08/24/2006 11:00PM

No catching Fleet Indian


SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - As one of the owners of Ashado, Paul Saylor left Saratoga dejected after last year's Personal Ensign Handicap. As the sole owner of Fleet Indian, Saylor left Saratoga extremely happy following Friday's running of the Grade 1, $400,000 .

Able to set a slow, uncontested pace under Jose Santos, Fleet Indian ran away from Balletto in the stretch to record a 4 1/4-length victory in the Personal Ensign. It was 6 3/4 lengths back to Sole Search in third. Yolanda B. Too and India Halo completed the order of finish.

It was the seventh consecutive victory for Fleet Indian, and fifth in a row since Saylor purchased her for $290,000 out of last January's horses of all ages sale at Keeneland. Last year, Saylor owned a piece of the champion mare Ashado, who finished in a dead heat for fourth in this race as the 2-5 favorite.

"Last year the race was a big disappointment,'' Saylor said. "This year we had the payback.''

On paper, it looked like Fleet Indian, a New York-bred daughter of Indian Charlie, was the lone speed. It played out that way on the track, too, as she took Santos to the lead and the pair set pedestrian fractions of 25.62 seconds, 50.67, 1:15.21, and 1:39.51 for the mile. Balletto, the 8-5 second choice, tried to make a run at Fleet Indian at the quarter pole, but Fleet Indian had plenty left in running a final quarter of 24.36 seconds. Fleet Indian covered the 1 1/4 miles in 2:03.87 and returned $3.30.

Trainer Todd Pletcher was happy to see that Fleet Indian had control of the race, but he initially felt the fractions were almost too slow.

"I thought we might have left everybody in the race a little bit, but it worked out fine,'' said Pletcher, who was also the trainer of Ashado. "It was a pretty solid finish going a mile and a quarter.''

Pletcher said he would likely point Fleet Indian to the Grade 1, $600,000 Beldame Stakes at Belmont on Oct. 7 as a prep for the Breeders' Cup Distaff on Nov. 4.

* Gimme Credit ($13.20) received a perfect stalking trip under Edgar Prado and won the $72,450 Equalize Stakes by a half-length over a hard-charging Storm Treasure. Gimme Credit, a 3-year-old New York-bred son of Artax trained by Tim Hills, covered the one mile over firm turf in 1:35.48.