Reverend John upsets in Indiana Futurity

Reverend John and Rodney Prescott put together a very impressive trip to win the 17th running of the $100,000-added Indiana Futurity Saturday, Oct. 29. The race was part of a four-stakes evening with purses in excess of $600,000 for closing night of the 2016 racing season.

Reverend John and Rodney Prescott surprised in the $100,000 Indiana Futurity Saturday, Oct. 29 at Indiana Grand. (Photo by Linscott Photography)

Reverend John and Rodney Prescott surprised in the $100,000 Indiana Futurity Saturday, Oct. 29 at Indiana Grand. (Photo by Linscott Photography)

Reverend John was ready to roll from the start. As soon as the gates sprung open he was in full race mode, posing a little bit of a handful early for Prescott. Candy Snatcher and Orlando Mojica moved out for an open length lead early with Gifted Justice and Declan Cannon sitting inside and Reverend John on the outside. In the turn, Reverend John began to move up to challenge Candy Snatcher and the colts were matching each other stride for stride by the time they were at the top of the stretch.

In the stretch, Reverend John dug in gamely and although it took a few strides to get control of the lead, it was his halfway down the lane. The Noble’s Promise colt moved off to a two and three-quarter length advantage at the wire in a time of 1:41.33. Candy Snatcher was an easy second over Ron and Fernando De La Cruz, who rallied from the back of the pack for third.

Reverend John, the fourth choice of the 12-horse field, paid $21.40, $7.80 and $4.80 across the board. It was his second straight win in nine career starts, boosting his career earnings over the $100,000 mark.

Reverend John's connections are presented with the trophy for his win in the $100,000 Indiana Futurity Saturday, Oct. 29 at Indiana Grand. (Photo by Linscott Photography)

Reverend John’s connections are presented with the trophy for his win in the $100,000 Indiana Futurity Saturday, Oct. 29 at Indiana Grand. (Photo by Linscott Photography)

“He (Reverend John) broke well tonight and I had a lot of horse the entire race,” said Prescott, who is Indiana’s all-time leading jockey by wins. “The last couple times, he didn’t break as well, but he put it all together tonight.”

Owned by John Shelley III and Larry Rodgers, Reverend John recorded the first stakes win for trainer Chris Melton. The win also held special meaning for Shelley and Rodgers, who also bred the horse.

“We were sprinting this horse (Reverend John) early on and that was not his game,” said Shelley. “We stretched him out and he began turning it around. What a night to put it all together. The other owner (Larry Rodgers) and I bred this horse, so it makes it even more special.”

Both Rodgers and Shelley were also very complimentary of the patience and work that Melton put into Reverend John to get him to step up as a stakes winner.

“Chris Melton has done a heck of a job with this horse,” said Shelley. “We really appreciate his hard work.”

Racing dates for 2017 will be approved and announced soon by the Indiana Horse Racing Commission.