Dragoon Guard Another Graded Winner For the Late Arrogate In Indiana Derby

Dragoon Guard | Coady

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Making his first start around two turns and looking for a third straight victory in succession, Juddmonte homebred Dragoon Guard (Arrogate) was sent for the lead from his outside draw and made every pole a winning one in Saturday's GIII Indiana Derby at Horseshoe Indianapolis.

Pegged at 7-2 on the morning line and sharing the grey/roan coloring that runs rampant in his pedigree (sire, dam, grandsire, damsire and damsire's sire), Dragoon Guard–off as the 19-10 second-elect–was given a positive ride from Florent Geroux and led his rivals into the first turn as Informed Patriot (Hard Spun) chased from second, with favored GI Santa Anita Derby hero Stronghold (Ghostzapper) in the box seat from third.

Clicking off even fractions of :23.74 and :47.24, Dragoon Guard arguably landed the deciding blow through the next internal quarter mile, going from the 4 1/2-furlong pole to the five-sixteenths in a crisp :23.53, taking the starch out of those behind him. Dragoon Guard was firmly in front as they hit the stretch and Stronghold was pulled out to offer whatever he had left to give, but the grey colt spurted away to win off as much the best.

“He ran well,” said winning trainer Brad Cox. “I thought [jockey] Florent [Geroux] did a good job of getting him away and getting him involved and taking control of the race. Look, based off pedigree and his physical, he's bred to be a two-turn, mile-and-an-eighth and farther type horse. He stepped up today in his first start around two turns and ran well.”

With a profile not dissimilar to that of his late sire, Dragoon Guard just might take a similar route towards brighter lights.

“I think if he continues to make progress, he could be a top 3-year-old,” Cox said. “I really believe that. He's a good colt. This was just the next step in his progression. I'm happy with what he was able to do today. To be one of the top 3-year-olds in the country he's going to have to take a couple of more steps forward. We're hopeful that he can.

“We may take him up to Saratoga and train him,” the conditioner continued. “I don't know if we look at something at Parx, the [GI] Pennsylvania Derby. We'll let the dust settle and let him determine whether he's ready to step forward and face the best 3-year-olds out there.”

A debut second to future Springboard Mile Stakes winner Otto the Conqueror (Street Sense) at Churchill last September, Dragoon Guard went missing for the rest of the year, returning to graduate by open lengths going the about seven-furlong configuration at Keeneland while earning an 88 Beyer. Stretched out to the mile for his latest, he handled wet underfoot conditions with aplomb, leading throughout to take a first-level Churchill allowance by better than three lengths June 2.

Pedigree Notes:

Dragoon Guard is the 23rd stakes winner and 14th graded winner for the much-missed Arrogate.

A fourth-generation homebred for Juddmonte, Dragoon Guard's third dam began her career in France for Andre Fabre, who was the trainer of record when she won the Gaily Gaily Handicap at Gulfstream a day after the Breeders' Cup in 1992. Rougeur was turned over to trainer Ron McAnally thereafter, for whom she was placed in the GII Orchid Handicap and the GIII Yerba Buena Handicap. Rougeur passed away in 2016.

Easily the best of Rougeur's five winners resulted from a mating with a then 23-year-old Seattle Slew in 1997. Flute was conditioned by the late Bobby Frankel and she became the only GI Kentucky Oaks winner to date for the late Prince Khalid Abdullah's operation in 2001, also adding that year's GI Alabama Stakes.

A foal of 2010 Filimbi was sent to Criquette Head-Maarek in France for her early education, winning in listed company there prior to her repatriation. Trained in this country by Bill Mott, the gray mare validated 8-5 favoritism in the 2014 GII Goldikova Stakes, also run the Sunday after the Breeders' Cup, and while not quite able to crack the elite level, Filimbi was placed four times in Grade I company, including a runner-up effort to Tepin (Bernstein) in the Just A Game Stakes in 2015.

The dam of three other winners in addition to Dragoon Guard, Filimbi is also responsible for a yearling Into Mischief filly and a filly by Constitution foaled on Mar. 8.

 

 

Saturday, Horseshoe Indianapolis
INDIANA DERBY-GIII, $300,000, Horseshoe Indianapolis, 7-6, 3yo, 1 1/16m, 1:42.26, ft.
1–DRAGOON GUARD, 124, c, 3, by Arrogate
               1st Dam: Filimbi (GSW & MGISP-USA, SW-Fr,
               $670,763), by Mizzen Mast
               2nd Dam: Flute, by Seattle Slew
               3rd Dam: Rougeur, by Blushing Groom (Fr)
1ST BLACK TYPE WIN, 1ST GRADED STAKES WIN.
O/B-Juddmonte (KY); T-Brad H. Cox; J-Florent Geroux.
$176,400. Lifetime Record: 4-3-1-0, $335,360. Werk Nick
Rating: C+. Click for the eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree
or the free Equineline.com catalogue-style pedigree.
2–Stronghold, 124, c, 3, Ghostzapper–Spectator, by Jimmy
Creed. O/B-Eric Waller & Sharon Waller (KY); T-Philip
D'Amato. $58,800.
3–Informed Patriot, 124, c, 3, Hard Spun–Yawkey Way, by
Grand Slam. ($90,000 Ylg '22 KEESEP). O-J. Kirk Robison and
Judy Robison; B-Gainesway Thoroughbreds LTD & Whisper
Hill Farm (KY); T-Steven M. Asmussen. $32,340.
Margins: 2HF, 3, 2 3/4. Odds: 1.90, 1.20, 17.40.
Also Ran: E J Won the Cup, Real Men Violin, Woodcourt, Kitty Hawk. Scratched: Sir Greylind.
Click for the Equibase.com chart or the TJCIS.com PPs.

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