While the $55,000 Regal Gal at Calder Casino & Race Course on Saturday will include proven stakes winners such as Frolic’s Revenge and Awesome Belle, both participants in last year’s Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies, the most intriguing entrant may be the relative newcomer Indy Crown, who enters the one-mile main track tilt off an 8 ½-length victory in her career debut.
“I’ve been very impressed her,” trainer David Brownlee said of the J D Farms homebred daughter of Shaniko. “I’ve had quite a few stakes horses during my career and she seems to fit the bill. She’s got class.”
Indy Crown was unraced as a 2-year-old, although Brownlee explains that this was a product of the pure physicality of the filly, and not the result of an ailment or any specific setback.
“She’s a big and impressive filly, almost 17 hands, so we wanted to go slow and easy with her,” Brownlee said. “She was just too big of a filly to try and pressure early and run as a baby.”
Indy Crown shipped to Calder on January 28 and had her first published workout on February 4. The filly recorded nine additional morning moves before making her debut in a five-furlong $40,000 maiden claimer on May 10, a race she would win with little worry despite being presented with a few obstacles along the way.
“She had a poor start but I thought she really showed talent and professionalism to overcome that,” Brownlee said. “And then she still ended up wide the whole way but was able to win the race pretty easy. And I thought the finishing time was decent with the way the track was that day.”
Indy Crown covered five furlongs in :59.3 en route to that victory and has since returned to post a six-furlong workout in 1:14.8 while preparing for the Regal Gal where she will be asked to negotiate two turns for the first time.
“I worked her an easy three-quarters so she could get the second turn,” Brownlee said. “And she handled it well.”
Indy Crown had been entered in an entry-level turf allowance at Calder on Thursday, but when that race was forced from the grass to the main track due to continued heavy weather in the area, Brownlee scratched the filly from the race.
“I looked at the allowance and if it would have stayed on the turf I think I might have run her there,” Brownlee said. “But when the race came off, I decided that if I was going to run her a mile in the mud, I might as well do it in the stake.
“There are some tough fillies in there with experience, but sometimes class and pure talent can overcome experience. That’s what we’ll be hoping for on Saturday.”
GIANT RYAN SHIPS NORTH FOR TRUE NORTH
Shivananda Parbhoo’s Grade 1 winning sprinter Giant Ryan joined stablemate Trinniberg aboard a New York bound van Friday morning and will make his next start in the Grade 2 True North Handicap at Belmont Park on June 9, bypassing the local Ponche Handicap.
Trinniberg will make his next start that same day in the Grade 2 Woody Stephens.
THURSDAY TRIPLE FOR SAEZ
Luis Saez was a three-time winner at Calder on Thursday to expand his lead at the top of the jockey table.
Saez won the fifth race with Sister Pippa for trainer Marty Wolfson before returning in the sixth race to prevail aboard On Appeal for Jason DaCosta.
The two-time defending Calder champion completed his hat trick in the day’s co-featured eighth race when guiding Don’t Say No through the wire first for conditioner Steve DiMauro.
Entering the Friday program at Calder, Saez held a 37-30 advantage over his nearest pursuer, apprentice jockey Joe Rodriguez.