Dragoon Guard Wires Indiana Derby

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2024 Indiana Derby, Dragoon Guard, Brad Cox, Horseshoe Indiana
Dragoon Guard coasts to a front running victory in the 2024 Indiana Derby. (Coady Media)

Dragoon Guard introduced himself as a contender in the 3-year-old division with a front-running performance in the $300,000 Grade 3 Indiana Derby at Horseshoe Indianapolis on July 6.

Assuming command as the field of seven entered the clubhouse turn, Dragoon Guard, a Juddmonte homebred, posted fractions of :23.74, :47.24, and 1:10.77 while facing only light pressure from Informed Patriot with Grade 1 Santa Anita Derby winner Stronghold in hot pursuit in third. The stage was set for a duel down the stretch but the duel never materialized as Dragoon Guard found more for jockey Florent Geroux and opened up a clear lead down the lane. Stronghold finished valiantly but settled for second, beaten 2 1/2 lengths. Informed Patriot was third.

Dragoon Guard stopped the clock for the 1 1/16 miles in 1:42.26 and paid $5.80 to win.

Undefeated since losing his career debut by a neck, Dragoon Guard has now won three straight races and earned $335,360. The Indiana Derby was the son of Arrogate's first start around two turns, and trainer Brad Cox believes he will continue to improve as the distances lengthen.

"If he continues to make progress, he could be right there with the top 3-year-olds, I really believe that," Cox said. "This was just the next step in his progression and I'm happy with what he was able to do today."

Cox was undecided as to when Dragoon Guard's test against the division's best would take place, but said the colt might join his summer string at Saratoga Race Course. Unsure if he'll race at Saratoga, Cox also mentioned the Sept. 21 Grade 1 Pennsylvania Derby at Parx Racing as a possible goal.

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