Perfect Drift, foreground, winning the Spiral Stakes.

Perfect Drift, foreground, winning the Spiral Stakes.

Skip Dickstein

'Ferry' Meets Perfect Drift in Indiana Derby

Wiseman's Ferry, the Lone Star and West Virginia Derby (both gr. III) winner, has been installed the 3-1 morning line favorite for Saturday's Indiana Derby (gr. III), and the son of Hennessy will face 11 rivals including Triple Crown runners Perfect Drift and Easyfromthegitgo. The eighth running of the 1 1/16-miles Indiana Derby, has graded status for the first time.

Wiseman's Ferry, who is owned by Mort Fink, Lee Sachs, and Swifty Farms, has won three of seven starts this year. The front-running colt is coming off a fourth-place finish in the Pennsylvania Derby (gr. III) at Philadelphia Park over the Labor Day weekend. His victories include wire-to-wire scores in the $500,000 Lone Star Derby on May 11 and the $600,000 West Virginia Derby on Aug. 10. Trained by Niall O'Callaghan, Wiseman's Ferry has earned $766,552 this year. Regular rider Jorge Chavez will make the trip to Anderson, Ind. for the mount. Wiseman's Ferry will start from an advantageous inner post for the Indiana Derby, drawing post 3.

Perfect Drift has not been postward since a 10th-place finish in the Belmont Stakes (gr. I) on June 8. He ran a game third behind War Emblem and Proud Citizen in the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) after winning the Lane's End Spiral Stakes (gr. II) in March. By Dynaformer, Perfect Drift is owned by Dr. William and Mary Reed of Missouri and is trained by Murray Johnson. Perfect Drift has trained steadily for Johnson over the training track at Churchill Downs, with recent works of :59 1/5 for five furlongs and :37 for three furlongs under his belt. Jon Court picks up the mount for the first time on the 4-1 second choice, who will break from Post 3.

Easyfromthegitgo, who finished fifth in the Preakness Stakes (gr. I), has made four starts since the Triple Crown. He's recorded a win in the Iowa Derby and a runner-up performance in the Oklahoma Derby (gr. III). Regular rider Donnie Meche will ride the son of Dehere for trainer Steve Asmussen. Owned by James Cassels and Robert Zollars, Easyfromthegitgo has won two of nine starts this year and has earned $516,965. He'll break from Post 5.

Jerry Frankel's Joey Franco also figures in the Indiana Derby mix, and will break from post 11 under Kent Desormeaux. Trained by David Hofmans, Joey Franco brings a four-race win streak to Indiana, with three of those wins coming against California-bred or restricted competition on the West Coast. His last effort was a head decision in the one-mile El Cajon Stakes at Del Mar on Sept. 6. In his final tune-up, the son of Avenue of Flags drilled seven furlongs in 1:26 4/5 at Santa Anita on Sept. 29. He has been installed the 6-1 fourth choice.

The fifth choice on the morning line at 8-1 is City Sharpster, who must break from post 12. Owned by Caesar Kimmel and Phillip Solondz, the John Kimmel-trained son of Carson City is coming off back-to-back wins at Delaware Park and Philadelphia Park. Tony Black has the mount.

Indiana Derby (gr. III), $400,000, 3-year-olds, 1 1/16 miles, Hoosier Park, Saturday, Oct. 5
PP Horse ML
1 Speed Hunter 20-1
2 Premeditation 20-1
3 Perfect Drift 4-1
4 Wiseman's Ferry 3-1
5 Easyfromthegitgo 9-2
6 Pass Rush 10-1
7 M B Sea 20-1
8 Fighting Indians 20-1
9 Robin Zee 15-1
10 Private Horde 20-1
11 Joey Franco 6-1
12 City Sharpster 8-1