Jockey Chantal Sutherland had a troubled trip en route to victory with favored She’sonthewarpath in Wednesday’s $75,000 Indiana General Assembly Distaff at Indiana Grand Racing & Casino.
Oh, the Steve Margolis-trained She’sonthewarpath had little problems, content to settle just behind the two tepid pacesetters before moving to the outside on the far turn and going on methodically to hold off No Mo Lady by three-quarters of a length. The anxious moments for Sutherland came in getting to Indiana Grand.
The jockey rode the fifth race at Keeneland, which went off at 3:23 p.m., only to find out that the private charter she’d hired to whisk her to Shelbyville was canceled because of lightning. Sutherland rushed to her car, not even bothering to change out of her riding pants and sped the 170 miles between Lexington and Indiana Grand — arriving in time to make Indiana Grand’s eighth race, which went off at 6:19.
“Man, I would never drive that fast again,” Sutherland said. “I’m still dirty from the other race. I just had to change my pants because the horse (at Keeneland) threw me out the back of the gate, so I was covered in mud. I’m still covered in mud, but not from this race.
“She’s amazing,” the jockey said of She’sonthewarpath. “She kind of rests herself to make sure she’s maintaining herself to make sure she’s not doing too much down the backside. Then I could feel pressure on my outside and it was time to make a move to get clear. She’s so responsive. I tapped her on the shoulder and she’s just pushbutton.”
She’sonthewarpath covered 1 1/16 miles over firm turf in 1:42.02 and paid $3.60 to win as the 4-5 favorite. The 4-year-old daughter of Declaration of War really came into her own over the winter in New Orleans, winning a pair of $100,000 stakes. Moving into graded-stakes company at Churchill Downs, she rallied to finish fourth in Churchill Downs’ Grade 3 Mint Julep in her previous start, losing by a combined half-length.
“Steve is just a magician to getting her to peak when she needs to peak, and to relax,” Sutherland said. “He’s timed her races so well. He’s so supportive of me. It’s been a really tough go with this COVID and keeping your business. It’s really slowed down. But I feel I’m riding amazing. I’m proud of myself for just sticking it out. But it’s tough. I’m just grateful to Steve for not giving up and replacing me with some flavor of the month jockey right now. It’s awesome to have that support. And I’m so grateful to the owners.”
She’sonthewarpath is now 6-1-2 in 13 starts, earning $337,355 for owner-breeders Lawana and Robert Low.
“She’s just a trier, just a hard-trying filly that gives her all,” the Churchill Downs-based Margolis said. “She just likes to run.”
No Mo Lady and jockey Julian Pimentel finished a half-length in front of Complicit, followed by Amazima, Seransita, Hanalei Moon and the pacesetting Rogue Too. Makealitlemischief was scratched after being fractious in the gate, leaving a field of seven older fillies and mares.
Live racing continues through Wednesday, Nov. 18. Action is held Monday through Thursday beginning at 2:20 p.m. Post times for the all-Quarter Horse programs is to be determined.