A new star emerged Wednesday, May 25 in the fourth running of the $100,000-added Swifty Sired Fillies Stakes at Indiana Grand. Peyton’s Pass, ridden by Fernando De La Cruz, rallied home in a new stakes record time of 1:10.54 for the win, her second straight at Indiana Grand Racing & Casino. The race was for Indiana-sired 3-year-old fillies.
Peyton’s Pass began her journey from the outside post eight in the stakes race. De La Cruz opted to lay off the early pace and allow Easy Victory and Albin Jimenez to show the way. A blistering first quarter time of :22.03 seconds was recorded as Easy Victory found pressure from Carmalley Chrome and Rodney Prescott along with Text N Ride and Francisco Torres, who stayed between horses until the final turn.
Carmalley Chrome obtained the lead in the turn and was in position for a strong stretch drive when Peyton’s Pass moved to the outside and began to make up ground. Peyton’s Pass had the lead for most of the stretch and crossed under the wire for the win by a margin of one and one-quarter lengths over My Erin and Marcelino Pedroza, who scooted up the inside to save ground for second. Carmalley Chrome was third in the six furlong event.
“Because I rode the other filly (Easy Victory) last year, I knew she would show a lot of early speed, so I wanted the speed to clear and I wanted to try to get in a good position behind them,” said De La Cruz, who was the leading rider at Indiana Grand in 2014. “We were chasing them and stalking them and little by little, she started moving up. After the quarter, I asked her to keep going and she did and was able to save for the stretch.”
Peyton’s Pass is owned by Henry Mast’s Mast Thoroughbreds LLC and trained by Bob Gorham. The win was her second of the year in three starts and her first attempt against stakes company. The 3-year-old daughter of Pass Rush was bred by Dr. Crystal Chapple, and the win marked only her fourth career outing, getting one start in at the end of her 2-year-old season, a commanding win by more than six lengths during the final week of the 2015 meet at Indiana Grand.
“We had her (Peyton’s Pass) ready to go last year but she had a little bit of a shin problem,” said Gorham. “But we were able to get one two-year-old start in her, which was pretty important for her three-year-old year. She prepped all winter at Mahoning Valley and we considered a stakes race there, but it came up pretty tough. We decided to bring her here to get her first starts in for this stakes race. Fernando (De La Cruz) rode a great race. He’s our stakes jockey.”
Gorham is based from his training center in Lawton, Mich., but currently has a string of 30 horses at Thistledown and 30 horses at Indiana Grand. He has fared well in Indiana over the past few years, conditioning numerous stakes winners. Peyton’s Pass is his latest start to step up and join the stakes group in his barn at Indiana Grand, but her journey to the races had a rocky start.
“This filly (Peyton’s Pass) was orphaned at 20 days old,” said Dr. Chapple, who owns an equine farm call service west of Crawfordsville and currently has a small breeding operation at her farm in Hillsborough, Ind. “She was raised out of a bucket. She was turned out with a Quarter Horse mare as a babysitter, who taught her some manners. Because she was raised on a bucket, she is very people oriented and has always been filled out and well developed. Bob bought her from me privately the fall of her yearling year.”
Peyton’s Pass now has three wins in four career starts and increased her bankroll to more than $100,000 with her win in the Swifty Sired Fillies Stakes. She also added her name to the record books by establishing a new stakes record time of 1:10.54, eclipsing the old mark of 1:10.82 set by Nevertoomanykisses and Oriana Rossi during the 2015 running of the race. Peyton’s Pass paid $7.00, $3.20, $2.80 across the board as the bettor’s third choice in the field.
Stallion Pass Rush, himself an Indiana-bred, was a Grade 2 winner and earner of nearly $600,000 on the track. He stands at Swifty Farms in Seymour.
Runner-up My Erin, owned by Southwest Racing Stables and Barbara Jean Conner, is by Article of Faith, and third-place finisher Carmalley Chrome, owned by Tom Roche, is by Cat Dreams.