Indy Wildcat Takes Shot in Santa Anita Derby

(from Santa Anita notes)
Borderland Derby winner Indy Wildcat could have returned to New Mexico's Sunland Park for Saturday's rich WinStar Derby, but trainer and part owner Paula Capestro chose instead to stay home for the April 8 Santa Anita Derby (gr. I).

The son of A.P. Indy, a maiden prior to his Borderland win Feb. 26, could be the longest shot in the $750,000 Santa Anita Derby. But Capestro isn't concerned about those who feel she is shooting for the moon.

"In some ways, I can't disagree," she said. "But these 3-year-olds can change so rapidly when they are improving, and A.P. Indys tend to improve late. Just look at A.P. Warrior. Our horse is a grinder. He has a similar running style."

San Felipe (gr. II) winner A.P. Warrior is the likely second choice in a small field expected for the Santa Anita Derby.

Indy Wildcat won the $100,000 Borderland at odds of 9-1. After finishing seventh in his debut race at Hollywood Park last Dec. 3, he was fifth and third, respectively, in two maiden allowance races on turf.

"I was just thrilled with his race," Capestro said of Indy Wildcat's head victory in the 1 1/16-mile test under Michael Baze. "He validated the confidence I had in him. We knew we were taking a shot. But we knew he was improving, and we wanted to test him on dirt."

Capestro and her husband, Andrew, purchased 50% of the colt when he was a yearling from breeder Kathleen Ann Schoenfeld, the licensee of Bearing Point Ventures.

This would be the first Santa Anita Derby for the 53-year-old Capestro, who is based at San Luis Rey Downs.