Kendal Sterritt has accomplished a lot this season at Indiana Grand and she just added another milestone to her impressive resume. The soon to be 23-year-old apprentice jockey scored her first stakes win aboard Rooster in the 6th running of the $75,000-added ITOBA Stallion Season Stakes Saturday, Oct. 19 at Indiana Grand.
Starting from post four, Rooster has good early speed and Sterritt took advantage of his quick foot from the center of the track to head to the front. However, A Little Irradic and Leandro Goncalves used a little more speed to clear the front heading into the turn of the one-mile stakes race. Down the backside, Rooster remained in contention just off the leader and had company to his outside with Love That Surprise and Marcelino Pedroza keeping up with the tempo as well as Havenhill and Fernando De La Cruz, who was sitting four wide to the half.
Around the final turn, Rooster began to excel on A Little Irradic and at the top of the stretch, the top two were ready for a stretch duel. Rooster put a head in front, but A Little Irradic did not back down. Finally, midway through the stretch, Rooster was able to take over and stride out to the wire as the winner by one and one-half lengths in a time of 1:39.28, just missing the stakes record of 1:38.11 set in 2016 by Easy Doer and Rodney Prescott. A Little Irradic held strong for second over Love That Surprise for third.
“If I got an easy lead, I was going to slow it down, but I didn't get it (the lead) so I just laid back and waited,” said Sterritt.
The favorite of the field, Rooster paid $6.80, $3.80, $3.00 across the board. It was the fourth career win for the three-year-old Indiana sired son of City Weekend. He increased his career bankroll to more than $141,000 with the win. Ron Brown owns and trains Rooster, who was bred by Dr. Crystal Chapple of Hillsboro, Ind.
“It feels awesome,” said an excited Sterritt in the winner's circle following her first stakes win. “I started crying after the wire. This means so much to me. I have to thank Team Ron Brown for having faith in me this entire meet.”
The victory was the 30th trip to the winner's circle for Sterritt, who began riding in late March at Turf Paradise near her home base in Phoenix. She won her first race shortly after beginning her riding career and moved her tack to Indiana Grand in mid-May. The win aboard Rooster was her 23rd of the meet and she is currently in contention for Leading Apprentice Jockey honors this year.
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