Indiana Sired Stakes: Sky Judge Makes Up For Lost Time, Hungarian Princess Still On Top

After getting a late start to his racing career, Sky Judge is definitely making up for lost time. Making his first career stakes start, Sky Judge ruled over his opponents for the win in the eighth running of the $75,000 Sagamore Sired Stakes Wednesday, May 19. The event was one of two on the card, marking the first stakes races of the 2021 season at Indiana Grand.

Starting from post seven, Sky Judge and jockey Orlando Mojica left out of the gate with authority, grabbing the top spot on the inside before Binge and Joe Ramos joined them on the outside heading to the quarter. From that point on, the three-year-old Sahara Sky gelding took over, increasing his lead around the only turn of the five and one-half furlong race, the first time it has been conducted at this distance, moving from six furlongs.

In the stretch, Sky Judge was in front by more than four lengths, increasing to an even larger margin as the finish line neared, winning the race by seven and one-half lengths in 1:04.83. Manuelito and Tommy Pompell moved up quickly from the back to score the second-place finish by a neck over Royal Icing and Edgar Morales for third.

Because it was his first time in stakes company, Sky Judge was a bit of a surprise, paying $11.20 for the win. Bred by Samuel and William Martin Trust and Edmund Martin Trustee, Sky Judge is now two for three this year at Indiana Grand and is two for seven in his career.

“This colt (Sky Judge) was at my farm and nobody wanted to train him, so I took him,” said Roberts, who has a training center on the west side of Indianapolis. “The first of the year, he really woke up and started training better. I can’t do all of this by myself and I have really good help that pays attention and helped me with this horse.”

Roberts, who runs his horses under his training center name of Indy Dancer’s Training Center, has had horses in the past that have competed in the bigger stakes in the state of Indiana, including the Indiana Derby. Early indications are pointing Sky Judge to the same path.

“That’s the plan, to point him toward the Indiana Derby,” added Roberts. “I have horses both on the track and at the farm, but he stays here. We’ll see how he comes out of the race. We may take him home and let him eat some grass and relax.”

For Mojica, he fits Sky Judge like a glove. He is now two for two aboard the gelding and detected his talent early on.

“I’ve worked him two times in the morning,” said Mojica. “He worked great. He can be a little hyper at times, but he does everything right. We thought today we would just try to get to the lead because no one else seemed to want it. He was in front at the break and when I asked him to go, he took off. I looked up and saw on the tv (jumbotron) how far ahead we were, and I thought I’d better take hold and slow him down some near the finish. He just keeps getting better and better with every start.”

It’s already been a big year for Mojica, who is a three-time leading jockey at Indiana Grand. Mojica scored his 2,500th career win to kick off the season in Indiana in mid-April. The Puerto-Rican born jockey is among the top 10 this season and his win aboard Sky Judge was his 31st stakes victory in Indiana Thoroughbred history.

Hungarian Princess, last year’s 2-year-old filly champion of Indiana, is back. The heavily favored filly did not disappoint in her second start of the season, strolling to victory in the eighth running of the $75,000 Swifty Sired Fillies Stakes Wednesday, May 19 at Indiana Grand.

Starting from post nine in the nine-horse lineup, Hungarian Princess was one of the first ones out of the gate but backed off as Starlet Express and Marcelino Pedroza set the tempo on the inside. It only took a couple of taps of the whip from jockey Sammy Bermudez to signal Hungarian Princess to go and she was on a mission, moving up three wide around the turn.

At the top of the stretch, Hungarian Princess took over the lead and was seamless to the wire in the five and one-half furlong event, winning by one and three-quarter lengths in a time of 1:04.56. Pearl Tiara and Fernando De La Cruz made a surprise late bid to move into second as a longshot along with Miss Deputy Star and Alex Achard, also a longshot who held on gamely on the inside for third.

Hungarian Princess is trained by Kim Hammond for her owner-breeder Swifty Farms Inc. just off Interstate 65 in Seymour, Ind. She is now four for seven in her career and has been ridden in all of her starts by Bermudez.

“I think she’s gotten better this year,” said Bermudez. “I’ve been on her a few times in the morning and worked her for Kim (Hammond). She just told me today to win. She was sharp and when you ask, she goes. She knows when it’s time to go and she knows where the wire is. She’s a fun horse to ride.”

Hungarian Princess increased her career bankroll to more than $180,000 with the win. It was her third stakes win in her career so far, which has all taken place at Indiana Grand.

The 19th season of Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse racing is now in progress and continues through Monday, Nov. 8. Live racing is conducted at 2:25 p.m. Monday through Wednesday, with first post on Thursday set at 3:25 p.m. A special Indiana Champions Day highlighting the state’s top Thoroughbred and Quarter Horses will be held Saturday, Oct. 30, beginning at noon. More information about the 2021 racing season is available at www.caesars.com/indiana-grand.

The post Indiana Sired Stakes: Sky Judge Makes Up For Lost Time, Hungarian Princess Still On Top appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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