Defining Hope wins Miss Indiana
Defining Hope and Malcolm Franklin have been nearly perfect all season long and they finished the year with a bang, winning the 19th running of the $100,000 Miss Indiana Stakes Saturday, Oct. 29 at Indiana Grand. The win was the third of the season in four starts for owner and breeder Colette Vanmatre of Zionsville, Ind.
Starting from post 11 in the 12-filly lineup, Defining Hope was a contender from the start, but opted to follow along as Justiceonthebeach and Abel Lezcano chose the top spot early from the inside. Kitty Corner and Francisco Torres held ground along the outside as Richard Bracho kept Midnight Blvd in contention early along the inside behind the pace setter. As the field moved into the final turn of the one mile and 70-yard route, a horse was moving rapidly on the outside toward the leaders and that was Defining Hope, who was geared up for a strong finish.
In the stretch, Defining Hope overtook the top horses and pulled away to a four and one-half length advantage by the time they reached the wire in a time of 1:42.98. Midnight Blvd finished an easy second over Kitty Corner, who was also a comfortable third in the race.
Defining Hope was the second favorite of the field, paying $8.20, $4.00 and $3.40 across the board. The Strong Hope filly crossed the finish line in a time of 1:42.98. It was Franklin’s 996th trip to the winner’s circle. The 2013 leading jockey at Indiana Grand is closing in on his first riding milestone.
“This filly (Defining Hope) broke very sharp and put me in good position from the very start,” said Franklin. “When I asked her to go, she was there. I had confidence in her tonight and I knew she would be back in the winner’s circle tonight.”
Franklin was referring to Defining Hope’s last race, where she was nipped at the finish line in the $100,000 Indiana Stallion Stakes for Fillies in early October. The freshman filly has shown maturity all season long and completes her two-year-old year with earnings in excess of $160,000 for Vanmatre, a first time owner and breeder.
Vanmatre purchased the dam of Defining Hope as a three-year-old following an injury and made the purchase just as a brood mare. She was bred at five and was foaled out at Dr. Roger Beam’s farm in Trafalgar before relocating to Margaux Farm in the Lexington, Ky. area where the foal, Defining Hope, was broke before being sent to Barbara McBride. McBride, known for her success with young horses, was glad to get Defining Hope as she was the only two-year-old filly in her barn for the 2016 racing season at Indiana Grand.
Racing dates for 2017 will be approved and announced soon by the Indiana Horse Racing Commission.