10/05/2016 8:56AM

A. P. Indian takes his speed show to the Phoenix

Barbara D. Livingston
Forego winner A. P. Indian scratched from last Saturday's Vosburgh at Belmont to run Friday in the Phoenix at Keeneland.

LEXINGTON, Ky. – A. P. Indian was scratched from the Vosburgh Invitational last Saturday at a soggy Belmont Park to wait for a dry track in the Phoenix Stakes at Keeneland, so it might be said that New York’s loss was Kentucky’s gain.

That is, unless you’re one of the trainers who now will be running a horse against A. P. Indian in the Grade 2, $250,000 Phoenix, which helps open the 17-day Keeneland fall meet with its 164th running Friday.

“So that’s how he treats his friends,” a kidding Ben Colebrook said of Arnaud Delacour, the trainer of A. P. Indian. “I texted him when I heard the horse had scratched and said, ‘Phoenix?’ And he said, ‘Yep.’ And I’m like, ‘Oh, no.’ ”

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Limousine Liberal, based at Keeneland with Colebrook, is one of six older horses who will try to somehow slow down the A. P. Indian juggernaut, which has tore through five straight races this year in making the 6-year-old gelding the early favorite for the $1.5 million Breeders’ Cup Sprint. The six-furlong Phoenix serves as a Win and You’re In for the Nov. 5 BC Sprint at Santa Anita.

Joe Bravo, who has ridden A. P. Indian in his last four wins, will be back aboard Friday. They break from post 1.

“He does everything so effortlessly,” said Bravo. “Sometimes it feels like he’s not even trying, and that’s a great feeling.”

A. P. Indian ascended to the top of the North American sprint heap this summer at Saratoga, where he swept both Grade 1 races in the division, the July 30 Vanderbilt and the Aug. 27 Forego. The Forego win earned him a Win and You’re In berth for the BC Sprint.

As the eighth of 10 races, the Phoenix (post, 4:57 p.m. Eastern) is a key link in multirace wagers late on a Friday opener that’s supposed to be free of rain. The race is the oldest stakes (noncontinuous) in America, dating all the way back to 1831 at the old Kentucky Association track in Lexington. The 2015 winner was Runhappy, the eventual BC Sprint and divisional champion.


A. P. Indian, by Indian Charlie

Last 3 Beyers: 107-107-102

◗ Bred and owned by the Green Lantern Stables of Richard Masson, this bay Kentucky-bred has earned triple-digit Beyer Speed Figures in six of his last 10 starts and has a very handy style to suggest that neither his rail draw nor the slight turnback from seven furlongs to six will be problematic.

Limousine Liberal, by Successful Appeal

Last 3 Beyers: 93-95-97

◗ Bred and owned by Mike and K.K. Ball, this 4-year-old gelding set a track record (1:15.05) for 6 1/2 furlongs here in the spring and now adds blinkers for his 11th career start.

Ami’s Flatter, by Flatter

Last 3 Beyers: 80-94-105

◗ Ontario-bred was a convincing winner of the Grade 3 Commonwealth here in the spring and now goes from turf to dirt for owner Ivan Dalos and trainer Josie Carroll.

Alsvid, by Officer

Last 3 Beyers: 91-97-97

◗ As a winner of 15 races and $1.3 million, he’s the definition of a hard knocker, although his two races here last fall (seventh in the Phoenix and 13th in the BC Sprint) weren’t very good.