Stud El Aguila's Indiano turned the tables on Action Andy with a strong outside rally to take the $100,000 Mr. Prospector Stakes at Gulfstream Park Dec. 29.
In the Dec. 8 Pelican Stakes at Tampa Bay Downs last time out, Action Andy got the victory by 2 1/4 lengths as Indiano closed up the rail. But this time the 4-year-old son of Indian Charlie drew post 6 and kept to the outside, overpowering the leaders coming down the stretch to post a three-quarter length victory for trainer Marty Wolfson. Both races were run at six furlongs; Indiano completed the Mr. Prospector in 1:10.26.
"He's a better horse than Action Andy," Wolfson remarked. "I knew that last time, but that horse was fresh and had been training at Tampa. My horse just got up there that day. I wasn't worried about Action Andy today. I just thought my horse would win and he got a pretty good trip, too."
The eventual winner was well-settled in fourth by jockey Luis Saez as Action Andy, the 7-5 favorite, broke sharply and momentarily outpaced his rivals. Dreaming of Neno came up the rail from post 2 and poked a head in front, however, maintaining the advantage through a quarter in :22.13 and a half in :45.04. Then 17-1 shot Off the Jak, racing between those two, took the lead heading for home through five-eighths in :57.39 with Action Andy in close pursuit under jockey John Velazquez.
But Indiano, the second choice at 8-5, was looming from the four path. He steadily ground down the leaders to earn his first graded stakes score since the 2011 Carry Back at Calder Race Course & Casino. Off the Jak held for second, while Action Andy had to settle for third by three quarters of a length.
"My horse is very good and I put him in a good spot," Saez remarked. "Johnny tried to push us out a little, but I knew we would win this race."
Indiano returned $5.40, $3.40, and $2.10 while Off the Jak brought $9.40 and $3.20 and Action Andy paid $2.10. Bull Dozer and Dreaming of Neno completed the order of finish. Partyallnightlong was a scratch.
It was the first win at Gulfstream for Indiano, who finished third in the Mr. Prospector in 2011.
"It was different this time just having a race in him," Wolfson said. "He should have won [the Mr. Prospector] last year. He broke terrible."
Bred in Kentucky by Diamond A Racing Corp out of the Sam M. mare Separata, he was a $25,000 purchase at the 2009 Keeneland September yearling sale. The Mr. Prospector improved Indiano's record to 10-4-2 from 17 starts, with earnings of $487,196.
According to Wolfson, Indiano will likely run next at Gulfstream later in the meet.
"I've got to space his races now," remarked the trainer, whose colt's only off-the-board finish came in a fifth-place finish in the Derby Trial last year.
"He's kind of delicate," he said.