Full field of 12 entered for Centaur Stakes
A full field of 12 has been entered for Indiana’s richest turf race, the 11th running of the $200,000-added Centaur Stakes (Listed) set for Wednesday, Sept. 7. The race is slated as the sixth on the 10-race card that features four stakes with purses for the day in excess of $700,000.
Leading the list of entrants is the field’s richest horse, Surgical Strike. Hailing from the Ben Colebrook stable, Surgical Strike comes into the event with more than $350,000 in career earnings, 75 percent of which has been earned in 2016 and over the turf. The chestnut son of Red Giant competed in the Grade I $450,000 Secretariat Stakes in his last start at Arlington Park and was a winner three starts back in the Grade III Arlington Classic.
Surgical Strike comes from a strong family of runners. His younger half-brother, Preemptive Strike, is slated to run in the $350,000 Kentucky Downs Juvenile Saturday, Sept. 3. Surgical Strike was on the Kentucky Derby trail earlier this year before switching to the turf. He teams back up with jockey James Graham and will start from the extreme outside post 12 in the Centaur Stakes.
Joining Surgical Strike as a likely favorite is early speed horse Giant Run from the Tom Albertrani Stable. The Giant’s Causeway sophomore ventures to Indiana off a fourth place finish in the Grade II $200,000 Hall of Fame Stakes at Saratoga in his last start. With only one start out of the top three in seven starts for 2016, Giant Run has earned nearly all of his $250,000-plus bankroll this season over the turf. He will be ridden from post seven by Joe Bravo.
Another familiar name in the Centaur Stakes is Pilot House, who won a turf allowance earlier this year at Indiana Grand. The Midshipman gelding competed in the Grade II $500,000-added Indiana Derby two starts back followed by a third place finish in the $75,000 Bruce D. Memorial Stakes at Arlington Park. Pilot House returns to Indiana for Trainer Tom Amoss and Owner Maggi Moss and will begin his race from post four under the direction of jockey Francisco Torres.
The entire field for the Centaur Stakes, in post position order with jockey, includes: Uncle Guy (Robby Albarado), Extra Credit (Shaun Bridgmohan), Zapperini (Corey Lanerie), Pilot House (Francisco Torres), Richie The Bull (Jose Valdivia Jr.), Holding Gold (Florent Geroux), Giant Run (Joe Bravo), Back Togetheragain (Rodney Prescott), Derby Express (Malcolm Franklin), Van Damme (T.D. Houghton), Uncle Brennie (Chris Landeros), Surgical Strike (James Graham). Estimated post time for the Centaur Stakes is 4:25 p.m.
Joining the Centaur Stakes is the eighth running of the $200,000-added Indiana Grand (Listed), which is set for race four with an estimated post time of 3:30 p.m. The one-mile turf event has also drawn a full field of 12 and will most likely head to the gate with Queen Caroline and Alex Cintron as one of the race favorites. The three-year-old Blame filly is currently on a three-race win streak, including a win in Indiana Grand’s $100,000 Ta Wee Stakes, her last start, in mid July. Trained by Michael Matz, Queen Caroline will start from post two.
Queen Caroline will step up in competition to face several Graded Stakes-placed fillies in the form of Auntie Joy from post 11 for jockey Brian Hernandez Jr. and Princess Princess, ridden by Joe Rocco Jr. from post eight.
The entire field for the Indiana Grand, in post position order with jockey, includes: Sweet Tapper (Chris Landeros), Queen Caroline (Alex Cintron), Pancake (James Graham), Believe in Bertie (Shaun Bridgmohan), Come to Mischief (Luis Colon), Annabelle (Robby Albarado), Crooked Stick (Sophie Doyle), Princess Princess (Joe Rocco Jr.), Hidden Treat (Joe Bravo), Gianna’s Dream (Corey Lanerie), Auntie Joy (Brian Hernandez Jr.), and Mo Knows (Albin Jimenez).
Two other stakes will complement the Centaur Stakes and the Indiana Grand Stakes. The 13th running of the $100,000-added Florence Henderson Stakes has been carded as the second race while the 12th running of the $100,000-added A.J. Foyt Stakes will be held as the eighth race on the card. The Florence Henderson Stakes features 2015 Indiana Horse of the Year, Lady Fog Horn, who has drawn post one for jockey Albin Jimenez and trainer Tony Granitz.
Free giveaways will be offered to fans on the track beginning at 4 p.m. outside the winner’s circle while supplies last. Also, Peter Lurie, nationally-known on-air racing personality, will be in attendance to provide additional handicapping and racing analysis throughout the afternoon card.