Baratti slides up rail for win in $50,000 Preston Madden Stakes

It was a big move late in the race that brought Baratti and DeShawn Parker into the winner’s circle for the inaugural running of the $50,000 Preston Madden Stakes for three-year-olds at Indiana Grand Wednesday, Aug. 15. Heavy rains covered the area all afternoon and all turf races were moved to the dirt except the Madden Stakes, which was contested at one mile over the turf course.

Baratti and DeShawn Parker snuck up the rail in the final strides to win the inaugural running of the $50,000 Preston Madden Stakes at Indiana Grand. (Photo by Linscott Photography)

Starting from post three, Parker rushed Baratti out of the gate, not necessarily wanting the lead, but wanting to stay close. His plan worked out as Bizerk and Jesus Castanon went straight for the lead, tracked closely by Lanier and Marcelino Pedroza Jr., who had joined the leader by the time the field went under the wire for the first time in front of the grandstand. When everyone settled, Baratti had settled along the rail in fifth in the field of 10.

Bizerk continued to lead the way and proved he would be a tough horse to overtake as the field turned for home. Lanier and Bizerk were battling back and forth with neither horse giving an inch. Heavy Roller, with Rodney Prescott aboard, had tipped to the outside and tried to close in, but it was Baratti who found another gear in the last few steps of the race to snag the win up the inside by a head over Lanier and Bizerk in the three-horse photo. The time of the race was 1:41.74.

Baratti, a claim by trainer John Ortiz two starts back at Churchill Downs for $25,000, was greeted with many hugs from his trainer for his win in the Madden Stakes. The seven-year-old son of Medaglia d’Oro is now two for two for Ortiz since the claim and has won five of seven starts in 2018. He is owned by Brian Moore’s Hooties Racing LLC, William Simon’s WSS Consulting LLC along with Brent Gasaway. Baratti now has nearly $200,000 in career earnings.

Trainer John Ortiz wasn’t fazed by a downpour following his win with Baratti in the $50,000 Preston Madden Stakes at Indiana Grand. Jon Schuster, vice president and general manager of racing at Indiana Grand, made the presentation. (Photo by Linscott Photography)

Baratti, the fourth choice of the field, paid $12.40, $5.80 and $4.60 across the board for his win. The win also marked his second stakes victory, adding the Madden to his win at Meydan Racecourse in Dubai in early 2017 in the Jebel Ali Port.

Baratti spent three months in the Persian Gulf region in 2016 and 2017, racing at three different racetracks. Indiana Grand became the 10th track that Baratti has competed at during his five-year career.