Pure Fun Rolls Home in the Indiana Oaks

Pure Fun Rolls Home in the Indiana Oaks
Photo: Eclipse Sportswire

On a day when the Indiana Downs main track played kindly to outside closers, Pure Fun closed widest and fastest of all to capture the 18th running of the Grade II Indiana Oaks.  

As Pure Fun trailed the field, heavy 2/5 favorite Fiftyshadesofhay dualed for the early lead between long shots Run forestry Run and Wild About Irene through a quick opening half mile of 46.82 seconds. Entering the far turn Fiftyshadesofhay disposed of Run Forestry Run, but when everyone expected the Bob Baffert trainee to kick clear from the field, Oscar Party moved up 3-wide to engage the leaders after 6 furlongs in 1:10.78. Down the lane Oscar Party and Fiftyshadesofhay locked up in a dual, but it was Pure Fun who wore down the duo in the last 50 yards to win going away by 1 ¾ lengths.

“That’s her running style. Our plan was to take her back and make the one big run she always makes. She gave it to me and (I) took it to my advantage when the others were running out of horse,” jockey Victor Lebron.

Pure Fun was making her first start since a 6th place finish in the Kentucky Oaks last May. After that race the 3-year-old daughter of Pure Prize was sidelined with a chip in her ankle, but obviously bounced back from that injury in fine order. “She’s been working fantastic, and had a great work in the slop,” said assistant trainer, Matt Shirer. “Vic and I talked about keeping her outside of horses. She got the pace she wanted and finished. It’s been a long road with her.”

When asked if the Breeders’ Cup Distaff was on target co-owner Peter Edwards was indecisive, but did not rule it out. “We’ll let her tell us about whether we should go.”

Pure Fun returned $10.20 to her backers as the second choice and earned $118,953 for owners Magdalena Racing LLC. This was the first Indiana Oaks win for jockey Victor Lebron and trainer Kenny McPeek.

Meet Jasen Mangrum

My interest in the Sport of Kings goes back over 25 years with my father taking me with his friends to the old Ak-Sar-Ben Race Course in Omaha, Nebraska. From those early experiences I was able to read the Daily Racing Form before the age of 10. Once The Woodlands opened in Kansas City in 1988, I became totally hooked on the sport studying racing charts after homework and tennis practice.  In recent years, with the explosion of handicapping tournaments, my love for playing the races has risen to a new level. Primarily focused on New York, Chicago and Louisiana racing, I have now been forced to study races far and wide in attempt to find cap horses in the tournaments I play.  I have also dabbled in horse ownership within syndicates and on my own.

My fondest memories in racing include Silver Charms 1997 Kentucky Derby victory.  Both my father and I selected him, which made for a memorable day.  The best race Ive seen was Tiznows first Breeders Cup Classic win in 2000 when he outdueled Giants Causeway down the length of the Churchill Downs stretch. My biggest windfall as a gambler was a pool-scooping Pick 4 win, paying over $6,600 at The Woodlands in 2005.

The point of this blog is to get everyone out there a few winners, but also to go in depth at how I come to the conclusions that I do. I encourage others to post picks they like, too, but please explain how you come to your conclusions. That way everyone can learn a little more about this great game, and add another weapon to their handicapping arsenal. Best of luck.


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