Indiana Derby Next Challenge for Bright One

Bright One, who has won three of four career starts by a total of 22 1/2 lengths, remains on schedule for the Oct. 7 Indiana Derby (gr. II) at Hoosier Park, trainer Dale Romans said.

Owned by Carolyn Sue Bruder and Delmar Daubs, Bright One last raced Aug. 6, when he won the $750,000 West Virginia Derby (gr. III) at Mountaineer Race Track & Gaming Resort by 5 3/4 lengths. The 3-year-old colt, by Dance Brightly out of the Lively One mare Twinkle, previously won twice at Churchill Downs--by 9 1/2 lengths in a maiden special weight event, and by 7 1/4 lengths in the Forestry Handicap.

Bright One was so impressive in winning the 1 1/8-mile Mountaineer race in his two-turn debut that he was under consideration for the Aug. 27 Travers Stakes (gr. I) at Saratoga. Romans and the colt's owners opted to take a pass and wait for the $500,000 Indiana Derby at 1 1/16 miles. The week before the Travers, it was revealed the colt had some mucus in his lungs.

Mike and Carolyn Sue Bruder, as well as Daubs, live in Indiana not far from the western Kentucky border. Mike Bruder, who bred Bright One, is the Ellis Park representative for the Kentucky Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association.

Romans on Sept. 6 said Bright One is doing well. When asked if he regretted not running the colt in the Travers, which was won impressively by Bernardini, Romans said: "You never want to skip a big race if you have a chance, but everything has to be perfect."

After the West Virginia Derby, Romans said the Travers was only a possibility; the colt's connections seemed to zero in on the Indiana race. Romans indicated a win in the Indiana Derby could set the table for a tough decision, because the Breeders' Cup Classic - Powered by Dodge (gr. I) will be held Nov. 4 at Churchill Downs, where Bright One is based.

"We'll keep our options open for the Classic," the trainer said of the 1 1/4-mile event. "It's always a possibility. The Clark Handicap would be another option. No matter what, I think he'll have one more race (after the Indiana Derby) before the year is over."

The $500,000 Clark Handicap (gr. I) at 1 1/8 miles is scheduled for Nov. 24 at Churchill.