by J. Keeler Johnson
Street Band may have been a 3-1 shot in Saturday’s $200,000 Indiana Oaks (G3) at Indiana Grand but, when all was said and done, she might as well have been 3-5. That’s an indication of how impressively the daughter of Istan romped to victory in the 1 1/16-mile event.
Coming off a sixth-place finish in the Kentucky Oaks (G1) at Churchill Downs, Street Band wasn’t even favored in the Indiana Oaks – that honor went to Kim K, a recent allowance winner at Churchill Downs. But almost from the moment the starting gates opened, Street Band looked like a winner.
With regular rider Sophie Doyle in the saddle, Street Band was content to track the pace early on, racing in fourth while saving ground behind fractions of :23.83 and :47.73 set by Kim K. But Street Band was exuding power and seemed poised to strike at any moment. Indeed, when Doyle allowed Street Band to lengthen her stride down the backstretch, the filly gobbled up ground in eye-catching fashion, surging up between horses to challenge Kim K for supremacy.
From there, the race was over. Street Band eagerly took command at the top of the stretch and roared to a four-length advantage in the blink of an eye. It was a decisive move indicative of a thoroughly dominant filly, and in the final sixteenth Doyle put away her whip and allowed Street Band to cruise home an uncontested winner by 3 1/2 lengths in 1:43.01.
Longshot Sundaysatthebeach rallied to secure the runner-up spot over Chocolate Kisses, with High Regard rounding out the superfecta. Farther back, Kim K faded from her early exertions to cross the wire fifth out of 12 starters.
The Indiana Oaks marked Street Band’s second graded victory of the year, following a similarly dominant triumph in the Fair Grounds Oaks (G2). Trained by Larry Jones and owned by the partnership of Ray Francis, Cindy Jones, Larry Jones, Medallion Racing, and MyRacehorse.com, Street Band has now compiled a record of four wins and two thirds from 10 starts, with earnings of $434,425.
While next-race plans have yet to be determined for Street Band, the authoritative nature of her Indiana Oaks victory suggests a rise in class could be on the horizon. The August 17 Alabama Stakes (G1) at Saratoga looms as a possible target for Street Band, and a victory in that prestigious 1 1/4-mile test could launch Street Band into consideration for champion three-year-old filly honors.