Green Lantern Stables' homebred A.P. Indian, in the midst of a four-race win streak capped by his first victory in grade I company, drew outside of the other speed in a full field for the $700,000 Priority One Jets Forego Stakes (gr. I) Aug. 27 at Saratoga Race Course.
The Forego, at seven furlongs for 3-year-olds and up, is one of six grade I stakes on a Saturday card highlighted by the $1.25 million Travers Stakes (gr. I) for 3-year-olds. It is a Breeders' Cup Challenge "Win and You're In" event for the Breeders' Cup Sprint (gr. I).
A.P. Indian, a 6-year-old Indian Charlie gelding trained by Arnaud Delacour, began his streak when he finished second but was placed first via disqualification in the Decathlon Stakes May 14 at Monmouth Park. He then won the seven-furlong Don LeVine Memorial Stakes at Parx Racing June 18, the Belmont Sprint Championship (gr. III) July 9, and most recently the Alfred G. Vanderbilt Handicap (gr. I) July 30 at Saratoga.
About a year ago, A.P. Indian finished sixth in a non-graded stakes at Saratoga. Overall, he has nine wins and four seconds in 15 starts.
Joe Bravo, who is four-for-four aboard A.P. Indian, has a return call from post 11 in a contentious 12-horse field.
"I think with him it's really a question of timing," Delacour told the New York Racing Association media team. "Last year we started early (with him) and he tailed off a little bit in the middle of the year. This time we aimed for the spring and it worked out a little bit better.
"Definitely there's a trip factor involved when you run in a full field, so it's going to be up to Bravo to decide. I'm not going to be able to help him much from where I'm going to be. The thing is he seems to be pretty versatile. He can sit off the pace and he can make the pace if we have to, which is good because I think there will be a lot of speed in it."
Godolphin Racing's homebred Marking, a 4-year-old Bernardini colt who finished second, beaten only a head by A.P. Indian in the Belmont Sprint Championship in his last start, drew post 10 for jockey Joel Rosario and trainer Kiaran McLaughlin. Chalk Racing's Ready for Rye, a 4-year-old City Zip gelding who was third in the Sprint Championship, drew post 9 with John Velazquez riding for trainer Tom Albertrani.
"Seven-eighths should suit us, the time is good in between races, and we're making a change of rider," McLaughlin said of Marking, who in December 2015 finished second to eventual sprint champion Runhappy in the Malibu Stakes (gr. I) at Santa Anita Park.
Improvement is expected from Alto Racing's Anchor Down , a 5-year-old Tapit ridgling who wasn't aided by drawing the rail in the six-furlong Vanderbilt; he didn't get a clean start, was shuffled back and never threatened. He won the one-turn-mile Westchester Stakes (gr. III) Belmont in May and set the quick early pace in Metropolitan Handicap (gr. I) in June at Belmont but couldn't contain Frosted , to whom he finished second beaten 14 1/4 lengths.
"We were actually thinking Forego from the very beginning and we felt like the best way to get there was through the Vanderbilt," trainer Todd Pletcher said of Anchor Down, who drew post 5 with Jose Ortiz named. "Unfortunately, we drew the rail that day. We know he doesn't like it but we felt like we needed to give it a try.
"I think the main thing is that seven furlongs is a better distance for him than six. He looks good. He seems to be coming up to it well."
Saratoga Race Course, Saturday, August 27, 2016, Race 9
- 3 yo's & up
- 4:12 PM (local)
|1||1Catalina Red (FL)||Luis Saez||122||Jorge Navarro||8/1|
|2||2Chief Lion (FL)||Florent Geroux||118||David Jacobson||10/1|
|3||3Limousine Liberal (KY)||Javier Castellano||118||Ben Colebrook||15/1|
|4||4The Truth Or Else (KY)||Ricardo Santana, Jr.||118||Kenneth G. McPeek||30/1|
|5||5Anchor Down (KY)||Jose L. Ortiz||120||Todd A. Pletcher||10/1|
|6||6Tamarkuz (KY)||Mike E. Smith||118||Kiaran P. McLaughlin||15/1|
|7||7Schivarelli (FL)||Rafael Bejarano||118||Eddie Kenneally||20/1|
|8||8Stallwalkin' Dude (FL)||Irad Ortiz, Jr.||118||David Jacobson||8/1|
|9||9Ready for Rye (KY)||John R. Velazquez||118||Thomas Albertrani||10/1|
|10||10Dannie's Deceiver (KY)||Manuel Franco||118||David A. Cannizzo||30/1|
|11||11A. P. Indian (KY)||Joe Bravo||124||Arnaud Delacour||5/2|
|12||12Marking (KY)||Joel Rosario||118||Kiaran P. McLaughlin||3/1|