LEXINGTON, KY (Oct. 7, 2016) –Green Lantern Stables’ homebred A. P. Indian scored a nose victory over Limousine Liberal in track-record time in the 164th running of the $250,000 G2 Stoll Keenon Ogden Phoenix at six furlongs.
Trained by Arnaud Delacour and ridden by Joe Bravo, A. P. Indian posted his sixth consecutive victory and second victory in a Breeders’ Cup “Win and You’re In” challenge. In his previous start, he had secured a spot in the $1.5 million TwinSpires Breeders’ Cup Sprint (G1) with a triumph in the Forego (G1).
Breaking from the inside, A. P. Indian was shuffled back approaching the turn. The Great War led the field of seven with a first quarter mile in :22.35 but moving past the half-mile pole Cinco Charlie and Limousine Liberal had clear runs at the leader as A. P. Indian dropped back to fourth along the rail.
Entering the stretch, Bravo swung A. P. Indian off the rail and gradually wore down Limousine Liberal, who had taken command at midstretch. A. P. Indian completed the distance in 1:08.43 to break the track record of 1:08.58 set by Runhappy in last year’s Breeders’ Cup Sprint.
The performance resulted in the second victory in the race for Bravo, who won with Forest Wildcat in 1996.
The victory was worth $150,000 and increased A. P. Indian’s earnings to $1,262,434 with a record of 17-11-4-0 with the past four victories coming in graded stakes.
A. P. Indian is a 6-year-old Kentucky-bred gelding by Indian Charlie out of the A.P. Indy mare Ender’s Sister.
He returned $2.80, $2.20, $2.10. Limousine Liberal, ridden by Jose Ortiz, returned $4 and $3 with Ami’s Flatter finishing 3½ lengths back in third and returning $2.60 to show under Florent Geroux.
Completing the field in order were Alsvid, The Great War, W.B. Smudge and Cinco Charlie.
Racing resumes Saturday with a 10-race program that features five graded stakes, three of them Grade 1 races headlined by the $1 million Shadwell Turf Mile. First post time is 1:05 p.m. ET.
Quotes from the $250,000 Stoll Keenon Ogden Phoenix (G2)
Arnaud Delacour (winning trainer of A. P. Indian)
“I was worried since the three-eighths pole when he got shuffled back. I knew it was going to be tough to make up ground. The horse who finished second (Limousine Liberal) has a great performance on this track; he likes this track. So I knew it was going to be tough to get it done. He did a great job.”
Joe Bravo (winning jockey)
“He’s just been a champion all along since the first time I saw him. Everybody warned me before the race, ‘Watch the 1 post,’ because all the horses were outside us. They broke away from the gates so sharply. It’s hard to keep going all the way. What makes this horse so special is he listens. He breathes, relaxes. Hopefully, he just keeps doing what he’s doing.
“The whole Delacour team did a tremendous job of bringing him around. To be six years old and still doing it like a champion and to break a track record today, hey, I take my hat off to him. The horse that run second, Limousine Liberal, that’s a runner. Wasn’t like we were out there against nothing. (A. P. Indian) showed his true colors today.”
Jose Ortiz (rider of runner-up Limousine Liberal)
“My trip was perfect. He broke good. When (the winner) went by me, my horse dug back in. He went after him. I think one more stride and he would have gotten him. My horse ran a very good race.”
Florent Geroux (rider of third-place finisher Ami’s Flatter)
“He broke sharp. From there, he was kind of running after the horses he was following. They were a little bit quick for him early on. But he would be have been tough, tougher (going) a little bit longer. It was a little bit short for him.”
Channing Hill (rider of fourth-place finisher Alsvid)
“I wish they were all as easy a ride as this guy (Alsvid). He’s all class, all heart. He just got outsprinted today. I couldn’t believe he got beat for third. The 3 horse (Ami’s Flatter) just snuck past us for third. We were running still. It’s not like he was backing up. That winner (A. P. Indian) will be hard to beat in the Breeders’ Cup (Sprint).”