No Surprises in Indiana Stakes

Rich stakes at Indiana Downs run true to form.

May 20, 2012

Indiana Downs presented a pair of American Quarter Horse stakes on Saturday night and both went according to form as Air Born Leader, part of the favored even-money entry, took the $109,000 Born Runner Classic (R) for the second consecutive year and 2-1 second choice Jess Special Candy captured the $85,200 Indiana Downs Classic.

In the richer of the two events, Randy Thompson’s homebred Air Born Leader came through to take the 350-yard stakes for Indiana-breds in a time of :18.066 with Victor Olivo aboard for trainer Thomas Mosley Jr. The 4-year-old gelding by Leader Of The Class posted a nearly identical time of :18.080 when he won the same race last year. This victory was worth $59,950 and improved his bankroll to $172,409 with five victories in 16 lifetime starts.

Jane Lehman’s Havanna Gold, a gelding by Rare Cigar, hit the board in the Born Runner for the third straight time with a second-place effort. The 5-year-old also finished second in the 2010 renewal and took third in last year’s edition.

HQH Forever Sassy, a maiden who went off at odds of 22-1, finished third for breeder/owner Jenifer Haynes.

In the open Indiana Downs Classic for 4-year-olds and up, Oklahoma-bred Jess Special Candy got up to score by a neck with a 350-yard clocking of :17.669. Rider Victor Olivo earned a sweep of the Indiana Downs stakes, with this one coming for trainer Rolando Almanza.

Bred by Carl Pevehouse, Jess Special Candy won last year’s All American Congress Maturity at Beulah Park and finished second in this year’s Eastex Handicap (G2) at Remington Park. All told, the 6-year-old gelding by Mr Jess Perry has won six of 29 races with earnings of $147,673.

Owner Manny Silva of Rockton, Illinois, claimed the gelding for $6,250 in 2009 at Prairie Meadows and nearly all of Jess Special Candy’s earnings have come since then.

Another son of Mr Jess Perry, Ethics Aside, took second for owner Jorge Luis Gonzalez. Walter Harrison’s Fearles Fred, a seven-time stakes winner, closed well to take third.