05/25/2016 5:13PM

Heavy favorites falter in two stakes for Indiana-breds

Linscott Photography
The 3-year-old filly Peyton's Pass, ridden by Walter De La Cruz, scores by 1 1/2 lengths in the Swiftly Sired Stakes.

The heavy favorites both swung and missed in the two Indiana-bred stakes races Wednesday at Indiana Grand, as Strong Composition won the $103,700 Sagamore Sired Stakes for 3-year-olds and Peyton’s Pass captured the $102,950 Swifty Sired Stakes for 3-year-old fillies.

Derby Express, the even-money favorite in the Sagamore Sired, pressed the pace but had no late account and finished third. Easy Victory, who was odds-on in the Swifty Sired, made the early lead but faded in the homestretch and finished fifth.

Strong Composition arrived Sunday at Indiana Grand from trainer Larry Pilotti’s base at Gulfstream Park and made his first start with Indiana-breds in the Sagamore Sired. He sat a good stalking trip under Albin Jimenez and wore down pacesetting Containment in the final furlong to win by two lengths.

“Larry Pilotti did all the work,” said the winning trainer of record, Tony Granitz. “He shipped in great.”

Strong Composition was timed in 1:09.43 over a fast-playing main track and paid $7.20 to win. Bred by John O’Meara and owned by Monarch Stables, Strong Competition is by Mancini and out of the Strong Contender mare Strong Contestant. His first stakes win was just his second victory from 10 starts. Derby Express, who lost for the first time in a statebred-restricted race, finished more than four lengths behind Containment but had more than four lengths on fourth-place El Coco Loco.

Easy Victory, meanwhile, was making her first start at 3 after winning all three of her races at 2, and while she quickly went to the front in the Swifty Sired, she did not stay there long, displaced on the turn by pace-pressing Carmalley Chrome, herself unbeaten in her two career starts, both this spring. But Carmalley Chrome had never taken pressure, and Wednesday she wilted in the homestretch when Peyton’s Pass, always on the bridle for jockey Fernando De La Cruz, issued her challenge in upper stretch. Peyton’s Pass went on to win by 1 1/2 lengths, stopping the timer in 1:10.54 for six furlongs and paying $7 to win. My Erin also passed Carmalley Chrome to earn the place.

Peyton’s Pass was bred by Crystal Chapple, is owned by Mast Thoroughbreds, and is trained by Robert Gorham. She’s by the foundational Indiana stallion Pass Rush and out of the Pine Bluff mare Colorado Song, and won for the third time in four starts, her lone loss having come by just a head to My Erin earlier this spring.