09/22/2005 11:00PM

Full field possible for derby


ANDERSON, Ind. - A full field of 12, topped by Don't Get Mad and Scrappy T, is possible for the Grade 2, $500,000-added Indiana Derby at Hoosier Park next Saturday night.

The derby and the preceding night's Grade 3, $400,000-added Indiana Breeders' Cup Oaks are the showcase events of the Hoosier Park meet. Both races are at 1 1/16 miles over Hoosier's seven-furlong track.

The Indiana Derby is drawing on the same pool of horses as Saturday's Grade 2 Super Derby at Louisiana Downs, which offers a $750,000 purse and is contested at 1 1/4 miles. But Hoosier Park stakes coordinator Mike Smith already has a solid core of horses confirmed for Indiana's richest Thoroughbred race. "We're pretty proud of this race," Smith said.

In addition to Don't Get Mad, the fourth-place finisher in the Kentucky Derby for trainer Ron Ellis, and Scrappy T, the Robert Bailes-trained Preakness runner-up, others considered definite for the Indiana Derby are multiple stakes winner Going Wild for trainer D. Wayne Lukas, Arlington Classic winner Purim for Tom Proctor, and Lone Star Derby winner Southern Africa for Mike Puhich.

Scrappy T has not started since the Preakness, where he ducked out sharply entering the stretch and almost caused eventual winner Afleet Alex to fall. Bailes had also been considering the Super Derby.

"I think we're headed to Hoosier," said Bailes.

The dealmaker was the distance of the Indiana Derby. Scrappy T is not yet ready for 10 furlongs, said Bailes.

"That's what got us," he said. "The mile and a quarter. We ended up missing a work, and that probably cost us" being ready for the Super Derby.

Smith indicated that Lukas also might send Saratoga allowance winner A.P. Arrow. Other possible starters include Buzzards Bay, Chips Are Down, Devilment, Foolish Cat, Golden Rainbow, Greater Good, Pavo, and Sun King.

Key Issues, runner-up in the Prelude Stakes at Louisiana Downs, could be cross-entered in both the Indiana Derby and Super Derby. Also considered likely to be cross-entered is Magna Graduate, who is trained by Todd Pletcher.

* Friday's Indiana Oaks has a tentative field of nine, including stakes winners Amazing Buy (Pennsylvania Oaks), Brooke's Halo (Hollywood Oaks), Miss Matched (Arlington Oaks), Pussycat Doll (Torrey Pines), and R Lady Joy (Delaware Oaks).

- additional reporting by Mary Rampellini