A. P. Indian chief among Vanderbilt field; Mind Your Biscuits rallies in Amsterdam
A. P. Indian made only five starts in his first three seasons of racing, but has blossomed with better health the past two years. On Saturday, the six-year-old gelding reached the top of his profession, scoring his first Grade 1 win in the $350,000 Alfred G. Vanderbilt H. at Saratoga.
Second behind Delta Bluesman through an opening quarter of :22.26, A. P. Indian made the lead alongside favorite Holy Boss passing the half-mile point in :44.63, and steadily drew away in deep stretch to score the 1 1/4-length victory under Joe Bravo. The final time for six furlongs was a swift 1:08.25 over a fast strip.
A homebred racing for Green Lantern Stables and trained by Arnaud Delacour, A. P. Indian paid $11.20. Holy Boss, the 3-1 choice, was 1 1/2 lengths clear of Catalina Red.
"If you look at his career, he's had some minor setbacks. But all the time he comes back," Delacour said. "He seems to come back even stronger. It's worth giving him time for that.
"We'll see how he comes back. He ran three weeks and three weeks before. We'd love to see how he comes back. It's a little too far away [the Breeders' Cup]. We'll see."
Making his first start for Delacour in February 2015, A. P. Indian, finished first or second in three of his first four outings, including the Decathlon at Monmouth Park and the Donald LeVine Memorial at Parx. His season ended with back-to-back unplaced finishes in stakes at Saratoga and Keeneland.
Returning to action in mid-May, A. P. Indian defended his Decathlon title via the disqualification of Delta Bluesman, but needed no such help in taking the LeVine for the second year running by three lengths in mid-June. He earned his first graded triumph last month with a hard-fought head victory in the Belmont Sprint Championship (G3).
A. P. Indian is an Indian Charlie half-brother to Indiana Derby (G2) winner Tiz Shea D. Both were reared by multiple stakes winner Ender's Sister, a daughter of A.P. Indy.
A. P. Indian has now earned $737,434 from a line of 15-9-4-0.
Earlier, in the $200,000 Amsterdam (G2) for three-year-olds, Mind Your Biscuits rode the rail and rallied to defeat long-time leader Maniacal by a length in the 6 1/2-furlong prep for next month's King's Bishop (G1).
Making his first start ever in open company, the New York-bred son of Posse trailed early and stayed near the back as Maniacal sped through fractions of :22.36 and :45.41. Gradually improving position through the stretch, Mind Your Biscuits bid inside of Maniacal under Joel Rosario and won going away by 1 3/4 lengths in a time of 1:15.25.
"This [win] means a lot," said 22-year-old Robert Falcone Jr., who was marking his first graded stakes win as a trainer. "I'm just happy to be here -- it's the greatest horses, the best trainers and the best jockeys, it's just great. But to win on a day like this is really something."
Owned by J Stables, M. Scott Summers, Hope Summers, and Daniel Summers, Mind Your Biscuits paid $8.30. Maniacal, the 2-1 favorite, was 2 1/4 lengths clear of It's All Relevant.
The stewards looked into an incident involving Quijote, who clipped heels and sustained a deep cut around the far turn, according to trainer Tom Amoss. He was eased late.
Exiting a first-level allowance win for New York-breds at Belmont, which he won by more than nine lengths while racing with blinkers for the first time, Mind Your Biscuits had placed in two previous stakes attempts: the New York Breeders Futurity at Finger Lakes in October, and the Mike Lee at Belmont in late May. He's now earned $285,366 from a line of 9-3-3-2.
(Chelsea Durand/Adam Coglianese Photography)