Updated on 09/17/2011 12:22PM

Indy Five Hundred wins Garden City


ELMONT, N.Y. - Before this weekend, Peter Minikes' Georgica Stable had never registered a graded stakes victory. In a 24-hour period, the stable captured two Grade 1 races at Belmont Park.

One-day after Buy the Sport pulled a stunning upset in the Grade 1 Gazelle Handicap for 3-year-old fillies on dirt, Indy Five Hundred rallied from last to knock off 7-10 favorite Dimitrova in the Grade 1, $250,000 for 3-year-old fillies on turf.

"This has been the best weekend of my life," said Minikes, an investment advisor for the Manhattan-based firm Newberger-Berman. Minikes and his father, Michael, comprise Georgica Stable, named after the road the Minikes' own a home on in Easthampton, N.Y.

Indy Five Hundred, a daughter of A.P. Indy trained by Bobby Barbara, won the Garden City by four lengths. Dimitrova, who made the lead turning for home, was second by 2 1-4 lengths over Campsie Fells.

Minikes, who got into the Thoroughbred business in 1999, had only purchased Buy the Sport a month before she won the Gazelle. Minikes bought Indy Five Hundred as a yearling for $210,000.

Indy Five Hundred, a full sister to graded-stakes winner Delta Princess, won her maiden on dirt over Aqueduct's inner track last December 29. When she tried the turf for the first time in April, she registered a gate to wire entry-level allowance win. In her two most recent turf tries, Indy Five Hundred came from off the pace to finish seven in the Grade 3 Lake George and second in the Grade 2 Lake Placid, both at Saratoga.

Barbara explained that Indy Five Hundred acted up in the gate in both races at Saratoga, and caused herself to get off poorly. Barbara said he did plenty of gate schooling with Indy Five Hundred prior to this race.

On Sunday, Indy Five Hundred threw her head up right after the start and seemed content to lay last under Pat Day through the early stages. Sand Springs, who beat Indy Five Hundred in the Lake Placid, set a swift pace of 23.50 seconds, 46.83 and 1:11.60 for three-quarters of a mile.

Indy Five Hundred was last, but only seven lengths off the lead, at that point. When Barbara saw Day begin to guide Indy Five Hundred through horses, he became confident.

"I thought she was a winner at the three-eighths pole," said Barbara, who won his first Grade 1 Sunday and took over the training of Buy the Sport following Saturday's Gazelle.

Indy Five Hundred covered the nine furlongs in 1:48.44 over a good inner turf course and returned $17.80 to win.

Minikes said Indy Five Hundred would either run in the Grade 1 Queen Elizabeth at Keeneland on Oct. 11 or train up to the Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Turf on Oct. 25 at Santa Anita.

Mark Weld, assistant trainer to his father Dermot, said Dimitrova could make her next start in the Grade 1 Flower Bowl Invitational here on Sept. 27.