Centaur Stakes draws 40 nominations
The $200,000-guaranteed Centaur Stakes, Indiana’s richest race on the turf, has drawn 40 nominations for the 12th running of the race set for Wednesday, Sept. 6. The race will be joined by three other stakes on the day, bringing a total of more than $600,000 on the program.
The biggest name on the list is Colonelsdarktemper, winner of the $750,000 Grade III West Virginia Derby in his last start and second place finisher in the $500,000 Grade III Indiana Derby in the start before that. The three-year-old son of Colonel John has never raced over the turf in his brief career. Unraced at two, Colonelsdarktemper, owned by Hall of Fame Indy Car Driver A J Foyt, has only been worse than third twice this season in eight starts, scoring three wins and purse earnings in excess of $650,000. Foyt and trainer William “Jinks” Fires could be looking for a spot in the Midwest to get another start in before shipping out to tackle tough company on the dirt during the fall stakes.
Joining Colonelsdarktemper on the nomination list for the Centaur Stakes is Grade II winner Arklow from the Brad Cox Stable. The three-year-old son of Arch has scored two wins over the turf in four tries, including the Grade II $300,000 American Turf Stakes at Churchill Downs this last May. Arklow turned in his last race in the Grade II Hall of Fame Stakes at Saratoga.
Another horse with major credentials that is a possibility for the Centaur Stakes is Big Score, winner of the Grade III Transylvania at Keeneland this past spring. The three-year-old son of Mr. Big has amassed more than $385,000 in earnings, mainly accumulated this season and comes into the race off a start in the Grade I Belmont Derby Invitational Stakes at Belmont Park in early July for trainer Tim Yakteen.
Joining the Centaur Stakes on the Wednesday, Sept. 6 racing program will be the ninth running of the $200,000-guaranteed Indiana Grand Stakes – Listed for three-year-old fillies. The race attracted nominations from 43 three-year-old fillies and will be contested at the same distance as the Centaur Stakes at one mile over the turf course. Names that stand out on the nomination list for the Indiana Grand Stakes includes Madam Dancealot from the Richard Baltas barn, winner two starts back in the Grade II $200,000 San Clemente Handicap at Del Mar, Fault, winner of the Grade III Pucker Up Stakes at Arlington Park in her last start, and Overture, winner of the Grade III $200,000 Indiana Oaks two starts back.
Other stakes races on the day featuring the Centaur Stakes and the Indiana Grand Stakes include the 14th running of the $100,000-added Florence Henderson Stakes for registered Indiana bred fillies and mares and the 13th running of the $100,000-added A J Foyt Stakes for registered Indiana breds. The Florence Henderson Stakes attracted 25 nominations while the A J Foyt Stakes garnered 28 nominations. Both races are scheduled to be run at one and one-sixteenth miles over the turf course.