(Corningstone wins the Ellen’s Lucky Star Stakes at Horseshoe Indianapolis on Wednesday / All Photos by Coady Photography)
From the Horseshoe Indianapolis Media Team / Tammy Knox:
Corningstone has been a solid contender all season. She earned the title in the Ellen’s Lucky Star on Indiana Derby Day and came back as a convincing winner Wednesday, Aug. 2 in the $200,000 Indiana First Lady. The event is celebrating its 21st running this year and is one of two premier races that began during the inaugural season of racing in 2003 at Horseshoe Indianapolis.
Corningstone and jockey Brian Hernandez Jr. began their journey from post seven in the 12-filly lineup for the one mile, 70-yard race. Sassy Katie and Eddie Perez moved out from the inside for the early lead, joined by Rileys Redemption and Orlando Mojica in a stalking spot on the outside. Bluelightspecial, who was looking for her fourth straight win, was also close early on for Jockey Emmanuel Esquivel.
Heading down the backstretch, Sassy Katie was in full control of the tempo as the field stayed fairly packed together heading into the final turn. Corningstone had moved up slightly on the outside but was still a few lengths off the leaders.
In the stretch, Hernandez Jr. asked Corningstone for another gear and she gladly kicked into it. Sassy Katie held strong on the inside, but as the wire neared, Corningstone was well in hand for the win by two and one-half lengths. Sassy Katie held on gamely for second over Rileys Redemption. Bluelightspecial came up the inside to finish fourth.
“It was a rare occurrence today and we got the perfect trip,” said Hernandez Jr. “The last time out when we were against the five horse (Bluelightspecial) we were a little farther back, but this time, turning down the backside, we were only a length or two back. I just stayed there, and she traveled the right way to the wire.”
Corningstone paid $4.80 for the win. The sophomore daughter of Kantharos is owned by Five Fillies Stable and Bailos Racing Stable. Ken McPeek trains the filly, who was a $75,000 purchase from the Keeneland September Yearling Sale. She now has more than $300,000 on her card as a multiple stakes winner in Indiana and is three for six in her young career. She is a product of the strong breeding operation from Deann and Dr. Greg Baer of Columbus, Ind.
“She (Corningstone) seems to be getting better and better,” added Hernandez Jr., who was aboard for her 11-plus length romp in the Ellen’s Lucky Star. “She was locked and loaded and ready to go today.”
The 21st season of live Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse racing extends through Friday, Nov. 17. Live racing is held Tuesday through Thursday with Saturday racing added in during the summer months. First post Tuesday and Wednesday is 2:30 p.m. Thursday racing begins at 2:10 p.m. The Summer Saturday Racing Series includes four all-Quarter Horse dates July 22, Aug. 12, Sept. 2, and Oct. 7 beginning at 10:45 a.m. For more information on live racing at Horseshoe Indianapolis, visit www.caesars.com/horseshoe-indianapolis.