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SHELBYVILLE, IN – Godolphin homebred Shared Sense powered his way home in the stretch to win Wednesday’s $300,000 Indiana Derby (G3) at Indiana Grand and give trainer Brad Cox and jockey Florent Geroux back-to-back graded stakes victories.
Breaking from post 5 under Geroux as the 5/2 favorite, Shared Sense immediately took back and watched from near-last as Taishan held a slim lead heading into the clubhouse turn.
Moving up to ride within striking range as the field entered the far turn, Geroux tipped Shared Sense out to make a wide bid at the top of the stretch, bumping slightly with Major Fed in the process.
Kicking into high gear as he straightened for home, Shared Sense pulled away from the field and kept a charging Major Fed at bay, crossing 3 lengths clear in a final time of 1:49.46 for the 1 1/8-mile fast dirt track event.
“Beautiful trip to save ground all the way around there,” Geroux said. “It looked like the pace in front of me was honest. … Honestly, we were excited to see him run a mile and 1/8. It looked like the farther he goes, the better he goes.”
Following the race, jockey James Graham (aboard Major Fed) lodged an objection due to the aforementioned interference.
“He knocked me sideways just before the quarter pole,” Graham said. “Drilled me. It’s a bad angle with the camera. It’s where it changes. He ran his butt off. … If (Shared Sense) doesn’t slam me, I think we keep going.”
Upon review, the stewards opted to make no change to the original order of finish.
“Maybe I had contact with … Major Fed, but honestly, I don’t think it made a difference,” Geroux said. “If I beat him a head, maybe we can make a case for it, but when my horse ran going away like this, it was pretty clear there was not too much going on there.”
A 1/2 length behind Major Fed came Necker Island, while behind them came Earner, Extraordinary, Taishan, Winning Impression, Background, and an eased No Getting Over Me. Juggernaut was scratched.
The Indiana Derby is part of the Road to the 2020 Kentucky Derby prep race season. Shared Sense earned 20 points for the win, with Major Fed receiving 8 for second, Necker Island 4 for third, and Earner 2 for fourth.
Shared Sense’s win was his first at the stakes level and second of the year to improve his overall record to 8-3-2-0. The 3-year-old Street Sense colt has now earned $322,112 in his career.
“He’s a tough horse,” Cox said. “This horse, on the dry dirt, that’s where he gets his best races. I tried him on the grass. His physical makeup, how he travels, I thought he might like the grass. He didn’t really go for it. … He’s just a horse I think will get better with distance and race.”
Shared Sense returned $7.60 to win, $4.80 to place, and $3.20 to show. Major Fed brought back $5.40 to place and $4.60 to show, while Necker Island paid $5.40 to show.
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