11/23/2006 1:00AM

Father John odds-on again


Father John has been so imposing in three starts at Hoosier Park this fall that he was sent off as the odds-on favorite each time. Despite losing for the first time in the Indiana Futurity earlier this month, Father John again figures to be an overwhelming favorite in Saturday's $40,000 Indiana Stallion Stakes at six furlongs.

The quality of stallion stakes, especially those contested in fledging breeding centers like Indiana, can be hit or miss, and it is not uncommon to have a standout or two in such events. Father John is certainly a standout 2-year-old, and he could be competitive in open stakes down the road.

Father John won his maiden by 9 3/4 lengths on Sept. 3 and then captured the Hillsdale Stakes over B. B. Mancini on Oct. 15. The tables were turned in the Indiana Futurity, where despite setting a sensible pace, Father John was caught in the final eighth by B. B. Mancini, who went on to score by a length. Father John ran well in finishing second, and he figures to make amends Saturday with B. B. Mancini not in the race.

The Indiana Futurity's fifth- and sixth-place finishers, O'Charlie and Majestic Jack, may have a slight edge in the chase for second, but there are some recent maiden winners who also merit a look. X Machine, Come Sway With Me, Great Actor, and Moken all drew off late over maiden rivals in their most recent start.