A. P. Indian aims for the top in TwinSpires.com BC Sprint
Thanks in part to judicious handling as well as his own raw talent, the six-year-old A. P. Indian stands near the pinnacle of his career. That final step to the top would be a victory in the $1.5 million TwinSpires.com Breeders' Cup Sprint (G1) at Santa Anita on November 5, and the resulting Eclipse Award that would come his way.
The gelded son of Indian Charlie is certainly one of the most consistent performers fans will see perform on Breeders' Cup weekend. From 17 starts, A. P. Indian has won 11 times and placed second four times. More importantly, he's six-for-six this season and sounder than he's ever been.
A six-length debut winner at Delaware Park in October 2012 when trained by Tony Dutrow, A. P. Indian was not seen under saddle again until 11 months later, when he captured a one-mile Churchill Downs allowance in a dead heat for new conditioner Rusty Arnold. Three second-place allowance finishes later (all at a mile or beyond), and A. P. Indian was sidelined again, this time for more than a year. He was also on the move again, this time to trainer Arnaud Delacour's winter base of Tampa Bay Downs.
The 13-month absence didn't seem to affect A. P. Indian on February 27, 2015, when he finally passed his second-level allowance condition at Tampa going 6 1/2 furlongs. But after a nose loss in a 1 1/16-mile tilt at Keeneland in his follow-up, Delacour's decision to subsequently keep A. P. Indian around one-turn would soon pay big dividends.
A. P. Indian's introduction to stakes company was a positive one last summer, with back-to-back victories in the $75,000 Decathlon at Monmouth Park and the $100,000 Donald LeVine Memorial at Parx. However, his luck would run out as his 2015 campaign wound down. Bounced around at the break of the $100,000 Tale of the Cat at Saratoga, A. P. Indian could fare no better than sixth. He occupied the same slot in the Phoenix (G3) at Keeneland behind eventual divisional champ Runhappy, who relished the slop much more than A. P. Indian.
As noted, A. P. Indian is perfect this season, helped in part by the stewards at Monmouth Park who elevated him to first in his title defense of the Decathlon on May 14. However, he's crossed the wire first in his last five, beginning with another title defense of the LeVine Memorial in June. A. P. Indian notched his first graded score by a head in the Belmont Sprint Championship (G1) in July, enjoyed more comfortable tallies in the Alfred G. Vanderbilt (G1) and Forego (G1) at Saratoga, and then was all-out to fend off Limousine Liberal in the Phoenix (G2) at Keeneland in a stakes- and track-record performance.
The Green Lantern Stables homebred concedes experience on Santa Anita's main track to the likes of Lord Nelson, Masochistic, and Drefong, but that never stopped the likes of Smile, Trinniberg, or Work All Week from successfully invading in previous Sprints held there. And for what it's worth, A. P. Indian's immediate family were prolific at "The Great Race Place": sire Indian Charlie and grandsires In Excess and A.P. Indy.
A. P. Indian has a running style similar to that of Lord Nelson, and the potential of these two hooking up to see who will wear the Sprint crown is a distinct possibility, provided they get the proper pace set-up.
(Adam Coglianese Photography)