What is better for sports than a good, old-fashioned rivalry? Nothing beats choosing your favorite of the two rivals to cheer them on, to defend them in debates on who is the better of the two.
Rivalries don’t only happen at the highest level of competition. There is one developing at the stakes level in Indiana right now between two incredible fillies: Unbridled Class and Expect Indy.
Expect Indy was born on February 21, 2013. She was bred by Lake Shore Farm, a foaling and breeding operation located just 30 minutes north of Louisville in Scottsburg, Indiana. Her sire, Mr. Mabee, was a stakes winner. Her dam, Jet N’ Expectation, was sired by graded stakes winner Valid Expectations. Her pedigree boasts the great Storm Cat, Secretariat, and Northern Dancer. The filly spent three years grinding in the Allowance and Claiming levels, occasionally picking up wins and often finishing on the board. On August 22, 2018, a five-year old Expect Indy finally felt glory with a win in the Richmond Stakes.
Expect Indy started 2019 with a seventh place finish in an optional claiming race at Laurel Park. Her connections then took her back to Indiana Grand, the track in which she had found most of her success. Thus, a good year began.
Unbridled Class was bred (and is still owned by) L.T.B Inc. and Hillerich Racing. She was the product of graded stakes placed Unbridled Express and winner Miss Carmelite (daughter of stakes winner Mutakddim). The grey filly was born on February 17, 2015. Mr. Prospector, Seattle Slew, Seeking The Gold, and other great champions appear in her pedigree.
The filly quickly made a name for herself, breaking her maiden on her fourth try in August of 2018. It was the same month that Expect Indy was winning a stakes race for the first time. She spent the rest of 2018 and the beginning of 2019 laboring in the Allowance level at Indiana Grand and Fair Grounds.
On July 13, 2019, Unbridled Class made her stakes debut, finishing second in the Mari Hulman George Memorial Stakes. It was time for her and Expect Indy to meet.
Shelby County Stakes:
On August 21st, Expect Indy and Unbridled Class were slated to meet in the Shelby County Stakes. Unbridled Class was the betting favorite, Expect Indy was the second choice.
At the top of the stretch, it looked like the race was all Unbridled Class’. Jockey Rodney Prescott was asking Unbridled Class for everything she had and the filly was pouring it on. But, Expect Indy was looming behind her and charging.
Moments before the girls reached the wire, Expect Indy put her head in front of Unbridled Class to win the race. It would be the first of their three meetings.
The two horses meet again for the second time in the Merrillville Stakes. Unbridled Class was looking for redemption and would do everything she could to get to the wire first.
Again, Unbridled Class was the betting favorite. Expect Indy was the third choice behind a mare named Ever Wonder.
Like in the Shelby County Stakes, Unbridled Class had the lead at the top of the stretch. This time she refused to give it up and soared down Indiana Grand’s stretch. Expect Indy set her sights on the younger filly and began storming towards her, but didn’t have enough room to beat her younger rival.
Unbridled Class crossed the wire in first, getting her revenge.
[Video: Watch the stretch run of the Merrillville Stakes]
On a beautiful fall day at Indiana Grand, the two rivals were saddled up in the paddock for the Richmond Stakes. Just like the two times before, Unbridled Class was the betting favorite. Expect Indy was the narrow second choice. At the top of the stretch, it was clear that neither horse intended to give in to the other. They hit the stretch side by side, gliding over the Indiana dirt together. About mid-stretch, Expect Indy took a deep breath and leapt forward. The older mare left her younger rival in her dust, soaring towards the wire to win by about five lengths.
The older mare had defended her title, making it two Richmond Stakes victories in a row.
Time will only tell if the two will meet again, and Indiana horse racing fans hope that they do. This rivalry is hot. The more times these two horses meet, the more excitement that will build around Indiana horse racing.
Regardless of whether or not Unbridled Class and Expect Indy meet again, they ran three exciting races. They captured the hearts of Indiana racing fans, giving us three pure thrills. They represent what makes horse racing so amazing. They embody excitement, thrills, rivalry, true heart, and grit.
Each horse was gallant in defeat and sensational in victory. They are ambassadors of the greatness that is Indiana horse racing.
Thank you to my Ko-Fi supporters: Amy W., Stephen A., Keryl W., Joe S., Jennifer K., Debbie W., Robin L., and Brian R.
If you enjoyed this article, consider supporting with a donation through Ko-Fi. Your donation helps cover the costs of running Champions of the Track. We couldn't do it without your support!
Buy some merchandise! 5% of all monthly merchandise sales help CANTER find Thoroughbred racehorses loving homes after their time on the track is over. Use code champsofthetrack for 15% off your entire order.
Connect with Champions of the Track:
Like on Facebook
Follow on Twitter
Follow on Instagram
Subscribe on YouTube