Nominations close for $200,000 Centaur Stakes
Nominations for the 11th running of the $200,000-added Centaur Stakes (Listed) closed Wednesday, Aug. 24. A total of 34 nominations were included on the list for Indiana’s richest turf race.
Heading the list of nominees includes Oscar Nominated, starter in the 2016 Kentucky Derby. The three-year-old son of Kitten’s Joy switched back over to the turf following his start in the Kentucky Derby, finishing second in the Grade III American Derby at Arlington Park in July. He is trained by Mike Maker.
Another horse that grabs attention from the nomination list is Whateverybodywants, a fourth place finisher in the 2016 Grade II Indiana Derby at Indiana Grand in July. The three-year-old Giant Oak colt trained by Kellyn Gorder followed Indiana Derby winner Cupid to Mountaineer Park where he finished second to him in the $750,000 Grade II West Virginia Derby. If he were to start in the Centaur Stakes, it would mark the first start over the turf course for Whateverybodywants.
Ben Colebrook’s Surgical Strike has Graded Stakes experience and comes into the race off a seventh place finish in the Grade I $500,000 Secretariat at Arlington Park. The Red Giant colt was a winner three starts back in the Grade III Arlington Classic and was also a second place finisher in the Grade II American Turf at Churchill Downs this spring.
A horse to watch if he makes the trip to Indiana is First Trappe Road from the Bret Calhoun Stable. The grey son of Trappe Shot has two wins and one second in four starts this season racing in Graded Stakes competition on the dirt. His last start was a winning effort in the Grade III $500,000 Dwyer Stakes at Belmont Park. A start in the Centaur Stakes would be a first start over the turf for First Trappe Road.
In addition to the Centaur Stakes, the $200,000-added Indiana Grand (Listed) Stakes closed with 53 nominations. The one-mile turf race for the fillies drew interest from Auntie Joy, winner of the $100,000 Grade III Regret Stakes at Churchill Downs in June as well as the Michael Matz-trained Queen Caroline, winner of the $100,000 Ta Wee Stakes at Indiana Grand in July.
Two other stakes, the $100,000 A.J. Foyt and the $100,000 Florence Henderson, will join the Centaur Stakes and the Indiana Grand Stakes on the afternoon card Wednesday, Sept. 7. More than $600,000 in purse money will be featured for the day that will include special on-track giveaways just before post time of the Centaur Stakes.