Breeders’ Cup Sprint Next for A.P. Indian
In case you missed last Friday’s Phoenix Stakes at Keeneland, you may want to watch the race. A. P. Indian, the heavy 2-5 favorite, dueled with Limousine Liberal in a long stretch drive to win by a nose in record time. In winning his sixth straight race this year, A.P. Indian earned a spot in the starting gate for TwinSpires Breeders’ Cup Sprint Nov. 5 at Santa Anita.
The 146th running of the Grade II, $250,000 Phoenix Stakes, a Breeders’ Cup ‘Win and You’re In’ qualifying challenge series race, was also part of Keeneland’s opening day Fall Meet last Friday. The victory also moved A.P. Indian into the top-10 in this week’s NTRA Top Thoroughbred Poll.
A .P. Indian already had his free ticket to the Breeders’ Cup Sprint after capturing the Grade 1 Forego at Saratoga in record time on Aug. 27. That was his second-straight grade I win. A.P. Indian would continue his super 6-year-old season in the Phoenix. He would not be denied after getting shuffled back to fourth around the far turn. A.P. Indian moved through an opening to take the lead in the stretch and then dug deep to battle Limousine Liberal stride for stride before prevailing by a nose in a photo finish. The victory was sweet and in record time, as A.P. Indian covered 6 furlongs in 108.43 over a fast surface to set a new track record at Keeneland.
“He’s just been a champion all along,” said winning jockey Joe Bravo. “What makes him so special is he listens. He breathes, he relaxes. It wasn’t like we were out there running against nothing. My hat’s off to the horse who took us to the wire. He was really tough.”
A .P. Indian returned $2.80 as a heavy favorite in a field of seven older horses. Limousine Liberal, a 6-1 shot ridden by Jose Ortiz, was another 3 1/2 lengths in front of Ami’s Flatter, the 9-2 second choice who was up in the final jump to get third over Alsvid.
Trainer Arnaud Delacour scratched A. P. Indian last weekend from the Grade 1 Vosburgh when the track came up sloppy at Belmont Park. A .P. Indian, by Indian Charlie, now has won 11 of 17 career starts and earned $1,262,434.