KY), 123, Eibar Coa
2. Throbbin' Heart (KY), 120, Shaun Bridgmohan
3. More Happy (KY), 120, Cornelio Velasquez
4. Informed Decision (KY), 118, John Velazquez
5. Indyanne (KY), 123, Russell Baze
6. Porte Bonheur (KY), 120, Ramon Dominguez
7. Sly Storm (KY), 120, Javier Castellano
8. J Z Warrior (KY), 120, Kent Desormeaux