Indiana Grand stakes recap (Coady Photography photos)
SHELBYVILLE, Ind. (July 8, 2020) — Shared Sense and jockey Florent Geroux made it a clean sweep for trainer Brad Cox in the 26th running of the Grade 3 $300,000 Indiana Derby Wednesday, July 8. Geroux also connected with Shedaresthedevil in the Grade 3 $200,000 Indiana Oaks to give Cox the two biggest wins for the year at Indiana Grand.
Shared Sense was the third choice on the morning line in the highly competitive field, but as the nine-horse field left the gate, he had earned favorite status by the betting public. Known for his off the pace tempo, Shared Sense trailed along near the back of the pack early in the one and one-eighth mile race as Earner and Joel Rosario took the early lead tracked closely by Taishan and Rafael Bejarano.
The field began to bunch up in the far turn and close quarters brought a calvary charge into the stretch with Shared Sense getting a head in front of Necker Island and Mitchell Murrill to their outside. Once clear, Shared Sense stepped it up a notch and rallied away from the field, winning by three lengths at the wire with Major Fed and James Graham coming up the inside to finish second. Necker Island finished a solid third.
The winner’s circle celebration had a slight delay as Graham filed an objection against Shared Sense for contact in the final turn. After review by the Indiana Horse Racing Commission stewards, the objection was disallowed.
“Beautiful trip to save ground all the way around there,” said Geroux. “It looked like the pace in front of me was honest. I was about to get the split right turning for home. Maybe I had contact with the horse of Greg Foley’s, Major Fed. But honestly, I don’t think it made a difference. If I beat him a head, maybe we can make a case for it, but when my horse ran going away like this, it was pretty clear there was not too much going on there.”
Shared Sense rewarded his backers with payouts across the board of $7.60, $4.80, $3.20. The son of Street Sense scored his third career win and his first stakes win in his eighth career outing. He more than doubled his career earnings and now has just shy of a bankroll of $325,000.
Shared Sense is owned by Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum’s Godolphin LLC, which has an operation for their racehorses in Kentucky. The royally bred son of 2007 Kentucky Derby winner Street Sense is not nominated to the Kentucky Derby, but could be supplemented for $45,000 if he gains enough points for a starting position. Shared Sense now has 20 points toward the Kentucky Derby set for Saturday, Sept. 5.
“There’s still a few races left to pick up Derby points,” said Cox. “We’ll see how he comes out of this race and we’ll map out a plan for the rest of the year. Godolphin is great to work for. They put the horse first. They’ll come up with a game plan for us moving forward, and we’ll try to execute it.”
Second place finisher Major Fed also gained points toward the Kentucky Derby. Trained by Greg Foley, the race is an option the first weekend in September.
“We got eight points (for second and 38 overall),” said Foley. We can run if we want to, I’m pretty sure. He (Major Fed) got pinched again (at the start). They went 48 for the half-mile. He was last by however much he was. He ran his butt off. He’s a good little horse. He’s going to get lucky one of these days.”
It was the first start in the Indiana Derby for Cox. He has hit the board twice in the Indiana Oaks, but a win in the Oaks also marked a first for him.
“It was big (to win the Indiana Derby and Indiana Oaks),” said Cox, who maintains a stable at Indiana Grand under the direction of assistant trainer Ricky Giannini. “It was good to mark these two races off. This place has been very good to us throughout the years. We’ve won a lot of the races on the undercard and had success on this day here. And to pick these off, it means a lot.”
Indiana Derby Day set another all-sources handle record, pulling in $5,979,952 in wagering on the 12-race card. The previous record was established last year during Indiana Derby night when $4,104,657 was wagered. The Indiana Derby race alone garnered $1,026,395 of the total handle. With Covid-19 restrictions in place, attendance was held to under 1,500 individuals total for the racing venue at Indiana Grand.