Injustice prevails in Azeri 'Cup.

Injustice prevails in Azeri 'Cup.

Jeff Coady

Injustice Doesn't Stop in Azeri BC 'Cap

(from Oaklawn report)
Injustice, bought privately last month for a reported $165,000 by Darrell and Evelyn Yates and turned over to Chicago-based trainer Wayne Catalano, paid an immediate dividend by winning the $175,000 Azeri Breeders' Cup (gr. III) gate to wire before a sun-baked crowd of 22,087 Saturday at Oaklawn Park.

This was not the first time that Yates and Catalano have enjoyed success at Oaklawn. Back in 1997, they won the Arkansas Derby with the late-running Crypto Star.

Jockey Luis Quinonez gunned Injustice, a 4-year-old daughter of Breeders' Cup Sprint winner Lit de Justice, right to the lead from the one-hole in the 1 1/16-mile Azeri for fillies and mares. The gray maintained a slight advantage over California invader Fencelineneighbor and Colony Band through moderate fractions of :23 4/5, :48 and 1:12 3/5.

This was the eighth, and most significant, victory for Injustice -- purchased originally as a 2-year-old for $9,000 -- in 18 starts. Her final time was 1:43 2/5 over the fast Oaklawn strip, and she paid $16.80, $7.20 and $3.60 as the fifth choice.

She earned $105,000 for her owners and becomes a leading contender for the Apple Blossom (gr. I) on April 9, a race won three consecutive years by the great Azeri.

Colony Band and Island Sand, the 8-5 favorite, made runs at Injustice from the outside through the lane. But Injustice, under a right-hand stick, gamely held off Colony Band ($6.40, $3.80) to win by a half-length. Island Sand ($2.80) flattened out in the final furlong to finish third, 5 1/2 lengths behind the Todd Pletcher-trained Colony Band.

Casual Attitude, Fencelineneighbor and L Reason completed the order.

The race, formerly the Oaklawn Breeders' Cup, was changed this year to honor the three-time Apple Blossom Handicap winner.

(Chart, Equibase)