Purse Increase and Graded Status Attracts Runners to Indiana

An extra $100,000 added to the purse and graded status has attracted more than 40 nominations to the $400,000 Indiana Derby (gr. III) on Oct. 5 at Hoosier Park. The Oct. 4 Indiana Breeders' Cup Oaks was boosted to grade III status last year and received a $100,000 purse increase this year. The $300,000 Oaks attracted more than 20 nominations.

Aside from an increased purse and graded status, the Indiana Derby has attracted runners with strong ties to the Hoosier state.

Heading the list of horses with a local tie is Wiseman's Ferry, who is partially owned by Don and Dana Myers' Swifty Farms of Seymour, Ind. The chestnut son of Hennessy comes into the race off a fourth-place finish in the grade III Pennsylvania Derby. Trained by Niall O' Callaghan, Wiseman's Ferry won the grade III Lone Star and West Virginia Derbies earlier this year.

Swifty Farms will also have an added interest with Pass Rush, who was bred and raised by the Myers family. The Indiana-bred son of their sire, Crown Ambassador, is now under the direction of trainer Pat Byrne and owner Michael Tabor. Pass Rush was second in the Iowa Derby (gr. III) earlier this year and finished sixth in the West Virginia Derby.

Both the Indiana Derby and Oaks will be carded as the ninth race on their respective nights with a post time of 9:40 p.m.