10/01/2008 11:00PM

Indyanne facing tough TCA cast


LEXINGTON, Ky. - Racing can be a game of split seconds and blind luck, and if you don't believe it, watch the rerun of the Victory Ride Stakes on the Aug. 23 Travers undercard at Saratoga. Indyanne, the 2-5 favorite, broke a tad slowly, costing her invaluable position and, ultimately, the race.

"She definitely cost herself at the break," said Greg Gilchrist, the California-based trainer who has accompanied Indyanne to Keeneland for the $300,000 Thoroughbred Club of America Stakes, the Grade 3 sprint that caps a run of five consecutive stakes Saturday at Keeneland. "She's never been bad in the gate. She was just standing wrong when they sprung it."

As one of the speediest fillies around, the 3-year-old Indyanne will try to make amends for her only career defeat when she faces older fillies and mares in what shapes up as a rugged 28th running of the six-furlong TCA Stakes. Indyanne, with Robby Albarado to ride, will break from post 1 trying to earn a Win and You're In berth into the Oct. 24 Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Sprint.

"I don't mind the one hole," said Gilchrist. "It actually can be your friend if you break well. It's the shortest way around there."

Indyanne trains regularly on a synthetic surface, so the Keeneland Polytrack should not be a hindrance, said Gilchrist, who said the Breeders' Cup would be very likely if Indyanne were to emerge victorious Saturday.

"Whoever wins this race will earn their money, that's for sure," said Gilchrist. "It looks like a very competitive race."

It is. The beaten favorite in the Grade 1 Ballerina, Sugar Swirl, is in the lineup, as is the 2007 TCA winner, Wild Gams. Graeme Six, Any Limit, and Sweet Hope help round out a wicked race.

In all, a field of 10 is entered in the TCA, although Golden Doc A will scratch in favor of the Indiana Oaks, according to trainer Greg Fox, who has been overseeing the 3-year-old filly for trainer Barry Abrams in recent days.

The TCA follows the featured Shadwell Turf Mile as the ninth of 10 Saturday races.

Phoenix: Talent Search in tough spot

The first of the five Saturday stakes is the $250,000 Phoenix Stakes (race 5), which is not a BC Challenge race but nonetheless has depth similar to what its sister race, the TCA, will offer later.

Talent Search, Ravalo, Noonmark, Greeley's Conquest, and Semaphore Man are among the seasoned stakes winners who make up a full field of 12 in the six-furlong Phoenix, a Grade 3 race being run for the 156th time.

Talent Search, with Rafael Bejarano to ride for trainer Bobby Frankel, will make his first start since finishing second more than 10 months ago in the Grade 1 De Francis Dash at Laurel.

"We sent him to California after the De Francis and intended to run him in the Dubai Golden Shaheen, but he came up with a hairline fracture and we had to give him six months off," said breeder-owner Ken Ramsey. "We sent him to Saratoga a couple months ago, and Bobby really likes how he's come back."

Talent Search figures into the heart of what should be a fast pace in the Phoenix, along with Disfunction, Ravalo, and maybe Semaphore Man.

Woodford: Smart Enough the standout

Six-month layoffs into October leave very little margin for error when it comes to making the Breeders' Cup, and that's exactly what Smart Enough will have when he goes off as the likely favorite in the $150,000 Woodford Stakes (race 6) at 5 1/2 furlongs on the turf.

Smart Enough, based in Maryland with trainer John R.S. "Doc" Fisher, has been a standout turf sprinter throughout a career in which he has won 10 of 16 starts. With a good effort Saturday, the 5-year-old gelding would become a top prospect for the Oct. 25 BC Turf Sprint. Albarado has the mount.

Fourteen turf-sprint specialists were entered, but only 12 can start.