Blushing Indian, second to Hopeful Stakes (gr. I) winner Chapel Royal in his last start, heads a field of 10 for Monday's Miller Genuine Draft Cradle Stakes at River Downs. At 1 1/16 miles, the $200,000 Cradle is the first big-money stakes for 2-year-olds around two turns.
Coming from sixth in a seven-horse field in the six-furlong Sanford Stakes (gr. II) on July 24, Blushing Indian rallied well, but was no match for Chapel Royal, who won by 5 3/4 lengths. However, Blushing Indian was 3 1/2 lengths clear in second while under Robby Albarado. Albarado will make the trip to River Downs for the mount.
Blushing Indian is a bay colt by Cherokee Run, out of the Risen Star mare Starring Monique. Owned by William Pacella, Joseph Rizza, and Ronald Schwed, Blushing Indian was bred in Kentucky by Thomas/Lakin/Kintz. He broke his maiden June 7 at Churchill Downs, getting 5 1/2 furlongs in 1:04.42 for trainer Dale Romans.
An intriguing starter in the Cradle is Greg Fox's Cherniavsky. A son of Makin, Cherniavsky has yet to win, but has yet to finish off the board and is stakes-placed. He met eventual Three Chimneys Stakes winner Limehouse in his debut at Keeneland April 16 while getting beat just a neck. He then met eventual graded stakes winner Cuvee in a maiden test at Churchill Downs on Kentucky Oaks Day, again finishing second. He was third, beaten six lengths in the Prairie Gold Juvenile Stakes at Prairie Meadows on June 27. He wheels back in the Cradle off short rest, having finished second against maiden company at Ellis Park on Aug. 23.
Also stakes-placed is Lightnin N Thunder, a Storm Cat colt owned by WinStar Farm and trained by Elliott Walden. After breaking his maiden by seven lengths July 19 at Ellis Park, Lightnin N Thunder finished third in the seven-furlong James C. Ellis Stakes on Aug. 17.
Team Valor Stables' Tiger Hunt takes a swing at the Cradle off a one-length maiden win at Churchill Downs on July 5. By Kris S. out of the Conquistador Cielo mare Thega, Tiger Hunt is also trained by Walden. He broke his maiden in 1:11.09 while coming from far off the pace.
Miller Genuine Draft Cradle Stakes, River Downs, Sept. 1, $200,000, 2-year-olds, 1 1/16 miles,
Post, Horse, Jockey
1, Blushing Indian, Robby Albarado
2, Another Freddy, Ramon Rechy
3, Cash Button, John McKee
4, Organizing Chaos, Justin Shepherd
5, Lightnin N Thunder, Rene R. Douglas
6, Tiger Hunt, Larry Melancon
7, Harbor Music, Jeff Johnston
8, Cherniavsky, Terry J. Thompson
9, Texas Deputy, Dean P. Butler
10, Willing Way, Orlando Mojica