Sunday, July 07, 2024

Chatalas prevailed in a hard-fought battle to take Saturday’s $200,000 Indiana Oaks by a neck over Little Jamie.

The 3-year-old Gun Runner filly was making her first start of 2024, as well as her first start outside of the state of California. Last year she won the Chandelier S. (G2) at Santa Anita Park and placed in the Starlet S. (G2).

After prepping for her comeback at Santa Anita and Churchill Downs, Chatalas was eager from the start and took the lead going into the first turn. She posted fractions of :23.72 and :47.78 before a quartet of foes mounted their challenges going into the final bend. Little Jamie proved to be the most formidable and took the lead from Chatalas at the top of the stretch. Chatalas, along the inside, fought back very gamely to get to the wire first in 1:42.93 for the 1 1/16 miles on the fast track.

“When she made the lead, I felt really good,” said trainer Grant Forster. “She’s got a lovely long stride. When she got into that stride down the backside, it looked like she was just cruising. Turning for home, it looked like she lost the lead there for a little bit, but she showed some real fight. I don’t think there could have been a better race for her off the bench.”

Owned by Rancho Temescal Thoroughbred Partners, Dan Agnew (also her breeder) and William Chatalas, the bay filly is 3-1-1 in seven starts and has earned $370,000.

Chatalas kicked off a great Saturday for Gun Runner. Later that evening he was responsible for the first two finishers in the $300,000 Cornhusker H. (G3) when Red Route One topped Unload by a half-length. Gun Runner now has seven graded stakes winners this year, with overall progeny earnings of $11.1 million.