INDIANA DERBY | PURSE: $500,000 | 3-YEAR-OLDS | GRADE 2 | 1 1/16-MILES
Rainy days and Saturdays don't get Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert down, especially when there's an Indiana Derby to be won.
Three years after watching his champion colt Lookin at Lucky take the Grade 2, $500,000 event over a sloppy Hoosier Park surface, Baffert won the race for a third time on Saturday at its new home, Indiana Downs, with 8-5 favorite Power Broker.
Enduring a four-wide stalking trip as Ruler of Love set a pace of :24, :47 and 1:10 2/5, Power Broker gradually improved position approaching the stretch. When 9-1 chance Bradester seized control at the eighth pole, that rival drifted out a bit into the favorite and forcing him to steady momentarily. That was not a major obstacle for Power Broker, who regained his momentum and splashed clear to a 1 3/4-length score in the sloppy going.
Ridden by Martin Garcia, who also piloted Lookin at Lucky in 2010, Power Broker covered 1 1/16 miles in 1:41 4/5 and paid $5.40.
Bradester, who chased Ruler of Love in second before gaining a brief lead, couldn't keep up with the winner but held the runner-up slot by a half-length over Holy Lute. The latter finish a nose ahead of fourth-place finisher Micromanage.
Rounding out the order of finish were Uncaptured, Fordubai, Mr Palmer, Ruler of Love, Edge of Reality, Bad Hombre, Miarculousmo, and Skilltopaythebills. Midnight Taboo, Take It Like a Man, and the also-eligible Ground Transport were scratched.
A chestnut son of Pulpit, Power Broker was still a maiden when he earned a top-level win in last September's FrontRunner at Santa Anita. He had been a neck second in the Oak Tree Juvenile Turf at Del Mar the race before, and followed his FrontRunner score with a fifth in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile.
Missing the classics after finishing fifth in the Santa Anita Derby, Power Broker next took a Churchill Downs allowance in the slop. Moving on to post a solid 3 3/4-length win in the $100,000 Easy Goer, an overnight stakes on the Belmont Stakes undercard, the Gary and Mary West colorbearer preceded this victory with a distant second-place effort in the Haskell Invitational at Monmouth Park. Power Broker's record now improves to 10-4-2-1, $865,612.
A $360,000 Keeneland September yearling, Power Broker was produced by the stakes-winning Shop Again, a daughter of Wild Again. Shop Again is herself a half-sister to Grade 1 winner Miss Shop, Grade 2 winner Trappe Shot, and stakes winner Bought in Dixie.
This extended family also includes Grade 1 winner Mining, multiple Grade 2 winner Lay Down, and Grade 2 victors Big Band Sound and Forest Music.