10/02/2005 12:00AM

Don't Get Mad rallies to win Indiana Derby

Email
JAMIE LINSCOTT PHOTO
Don't Get Mad wins the Grade 2, $511,300 Indiana Derby by 3 lengths at Hoosier Park.

ANDERSON, IND. - Don't Get Mad unleashed a strong run into the stretch to score his biggest career victory Saturday night with a 3 length win over favored Scrappy T in the Grade 2, $511,300 before a crowd of nearly 7,000 at Hoosier Park

Ridden by Brice Blanc, Don't Get Mad settled outside off the early pace contested by Thor's Echo and Southern Africa. Scrappy T, running extremely fresh off more than a four month layoff, ran up the heels of the two leaders leaving the first turn and checked off heels then was kept under a snug hold heading up the backstretch.

Don't Get Mad was content to watch the action from next to last in the field of 9. "I took him out up the backside," Blanc said in the winner's circle ceremonies. As the colt rounded the far turn of the mile and a sixteenth race Blanc was confident. "He just started rolling from there. He's got a tremendous kick to the finish."

Don't Get Mad reached the front about the same time as Scrappy T nearing the eighth pole then surged clear to stop the timer in 1:42.71 over the fast track. The Ron Ellis trained colt returned $7.20 as the 5-2 second choice in a field of nine. Scrappy T, ridden by Ramon Dominguez, moved clear for second, 2 3/4 lengths in front of Thor's Echo who held third in a tight photo with Purim.

The win was worth $306,780 and boosted Don't Get Mad's career earnings to nearly $800,000 from a mark of 5-1-1 from 11 starts. He won the Derby Trial in April and returned off a fourth in the Kentucky Derby to take the Northern Dancer BC at Churchill Downs.

On the Derby undercard Pass Rush took the Gus Grissom Stakes for Indiana breds by 1 1/4 lengths under John McKee. A career earner of more than $500,000 with graded stakes placings, Pass Rush had not visited the winner's circle since 2003. The promising 2-year-old colt Father Art returned off a 16-length maiden win on 7 days rest to take the $40,000 Hillsdale Stakes in the race following the Derby with Tommy Pompell riding.