06/13/2013 1:53PM

Indiana Downs: Free World will gun for lead in Centaur

Coady Photography
Free World brings a three-race winning streak into the Centaur Stakes.

According to trainer Tom Amoss, Free World will have the early lead in the $200,000 Centaur Stakes on Saturday at Indiana Downs.

“There is no other way to put it, we are committed front-runners,” Amoss said. “He will make the lead and we will go from there, hopefully it won’t take too much out of him.”

There is not a lot of speed in the one-mile turf race for 3-year-olds, and Amoss knows who his chief pace rival is likely to be.

“Ronny Werner’s horse [Anyriderill Do], to the inside of us has some speed, but luckily there really isn’t any to the outside,” Amoss said. “We should be fine getting to the front.”

A field of nine was entered for the Centaur, but Arlington Classic winner General Election, the 2-1 morning-line favorite, is expected to scratch. The Centaur was previously run as the Oliver Stakes but has been renamed for Centaur Holdings, which completed its purchase of Indiana Downs in February and also owns Hoosier Park. Both facilities have casinos.

Free World, a son of Stormy Atlantic, has raced on turf twice in his seven-race career, most recently winning the 7 1/2-furlong Centaur prep on May 21 by more than seven lengths.

“He showed an affinity for the turf in that race,” Amoss said. “It was very encouraging because there were some quality grass horses in that field.”

War Dancer, a son of War Front, will be trying for his third turf win in his last four starts for trainer Ken McPeek. War Dancer won a maiden race March 9 at Gulfstream Park going 1 1/8 miles on the turf. He then won a 1 1/16-mile turf allowance at Keeneland on April 10, rallying from last to first in the 12-horse field. In his most recent outing May 3 at Churchill, he finished third, beaten only 2 1/4 lengths, in the Grade 2 American Turf, also at 1 1/16 miles. Victor Lebron will ride for the first time.

Moro Tap will be looking for his third consecutive win in the Centaur. Trained by Mike Maker, the son of Tapit won his maiden April 11 at Keeneland going a mile on the turf. In his most recent outing May 12 at Churchill Downs, Moro Tap won an allowance going 1 1/8 miles. In both races, he rallied from far back early to win. Malcom Franklin will ride for the first time.

Others in the field include Pataky Kid, Greengrasssofwyoming, Balthazar, and Ruler of Love.