Favored Crafty Shaw defended his title in the $100,000 Michael Schaefer Mile Saturday night at Hoosier Park with a 2 1/4-length win over Cool N Collective. Ridden by Craig Perret, the 5-year-old chestnut horse earned his second consecutive victory for owner Charles Cella and trainer Peter Vestal, who conditioned Peruvian to victory in the 1995 Indiana Derby.The time for the mile on a track listed as "good" was 1:37. Fighting Indians was third, 6 3/4 lengths behind the winner.Starting from post five in the seven-horse field, Crafty Shaw eased out of the gate as Patton's Victory and Perry Compton flew to the lead from the outside. Cappuchino and Jon Court held their own inside while Crafty Shaw tracked the leaders through most of the one-mile distance. Perret made his move to the lead around the final turn and when the field headed home, he was clear and driving to the wire for the victory."I just sat there with him (Crafty Shaw) after it was a hard run on the front end," said Perret. "I called on him a little in the far turn and he put me right in the game."The victory was the 13th for Crafty Shaw, who now possesses more than $850,000 in career earnings. He is two for two at Hoosier Park, both victories in the Schaeffer Mile. Cool and Collective, with rider Richard Bracho, rallied up for second while Fighting Indians and Orlando Mojica finished third. Well fancied Pass Rush, the 2002 Indiana Horse of the Year, and Ack Ack winner Cappuchino, both sent off at 5-2, were not factors late. Pass Rush angled five wide on the turn for home and had nothing left for the stretch, finishing fifth. Cappuchino tired after tracking the pace to the final turn and faded to last in the field of seven."He (Crafty Shaw) has always been a cold weather horse, so we try to schedule his races accordingly," Vestal said.
Crafty Shaw is heading back to Churchill Downs for the upcoming $500,000 Clark Handicap (gr. II) Nov. 28. The son of Crafty Prospector will try to avenge his second place finish in that event last season.The winner paid $4.80 $3.40 and $2.60 as the 7-5 choice. Cool N Collective returned $11.60 and $5.80. Fighting Indians' show was $4.40.(Chart, Equibase)