Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Cupids Wins Indiana Derby

Cupid earned a preliminary Beyer Speed Figure of 94 for his front-running three-quarter length victory in the $500,000 Indiana Derby (G2) Saturday night at Indiana Grand. The performance rating was just off his career-best 95 Beyer, which came in a front-running 1 ¼-length victory in the $900,000 Rebel Stakes (G2) March 19 at Oaklawn.

Ridden for the first time Saturday by Rafael Bejarano, Cupid ran 1 1/16 miles over a fast track in 1:43.30 and paid $5.40 as the 8-5 favorite. The victory, Cupid’s third in seven starts overall, increased his career earnings to $880,553.

“I’m just happy for the horse,” Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert told Indiana Grand publicity staff via phone after the race. His last race was so disappointing.”

The son of Tapit was most recently fifth in the Easy Goer Stakes on the Belmont Stakes undercard June 11 at Belmont Park. That had been his first start since undergoing minor throat surgery after his off-the-board performance in the Arkansas Derby as the favorite.   

Cupid became the second 2016 Rebel graduate to win a major stakes race. Creator won the $1 million Arkansas Derby (G1) April 16 and $1.5 million Belmont Stakes (G1) after finishing third in the Rebel.

Baffert also won the Rebel and Indiana Derby in 2010 with champion Lookin At Lucky.

$2 Million … Almost

Departing moved closer to $2 million in career earnings with a two-length victory over Rocket Time in the $100,000 Michael G. Schaefer Memorial Stakes Saturday night at Indiana Grand.

Departing ($6.80) finished second in his 2016 debut, the $100,000 Fifth Season Stakes Jan. 16 at Oaklawn.

Departing increased his career earnings to $1,928,229 following his ninth victory from 26 lifetime starts. The Schaefer snapped an eight-race losing streak.

Rocket Time was a March 26 allowance/optional claiming winner at Oaklawn for Al Stall, Departing’s former trainer.

Finishing third in the Schaefer was Oaklawn-raced Bordini.

 

In other stakes action Saturday night at Indiana Grand, Oaklawn-raced Cash Control finished second in the $100,000 Indiana General Assembly Distaff Stakes and Oaklawn-raced Pangburn and Conquest Curlgirl were second and third, respectively, in the $100,000 Mari Hulman George Stakes.

Finish Lines

Arkansas Derby/Belmont Stakes winner Creator worked 5 furlongs in 1:01.87 Monday at Saratoga. … Multiple Oaklawn stakes winner Ivan Fallunovalot returned to the work tab Friday at Lone Star Park, breezing 3 furlongs in :38. Unraced since winning the $100,000 King Cotton Stakes Jan. 30 at Oaklawn because of a quarter-crack, Ivan Fallunovalot is pointing for a September return at Remington Park. … First-time starter Fournette, a 3-year-old Tizway colt, represented the 498th career winner for Brad Cox, Oaklawn’s fourth-leading trainer this year, in Friday’s sixth race at Belmont Park, according to Equibase, racing’s official data gathering organization. Owned by Staton Flurry of Hot Springs, Fournette ($31.80) missed the Oaklawn meeting after a tibia stress fracture was discovered in January. The colt, named for LSU All-American tailback Leonard Fournette, was the first Belmont starter for Flurry, who won two races this year in Hot Springs. … Owner Frank Fletcher’s record-setting OBS June 2-year-old purchase has been named C Z Rocket. The City Zip colt is based at Churchill Downs with trainer Al Stall, but has yet to breeze. Fletcher has campaigned, among others, Oaklawn stakes winners Son of Rocket, Dance Caller and Wolf Man Rocket. Son of Rocket finished third in the 2001 Arkansas Derby, the race Fletcher, a prominent North Little Rock, Ark., businessman, covets more than any other. … Hoppertunity, winner of the $600,000 Rebel Stakes (G2) in 2014 at Oaklawn, has been assigned 119 pounds for the $200,000 San Diego Handicap (G2) Saturday at Del Mar. Champion California Chrome is the 126-pound high weight. Also weighted are Oaklawn-raced Hard Aces (118) and Win the Space (116). … Hoppertunity has been assigned top weight of 123 pounds for the $100,000 Cougar Handicap (G3) Sunday at Del Mar. Also weighted is Hard Aces (122).

 

-30-