A. P. Indian guts out Phoenix win in track-record time

Profile Picture: Vance Hanson

October 7th, 2016

A. P. Indian proved best, but only narrowly, in Friday's $250,000 Phoenix (G2), the first stakes of the Keeneland fall meet. The 2-5 favorite, giving four pounds to all six rivals, was pressed by Limousine Liberal through the stretch into setting a new six-furlong track record of 1:08.43, which he did by a nose, in North America's oldest stakes, which dates to 1831.

The Phoenix was A. P. Indian's sixth consecutive stakes win of 2016, and the six-year-old Indian Charlie gelding will seek to add a seventh, plus win the Eclipse Award as the year's champion male sprinter, in next month's Breeders' Cup Sprint (G1) at Santa Anita.

Shuffled back slightly on the rail around the far turn as The Great War spurted out to a :22.35 opening quarter and a half in :44.94, A. P. Indian bided his time and eagerly changed lanes to an outside striking position by Joe Bravo entering the stretch. Limousine Liberal had gotten the jump on the favorite with a furlong to go, but A. P. Indian poked his nose in front and then withstood a re-rally from the 6-1 chance to earn the $150,000 first-place check and break a track mark set in the 2015 Phoenix by reigning sprint champion Runhappy.

"I was worried since the three-eighths pole when he got shuffled back," Delacour said. "I knew it was going to be tough to make up ground. The horse who finished second has a great performance on this track; he likes this track. So I knew it was going to be tough to get it done. He did a great job."

A homebred racing for Green Lantern Stable and trained by Arnaud Delacour, A. P. Indian paid $2.80. Limousine Liberal was 3 1/2 lengths clear of Ami's Flatter for the place. The order of finish was rounded out by Alsvid, The Great War, W. B. Smudge, and Cinco Charlie.

A candidate to be the favorite in the Breeders' Cup Sprint, A. P. Indian kicked off his campaign being elevated to first in the $75,000 Decathlon at Monmouth Park. He's scored outright wins in the $100,000 Donald LeVine Memorial at Parx, Belmont Sprint Championship (G3), Alfred G. Vanderbilt (G1), and Forego (G1) subsequently and now possesses a lifetime mark of 17-11-4-0, $1,260,434.

Out of the Grade 2-placed, stakes-winning A.P. Indy mare Ender's Sister, A. P. Indian is a half-brother to Indiana Derby (G2) winner Tiz Shea D.

(Photo by Vance Hanson)