Tag: fernando de la cruz
Story provided Indiana stallion Strong Contender was represented by his first Indiana-sired winner on Tuesday at Indiana Grand as his 2-year-old son S S Trooper won an open maiden special weight race. Bred and owned by Marvin Johnson and Doug Schmuecker and trained by Johnson, S S Trooper sat in second under jockey Fernando De […]
Chicago-based Lovely Loyree won Indiana Grand’s $100,000 Indiana General Assembly Distaff for the second time, wearing down Hachi to win by a neck Saturday while covering 1 1/16 miles over firm turf in 1:42.54.
Once again, the now 7-year-old mare was ridden by Indiana Grand stalwart Fernando De La Cruz.
“Oh my gosh, we won two years ago in stakes-record time,” said co-owner Margaret Burlingham. “Today was two seconds slower, but she did it. Fernando De La Cruz knows her, and she just did it.”
The Illinois-bred Lovely Loyree now is 8-4-5 in 23 starts, earning $368,648. It was suggested to Burlingham that she seemed surprise to win, with her mare paying $14 to win as the fourth choice in the field of eight.
“Well, she hardly ever runs,” the owner said. “We had to ship her Canterbury just to get a race under her (a fourth in the Lady Canterbury in her last start). Not one single allowance race went in Tampa. Not one. Completely rained off the turf at Hawthorne. Arlington, the allowance races didn’t go. Can’t get her to race. So we came back down here, and it didn’t rain for once. Hotter than heck but it didn’t rain.”
De La Cruz said trainer Michele Boyce told him “to put her right close to the lead. She was running to the stretch, thanks to God it worked out good. Everything was clear. She was good.”
It wasn’t the finish that anyone expected, not even owner-trainer Ron Brown, but Black Nova proved everyone wrong by breaking her maiden in the 10th running of the $100,000-added Hoosier Breeders Sophomore Fillies Stakes at Indiana Grand Wednesday, June 20. Black Nova paid $155.40 to win as the second longest shot on the board in the field of nine.
Ridden by Fernando De La Cruz, Black Nova broke well out of the gate from post two and was in the first flight behind race favorite Flurry and Marcelino Pedroza who went right to the lead in the one and one-sixteenth mile race. Prompted, ridden by Sammy Bermudez, also went out for the lead and pressed the pace through the first half of the race. De La Cruz kept Black Nova along the inside and waited for the right time to challenge the top spot.
Around the turn, Black Nova saved ground and moved in on Flurry. At the head of the lane, those two fillies were matching each other stride for stride as they moved through the stretch. Flurry wasn’t giving in easily, but Black Nova just kept challenging her for the lead. Halfway through the stretch, it appeared Flurry would pick up the title, but the final strides brought Black Nova to the front for the win by one-half length in a time of 1:44.67. Obsolete and John McKee also moved up the inside to save ground and pick up the third spot at the wire.
When horses enter the starting gate at Del Mar Saturday, Nov. 4 for the Grade I $1 million Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint, the journey will mark a lifetime of work to reach that level for one jockey. Fernando De La Cruz, two-time leading jockey at Indiana Grand Racing & Casino, will be making his Breeders’ Cup debut aboard Indiana bred Bucchero, starting from post 11 at odds of 12-1. The event is slated as Race 5 on the 12-race program with an estimated post time of 3:37PM EDT.
De La Cruz is flying out of Indianapolis International Airport Thursday, Nov. 2 to meet up with the team behind Bucchero. Bucchero and his stablemate, Bullard’s Alley, flew to Del Mar Friday, Oct. 27 and they have been getting acclimated to the racetrack since that time. Trainer Tim Glyshaw also arrived in Southern California Friday. He and Doug Morley, Bucchero’s exercise rider for the past three years who also serves as a valet at Indiana Grand, have been caring for the pair of horses as they prepare for the Breeders Cup.
“This is my first Breeders Cup and I’m a little excited,” said De La Cruz. “It’s also my first time to California. I send thanks to God and the owners of Bucchero and Tim Glyshaw for including me in this race.”
After traveling to various tracks for stakes action, Indiana’s top older male returned to defend his title in the 21st running of the $100,000 Brickyard Stakes Wed. Sept. 13 at Indiana Grand. The flashy chestnut horse, piloted by Fernando De La Cruz, posted a time of 1:09.36 to earn his eighth career trip to the winner’s circle.
Starting from the extreme outside post 12 in the lineup, Bucchero’s white blaze was not immediately detected as Mr Manning and DeShawn Parker opened up for the early lead in the six-furlong race. It took a while for Bucchero to move up into contention, but that happened by the time the field had hit the only turn of the race.
As the duo straightened out for the stretch drive, it appeared that Bucchero was poised to blow right by Mr Manning, but he had other intentions. Mr Manning dug in gamely to make Bucchero fight for the lead, a position he did not secure until late in the race. But once he had cleared, the five-year-old son of Kantharos was strong, posting a one-length win over Mr. Manning for second. Supreme Justice and Marcelino Pedroza rallied up nicely to finish third.
Dave Stroud, a retired school teacher, put his math skills to the test in the second annual 007 Jock’s Agent Contest to claim the top prize of $1,000. Stroud was crowned the winner during Corntastic Saturday, Aug. 26 to take home the top prize and a trophy.
The 007 Jock’s Agent Contest began July 1 and concluded Aug. 25. During that time frame, players selected two jockeys to represent, earning points by the amount of combined purse earnings between the two jockeys selected. In a twist, each player received five “fire” cards and could switch up the jockeys representing them at any time, which required strategy throughout the contest.
“I started out with Katie Clawson and Fernando De La Cruz,” said Stroud. “They took me into Indiana Derby and then I changed to (Mario) Guiterrez and Brian Hernandez. Both of them did really well on Indiana Derby Night and that raised me into the top five. After that, I switched back to De La Cruz and DeShawn Parker and they got me into the lead.”
With one “fire” card left, Stroud knew he had to make his decision wisely for the remainder of the contest.
Anytime a horse makes it to the winner’s circle, it’s very fulfilling for the jockey, trainer and owner. But for one horse at Indiana Grand, a trip to the winner’s circle marked a huge accomplishment for the team associated with Paint The Corners. Owned by Stuart Grant’s The Elkstone Group, the four-year-old filly bounced back after being away from the racetrack for nearly nine months to win the $34,500 Allowance Optional Claiming event Wednesday, Aug. 9.
Paint The Corners was purchased by Grant for $85,000 out of the Ocala Breeders Two-Year-Old Sale in March of 2015. She made her racing debut for her new connections under the direction of Trainer Tony Granitz at Indiana Grand, finishing third in August 2015. After a break during the winter, Paint The Corners broke her maiden at Arlington Park in July of 2016 before returning to Indiana Grand. Her final race of 2016 was recorded at Churchill Downs in late November before shipping south with the stable for the winter.
“We took her (Paint The Corners) to Tampa with us, but it just wasn’t a good fit for her, so we sent her to Mr. Grant’s farm in Camden, South Carolina,” said Granitz. “She was on the farm taking a vacation when the farm manager discovered she was in distress and rushed her to a local hospital for a colic surgery. Everything appeared to turn out okay but she had a relapse in March, so she’s been on the mend for a long time.”
Ransack and Fernando De La Cruz rallied in the stretch to draw off for the win in the sixth round of the $30,000 Don K. Memorial Starter Allowance Wednesday, Aug. 2 at Indiana Grand. The duo covered the one and one-sixteenth mile race that was moved to the dirt in a time of 1:44.92.
Ransack started the race from post three after three horses scratched out when the race was moved off the turf. The start wasn’t ideal in tight quarters and De La Cruz had to take Ransack back for a few strides before getting clearance to pursue the leaders. Arch Pearl and Katie Clawson got the jump on the field and led for a majority of the race. Point After and Manny Cruz pressed the pace with Ransack on the inside tracking the progress of the top two.
In the stretch, Ransack was able to prove why he was the heavy favorite in the race as he swooped to the lead. The four-year-old Pioneerof The Nile colt was able to win the race by two and three-quarters of a length over Arch Pearl for second. Point After maintained positioning for third.
Bucchero and 2016 Leading Jockey Fernando De La Cruz didn’t disappoint. The duo scored their second straight win in the $150,000 To Much Coffee Stakes Saturday, Oct. 29, repeating their winning performance from the 2015 version of the race. The To Much Coffee, named after former Indiana bred standout To Much Coffee who ran at Hoosier Park in the mid 1990’s, was part of a $600,000-plus purse card that featured four stakes to close out the 2016 racing season.
Starting from post one in the 12-horse lineup, Bucchero rallied out from the starting gate to retain his inside advantage during the early portions of the one and one-sixteenth mile race. The field was tightly packed as Derby Express and Malcolm Franklin tracked Bucchero’s progress from the inside while Paddy’s Notes and Emanuel Cosme used a wider path to stay in contention.
As the field turned for home, Bucchero had a good hold on the front end and began to drift out in the stretch. However, there was no horse in the race that could even come close to threatening him for the win. The four-year-old son of Kantharos stretched out to a four and one-half length victory at the finish line, recording the time in 1:43.05. Huntstown and Abel Lezcano saved ground inside to finish second followed by Sucess Is Racing and Eddie Perez, who rallied from the back to finish third.
Fernando De La Cruz has been a force the entire 2016 racing season. The native of Peru led the standings for nearly all of the 120-day race meet and eventually, pulled away from the field, 48 wins ahead of his next closest opponent en route to his second title at Indiana Grand.
De La Cruz won the title at Indiana Grand in 2014. During that season, he earned 130 wins. De La Cruz reached that tally Friday, Oct. 28 as part of his four-win afternoon, bringing his tally heading into the final night of racing to 131 wins. The mark is the second largest in the history of the track behind Malcolm Franklin’s record of 158 wins during the 2013 racing season.
“Fernando (De La Cruz) has had a very impressive year,” said Jon Schuster, vice president and general manager of racing. “We appreciate the class you bring to our racing program and congratulate you for your success this year.”
De La Cruz was joined by many of his family members in the winner’s circle. Schuster and Kevin Greely, director of racing, made the winner’s circle presentation.