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Indian Pride Tough as Nails in Shine Again
Credit: NYRA

Indian Pride Tough as Nails in Shine Again

SARATOGA SPRINGS, NY – Brereton Jones homebred Indian Pride fought off all comers with a tough-as-nails stretch performance that won Friday’s $85,000 Shine Again Stakes at Saratoga.

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Indian Pride broke alertly from post 5 under Javier Castellano as the 2/1 favorite and immediately went to the lead. Joy Epifora and Blamed tracked her closest of all through opening fractions of :23.13 and :46.06.

Midway through the far turn, Joy Epifora shot through an opening between Indian Pride and the rail, and at the top of the stretch, she held a narrow lead. Her command was fleeting, as Blamed and Indian Pride quickly retook the top position from her shortly thereafter.

Blamed poked her head in front at the 1/8 pole, but Indian Pride refused to give in and fought back gamely along the rail. At the 1/16 pole, Indian Pride surged ahead and held sway in the late stages to win by a 1/2-length.

The Chad Brown trainee completed the 7-furlong fast dirt sprint in a final time of 1:21.63.

Credit: NYRA / Susie Raisher

“I really like the way she fought for me today,” Castellano said. “She dictated the pace, and then there was pressure to the inside, and when Blamed went after her in the stretch and buried her a little bit into the rail, she never gave up. She kept fighting all the way to the end to win the race. She showed me a lot of class and a lot of heart, too.”

Blamed was 3 lengths better than Risky Mandate, herself a clear third. Joy Epifora failed to sustain her bid and weakened to fourth, a 1/2-length past Honor Way.

Positive SpiritBella CiaoPlease Flatter Me, and Slimey completed the order of finish. Estilo Femenino was scratched.

Indian Pride’s win was her second straight following an allowance score at Belmont Park last month in her 2020 debut. The 4-year-old Proud Citizen filly improved her record to 4-3-0-1 with $157,550 earned.

“She showed what she’s made of today,” Brown said. “I was really proud of her effort. She’s always been a horse that had immense talent. When she broke her maiden here last summer, it was breathtaking, really, arguably the most impressive win we had last year. She’s had some bumps and bruises along the way in terms of the interrupted schedule, but now she has 2 straight races under her belt and I hope to have her for the whole season.”

Indian Pride returned $6 to win, $3.80 to place, and $2.90 to show. Blamed brought back $3.90 to place and $2.80 to show, while Risky Mandate paid $2.90 to show.

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