Indiano showed that he is becoming a Gulfstream Park “horse for the course” on Saturday by winning the $100,000 Mr. Prospector Stakes (Grade 3), and in the process evened a score with Action Andy.
Indiano, trained by Marty Wolfson, pulled ahead in the final 100 yards and defeated Off the Jak by three-quarters of a length in the six-furlong dirt stakes for 3-year-olds and up.
Action Andy finished third, another three-quarters of a length back in a five-horse field.
Three weeks earlier, Action Andy beat Indiano by 2 1/4 lengths in the six-furlong Pelican Stakes at Tampa Bay Downs.
On Friday, Wolfson said he thought racing at Gulfstream, one of Indiano’s better tracks, and having a better post position would help Indiano in the rematch.
After the Mr. Prospector, Wolfson was able to be more candid after his 4-year-old colt won for the 10th time in 17 career starts.
“He’s a better horse than Action Andy,” Wolfson said. “I knew that last time, but that horse was fresh and had been training at Tampa. My horse just got up there that day.”
The Pelican was Indiano’s first race after being sidelined four months with a lung infection
Indiano had the rail post, a disadvantage for a late-running sprinter facing a speedster like Action Andy.
On Saturday, Wolfson vanned Indiano the eight miles from his stable at Calder Casino & Race Course to Gulfstream.
Indiano came into the Mr. Prospector with two second-place finishes and one third-place finish in three Gulfstream starts — all against strong fields.
He finished third in last year’s Mr. Prospector, even though he broke awkwardly from the gate.
Action Andy, a 5-year-old gelding, came into the Mr. Prospector with a three-race win streak — all in six-furlong stakes. The first two were at his home track of Laurel Park in Laurel, Md.
Bettors made Action Andy the 7-5 favorite and Indiano the 8-5 second choice.
Indiano was in the sixth post position and able to have a clean trip while jockey Luis Saez was able to track Action Andy and rider John Velazquez.
Dreaming of Neno led Off the Jak by a half-length after a half mile in 45.04 seconds, followed by Action Andy and Indiano.
The two favorites and Off the Jak, at 17-1, were within a length of each other throughout the final 200 yards. Indiano went on to win in 1:10.26.
“I’m not sure when I’ll race him again,” Wolfson said. “He needed some time between races.”
Indiano is a son of Indian Charlie, a sire of many stakes-winning sprinters.
He began his career in Panama and won all five of his races there.
Stud el Aguila, his ownership group in Panama, sent him to Wolfson at Calder in 2011. His record since then includes four stakes wins at Calder.
On Sunday, Gulfstream will have the $100,000 Ocala Stakes at one mile on dirt for Florida-bred fillies and mares.
Wolfson bas two of the six entrants.
They are Golden Mystery and Speak Easy Gal.
He said he probably will scratch Speak Easy Gal because she has the inside post in the one-turn race.
My Pal Chrisy is the 5-2 morning line favorite with Golden Mystery at 3-1.
New Year’s Day
Gulfstream will change its schedule next week and have racing on Tuesday but not on Wednesday.
On Tuesday, New Year’s Day, it will have four stakes races for newly turned 3-year-olds.
The feature $100,900 Gulfstream Park Derby is 1 1/16 miles on dirt and is the first prep race for the March 30 Florida Derby.
The $100,000 Old Hat (Grade 3) is six furlongs for fillies.
The $100,000 Spectacular Bid is six furlongs for males.
The $75,000 Ginger Brew is 1 1/16 miles on turf for fillies.