Green Lantern Stables’ A. P. Indian gets a second chance at a prep race for the TwinSpires Breeders’ Cup Sprint (gr. I) in Keeneland’s $250,000 Stoll Keenon Ogden Phoenix Stakes (gr. II) Oct. 7. The 6-year-old drew the rail for the six-fulrong race that drew a field of seven.
The morning-line favorite for last Saturday’s Vosburgh Stakes (gr. I) at Belmont off a sweep of Saratoga’s grade I sprints this summer, trainer Arnaud Delacour opted to scratch A. P. Indian due to muddy conditions over the waterlogged track on Long Island. While both the Vosburgh and Phoenix are “Win and You’re In” events for the Breeders’ Cup, it matters little to his connections as he attained that status winning the Spa’s Forego Stakes (gr. I) by 2 1/2 lengths.
Two of A. P. Indian’s 16 starts have come at Keeneland. The Indian Charlie gelding was second, beaten a nose in an allowance optional claiming race in the spring of 2015, then returned in the fall to run sixth (at 16-1) in last year’s Phoenix won by eventual champion male sprinter Runhappy . To show his advancement, A. P. Indian has not been defeated since and has won the three richest sprint stakes on the New York Racing Association in succession.
Runners with starts over the main track at Keeneland generally have a leg up and two of A. P. Indian’s rivals have won in Lexington. Ivan Dalos’ Ami's Flatter, a 4-year-old Flatter homebred won the seven-furlong Commonwealth Stakes (gr. III) during the spring meet. Since he was fifth behind runaway Frosted in the Metropolitian Handicap (gr. I) and fifth in a grade II in Canada.
The other Phoenix runner with a win over the track is Katherine Bell’s Limousine Liberal, an easy winner in his 2016 debut in April while setting the track standard for 6 1/2 furlongs in 1:15.05. Last year he ran 11th in the Breeders’ Cup Sprint. The son of Successful Appeal has been training steadily at Keeneland before and after a seventh-place outing in A. P. Indian’s Forego.
Black Hawk Stable’s Alsvid is a danger in the Phoenix off his recent form. Poor outings in last year’s Phoenix and in the Breeders’ Cup have been replaced by a pair of stakes wins at Churchill Downs this summer, including a score by a head over Limousine Liberal in the Aristides Stakes (gr. III). He’s since delivered a good third-place effort in Del Mar’s Bing Crosby Stakes (gr. I) in late July. Trainer Chris Hartman put in a bullet five furlongs in 1:00 2/5 into the 7-year-old Officer gelding on Saturday.
In the outside post is Bill and Corinne Heligbrodt’s quick Cinco Charlie who figures to set the tempo. An eight-time winner from 17 starts, he has proved dangerous when left to his own devices on the front end.
The last two winners of the Phoenix—Work All Week and Runhappy—won the Breeders’ Cup and were named champions.
Keeneland, Friday, October 07, 2016, Race 8
- 3 yo's & up
- 4:57 PM (local)
|1||1A. P. Indian (KY)||Joe Bravo||124||Arnaud Delacour||4/5|
|2||2W. B. Smudge (KY)||Julien R. Leparoux||120||Matt Kordenbrock||12/1|
|3||3Ami's Flatter (ON)||Florent Geroux||120||Josie Carroll||9/2|
|4||4Alsvid (KY)||Channing Hill||120||Chris A. Hartman||6/1|
|5||5Limousine Liberal (KY)||Jose L. Ortiz||120||Ben Colebrook||5/1|
|6||6The Great War (KY)||Julio A. Garcia||120||Wesley A. Ward||15/1|
|7||7Cinco Charlie (KY)||Ricardo Santana, Jr.||120||Steven M. Asmussen||8/1|