Watchyourownbobber takes Warrior Veterans

Watchyourownbobber and Luis Saez were one of the first ones mentioned out of the gate and they were the first ones mentioned at the finish during the eighth running of the $100,000-added Warrior Veterans (Listed) Stakes at Indiana Grand. The race was one of six stakes on the card featuring the Grade II $500,000-added Indiana Derby, making purses in excess of $1 million for the night.

Starting from post five, Saez wasted no time getting Watchyourownbobber out of the gate, getting good positioning in the center of the pack before opting to let Big Changes and Shaun Bridgmohan move up the inside heading into the turn and sitting second on the outside. Watchyourownbobber seemed comfortable amidst contenders through early fractions of :22.68, :47.06 and 1:11.02.

Around the turn, several horses saving up strength for the stretch drive began to emerge as contenders for the lead. Watchyourownbobber put his head down and dug in. The four-year-old son of Hard Spun dug in gamely and was able to emerge as the leader by two lengths at the top of the stretch in the one and one-sixteenth mile turf race. Thatcher Street and Brian Hernandez Jr. were able to split horses in the turn from fifth, but they could not catch Watchyourownbobber, who crossed under the finish line by one and one-quarter lengths ahead of Conquest Typhoon and Julien Leparoux, who nipped Thatcher Street at the wire by a nose for second.

Saez felt comfortable and confident of his horse throughout the race. He felt he had a lot of horse left for the stretch drive.

“I had a very good trip,” said Saez, who won the 2014 Indiana Derby aboard East Hall. “I felt we were going to be on the lead. But when I saw somebody try to make a run on a rail, I let him go and I sat very comfortable. When we came to the stretch, I made him switch leads and he responded.”

Watchyourownbobber paid $22.20, $10.60 and $6.20 as an upset winner in the Warrior Veterans Stake. The time of the event was 1:40.73.

It was the second stakes win for Watchyourownbobber during his career and the fifth overall, which have all been recorded on the turf. It also marked the first start at Indiana Grand for Watchyourownbobber, who increased his career bankroll to more than $264,000 with his latest win. Owned by Sarah and Ken Ramsey, Watchyourownbobber is trained by Mike Maker.

Ken Ramsey, who claimed Watchyourownbobber out of a maiden $50,000-claiming race 11 races ago, was not in attendance for the win with his horse. He did talk with Jennie Rees, Eclipse Award winning freelance writer after the race via phone.

“I think he (Watchyourownbobber) was a very good claim myself,” said Ramsey.”He just got beat in the Tropical Park Derby (last December) by a neck and he was second in the Jefferson Cup.”

The Ramseys decided to start off the 2016 season with Watchyourownbobber by sending him to Garrison Savannah Racetrack in Bridgetown, Barbados for the country’s biggest horse race, the Group 1 Barbados Gold Cup where he finished second. He returned to the United States for a start in early July at Churchill Downs in preparation for the Warrior Veterans Stakes.

“I thought he’d win the Barbados Gold Cup, but he stumbled coming out of the gate,” said Ramsey. “So he bobbled, and still got second down there.”

Ramsey added that they will head to either a race at Saratoga or Kentucky Downs for the next start with Watchyourownbobber.