In two U.S. starts, Indy Point
has gone from first to last. The Argentine-bred chestnut won the restricted Wickerr Stakes at Del Mar on July 24 in his first North American start.
He followed that by finishing 13th and last, beaten 25 ¼ lengths, in the Grade I Arlington Million on Aug. 17.
Next up: Sunday’s Grade I, $150,000 John Henry Turf Championship at a mile and a quarter. Mandella feels Indy Point is up to the task and says you can throw the Million out.
“He tried to grab his quarters, but didn’t quite do it,” Mandella said. “He just banged them and they sored up. He was in traffic and climbing over horses a little bit.
“Consequently, it came right out with poulticing and he’s in good shape. We expect him to run very well here Sunday. I’d say you have to draw a line through the Arlington Million.”
A similar scenario presents itself for Slim Shadey, who won the John Henry last year, then went on a four-race skid after taking the Grade II San Marcos Stakes at Santa Anita on Feb. 9.
In his most recent start, Slim Shadey prompted the pace in the Grade I Eddie Read at Del Mar July 20 before fading to eighth in a nine-horse field, beaten nearly 14 lengths.
“Last time he got into a speed duel, and they just went far too quick in front, so he weakened,” trainer Simon Callaghan said. “But we freshened him up and like I’ve said before, he seems a much better horse on this race track. His best runs have been here.
“He seems to be doing well and he’s in good shape.”
The field for the John Henry, race eight of 10: Teaks North, Martin Garcia, 6-1; Holding Glory, Mike Smith, 6-1; Kettle Corn, Rafael Bejarano, 5-1; Indy Point, Gary Stevens, 7-2; Soi Phet, Irving Orozco, 30-1; Tale of a Champion, Joe Talamo, 8-1; Affrettando, Kevin Krigger, 30-1; Vagabond Shoes, Victor Espinoza, 5-1; Code of Conduct, Edwin Maldonado, 30-1; Old Time Hockey, Corey Nakatani, 20-1; Irish Surf, Jose Valdivia Jr., 20-1; Lucayan, Garrett Gomez, 6-1; Slim Shadey, Julien Leparoux, 12-1; and Huntsville, Alex Bisono, 20-1.