Copper Nickel may have been overlooked by the public, but her connections had faith in her. At odds of 20-1, the two-year-old daughter of Stroll put the field at her heels in the stretch and rode away with the victory in the 22nd running of the $100,000 Miss Indiana Stakes at Indiana Grand Tuesday, Nov. 5.
The race resembled a Quarter Horse sprint at the start with all 12 horses moving straight out for the lead. As the turn approached in the one mile 70-yard event, everyone began to find their place and French Vanilla and Orlando Mojica claimed the top spot heading into the turn. Betcha and Jose Riquelme stayed close along the inside with Copper Nickel and Jon Court just to their outside, stalking in third.
Down the backstretch, several challengers began to make their move, including race favorite Lady Ally and Fernando De La Cruz. The entire field still remained in contention around the turn and into the stretch, it was Copper Nickel who broke loose from her opponents to accept the top spot and move away for a nice lead. Lady Ally tracked her closely and was the only one within striking distance in the final strides, but Copper Nickel was not going to be denied her second straight win to earn the stakes title in a time of 1:44.50 by four and one-quarter lengths. Lady Ally finished second over Sentimentaljourney and DeShawn Parker, who rallied up along the outside to finish third.
Owned by Doris Book, Mike South and Frank Brown, Copper Nickel now has two wins in three career starts. The Indiana bred filly picked up her first stakes win for trainer Mike Lauer and increased her career bankroll to more than $78,000 with the win.
“Mike (Lauer) put me on several horses today on the card, but this was the filly I came to ride,” said Court about Copper Nickel. “I breezed her a few times in the morning and liked her, so I thought she had a shot. There was a lot of speed in the race, and I thought I'd end up being in the second or third flight, but it didn't work out that way. She got over near the lead and sat nicely on the outside and relaxed, so we had something left for the stretch.”
Copper Nickel rewarded her backers with $43.60, $13.00 and $10.00 across the board. She is a homebred filly by Frank Brown, who still owns a portion of her under the guidance of Lauer.
“I thought she would run a good race,” said Lauer. “She's been breezing really well in the mornings and really picked up her game the last couple of weeks.”
The win with Copper Nickel was the second on the card for Lauer and Court. They also connected earlier in the day with Savedbestforlast in the second race on the program.
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