10/02/2002 11:00PM

Derby twice the fun for Swifty Farms


ANDERSON, Ind. - The Swifty Farms partnership of Don and Dana Myers has a twofold interest in this year's Indiana Derby. Swifty Farms, which is located in Seymour, Ind., not only is the breeder of Pass Rush - who is now owned by Michael Tabor and trained by Patrick Byrne - but also is part-owner of Wiseman's Ferry with Morton Fink and Lee Sacks.

Pass Rush will become the first Indiana-bred to start in his home state's richest Thoroughbred race. Pass Rush is a son of the Crown Ambassador, an 8-year-old son of Storm Cat who stands for $4,000 at Swifty Farms. A winner of three of 10 starts and $169,000, Pass Rush has run some powerful races during his career but is still in search of his initial stakes victory. In what may have been his best race, Pass Rush set almost all of the pace in $245,000 Iowa Derby at Prairie Meadows but was beaten a neck by Easyfromthegitgo after a long drive.

In other Indiana Derby related news:

* Joey Franco brings a four-race win streak into the race, something no other member of the field has done. He made his stakes debut in his last start, capturing the restricted El Cajon Stakes at Del Mar, but has not raced beyond a mile. Kent Desormeaux will come in to ride Joey Franco, a David Hofmans-trained California-bred.

* In the tradition of its parent company, Churchill Downs, Hoosier Park has created a featured drink for this year's Indiana Derby. The Derby Jack includes pink lemonade mix, raspberry mix, Mountain Dew, and Jack Daniels whiskey. The drink, created by bartender David Benefiel, will be offered year-round at the track and this weekend will be served in an Indiana Derby glass.

* Last year's Indiana Derby attendance of 6,337 ranks eighth on the track's all-time list. The previous two Indiana Derby nights rank one-two on the list, at 10,827 in 2000 and 10,063 in 1999.

Statebreds top derby undercard

Indiana-bred colts and geldings are featured in the $40,000 Fort Wayne and the $30,000 Hillsdale Stakes, which top the Indiana Derby undercard. Ten 3-year-old statebreds compete in the Fort Wayne at six furlongs, while the Hillsdale features 11 2-year-olds going 5 1/2 furlongs.

Pemaquid Point returns to the statebred ranks in the Fort Wayne. A gelding by Devil His Due, Pemaquid Point captured last year's edition of the Hillsdale and the Indiana Futurity.

Trained by Gary Scherer, Pemaquid Point made his return to Hoosier Park on Sept. 9, finishing second to Grasshopper Flats in an open allowance. Dean Butler will be aboard.

Bogey Free has captured a pair of statebred races in impressive fashion for trainer Jim Gulick. A son of Tejano Run, Bogey Free won his maiden by 4 1/2 lengths Sept. 12 and returned last Thursday with an 11 1/2-length win against nonwinners-of-two statebred allowance company.

Cowboy's Limelite, trained by Gary Patrick, also has a chance. He upset Pemaquid Point in last year's South Bend Stakes and has a win from two starts at this meet.

Ten of the entrants in the Hillsdale will be making their first start against winners.

The exception is Mo Steely, who races coupled in the wagering with Moro's Sugar as part of a David Norris-trained entry. A front-runner, Mo Steely won his maiden Aug. 30 under a hand ride. He returned in a one-other-than allowance race Sept. 19, setting the pace to deep stretch before being run down by Cherokee Junction. Sidney LeJeune Jr. rides.

Eric Payne is named aboard Moro's Sugar, a winner of his career debut Sept. 21.