05/23/2009 12:00AM

Indian Way a winner in record time

Indian Way, with David Cohen up, wins the My Juliet Stakes at Philadelphia Park by three-quarters of a length.

Even with the absence of the race's biggest name, a star performance was still produced in Saturday's $250,000 My Juliet Stakes at Philadelphia Park.

Indian Way, who inherited the role of favorite when trainer Todd Pletcher scratched multiple graded stakes winner Game Face so that she could run in Sunday's Vagrancy at Belmont Park, fought off an extended challenge from Sunday Geisha en route to her first stakes victory in track-record time.

Ridden by David Cohen for trainer Tony Dutrow, the 4-year-old Indian Way ($3.80) completed six furlongs on a fast track in 1:07.61, breaking the record of 1:07.89 set by Iron Punch in July 2000.

A daughter of Indian Charlie owned by Mercedes Stable, Indian Way had won her first two starts this season by a combined margin of nearly 14 lengths. This time, however, she had to work hard, as Sunday Geisha stayed right on her outside flank, never more than 1 1/4 lengths behind, through fractions of 22.53 and 44.43 seconds.

Heading to the three-eighths pole, jockey Richard Migliore asked Sunday Geisha to go after the leader. She slowly gained around the far turn and was almost on even terms by the time they hit the head of the lane. Indian Way slowly edged away through that final furlong, prevailing by three-quarters of a length. Sunday Geisha, the 3-1 third choice, finished 5 3/4 lengths clear of Jet Away Jane in the field of five.

"She's just been sensational," Dutrow said of Indian Way, who is now 4 for 6 lifetime. "We gave her some time off after her 3-year-old season and now she's getting better with every start. Make no mistake, I expected her to run well, but I didn't expect that. She was breathtaking today."