A. P. Indian Gets Second Grade I in Forego
By Eric Mitchell, courtesy of Blood-Horse
A. P. Indian, a son of Indian Charlie, won his second consecutive grade I sprint in record time in the Priority One Jets Forego Stakes at Saratoga Race Course. The final time was 1:20.99.
Green Lantern Stables' homebred 6-year-old gelding was the even-money favorite because he's won two graded stakes since July when he won the Belmont Spring Championship Stakes (gr. III) and followed that by winning the grade I Alfred G. Vanderbilt Handicap by 1 1/4 lengths.
Longshot Chief Lion and jockey Florent Geroux grabbed the lead early and took the field through fractions of :22.83 and :45.35. A. P. Indian stalked him, following close through the turn and then took the lead at the top of the stretch. From there, the winner under jockey Joe Bravo widened his margin to 2 1/2 lengths and never got a serious challenge. Tamarkuz finished second, followed by Stallwalkin' Dude.
A. P. Indian bested the previous stakes record of 1:21 held by Quick Call (1988), Housebuster (1991), and Emcee (2012). The final time was also .59 off the Saratoga track record of 1:20.40 set by Darby Creek Road on Aug. 8, 1978.
Trainer Arnaud Delacour said the the Belmont Sprint Championship was a turning point for A. P. Indian.
"He came back so much more confident for some reason," he said. "Ever since, he has been improving and consistent. I told Joe nothing. I just asked him what he wanted to do and he told me what he wanted to do, and I said, 'Good luck.'
"Obviously, the horse was very fit. Six furlongs or seven-eighths, there isn't that much more difference. He has enough tactical speed to go six and enough stamina to keep going at seven, so it's pretty amazing," Delacour added.
Bravo, who has been aboard for A. P. Indian's three stakes wins this year, said the gelding stayed relaxed throughout the entire race.
"It's really a pleasure to be able to ride a horse like that," he said. "It just shows the control and different dimensions he possesses. I learned more and more about him after his first race; just getting used to his habits and getting them out of the way. He ran a huge race at a mile and sixteenth and got beat by a nose, so that made me really feel comfortable with him. The way he did it so relaxed just makes you feel so comfortable. It took him a little time to develop but wow, he's just enjoying the game."
A.P. Indian paid $4.20, $3.50, and $2.60. Tamarkuz paid $14.20 and $8.80, while Stallwalkin' Dude paid $4.80. The $2 exacta paid $98, while the $2 trifecta paid $542.
The Forego is a Breeders' Cup Challenge "Win and You're In" race for the Breeders' Cup Sprint (gr. I), and A. P. Indian is now the leading sprinter on the East Coast.
The winner is out of multiple stakes winner and graded-placed runner Ender's Sister, a daughter of A.P. Indy who has also produced grade II winner Tiz Shea D and graded-placed winner Its All Relevant.
Watch the 2016 Priority One Jets Forego Stakes replay: