05/28/2011 4:19PM

Parx: Indian Legend by a nose in My Juliet


Trainer Cynthia Reese has thought all along that her 4-year-old filly Indian Legend was pretty talented.

“But you don’t know how much class they have until they look a good horse in the eye,” Reese said.

Reese found out Saturday that Indian Legend has plenty of class as she outgamed the multiple graded stakes winner and 1-5 favorite Tar Heel Mom to win the $250,000 My Juliet Stakes by a long nose at Parx Racing. It was 7 1/4 lengths back to Brilliant Sunshine in third. Lady Lucinda, Sweet Goodbye and Lady Alexander completed the order of finish.

The win was the fourth from 12 starts for Indian Legend, a 4-year-old daughter of Cherokee Run owned by Wintickett Farm. It was her first in a stakes race. Indian Legend is a full sister to Cherokee Queen, who is a multiple stakes winner with victories including the Dr. James Penny Memorial at Parx last summer.

Under Angel Arroyo, Indian Legend was last of six early as Tar Heel Mom, the 122-pound highweight under Alex Solis, dueled with Lady Lucinda and Lady Alexander through an opening quarter in 21.28 seconds.

Entering the far turn, Tar Heel Mom put away her two pursuers and opened up a clear margin after running a half-mile in 43.45 seconds. But Arroyo shot Indian Legend through an opening along the rail and challenged Tar Heel Mom turning for home. It appeared briefly that Indian Legend was going to open up on Tar Heel Mom, but Tar Heel Mom battled back only to fall just short.

Indian Legend, who carried eight pounds fewer than Tar Heel Mom, persevered to the wire, and covered the six furlongs in 1:08.22. She returned $23.80 to win.

It was the second straight win for Indian Legend, who was making her fifth start of the year. Indian Legend was off for four months last summer after undergoing throat surgery to repair an entrapped epiglottis.

“The thing with this mare is we always knew she was a nice horse, but last year she started entrapping,” Reese said. “We did a throat operation on her, and since she’s come back she’s been right on. She ran a couple of races in 1:08 and change and I thought, how much faster does she have to run?”

On Saturday, Indian Legend ran just fast enough to win.