By Jon Lees
USA: A nasty social media troll has sparked Andie Biancone into an impassioned defence of Ete Indien after the Kentucky Derby contender faded into third behind Tiz The Law in Saturday’s Florida Derby.
Ete Indien, who is trained by Biancone’s father Patrick, sustained cuts and scrapes to a hind leg and lost a shoe in Saturday’s big race.
The damage was made public by Andie Biancone in response to a confrontational post from a Twitter user after the Fountain Of Youth winner’s run in the G1 highlight at Gulfstream Park.
Biancone is the 22-year-old daughter of Arc-winning trainer Patrick, based in the US since 2000. “Horses like you come once in a lifetime,” she had written ahead of Ete Indien’s bid to clinch the last big race of the 2019-20 Gulfstream Park Championship meet.
But after the race an account called We need More Gun Runner tweeted at Biancone, “Lackluster Performance! The training regimen should include a Nepotism Clause. “Once In a Lifetime.” “Mediocrity”.
Biancone responded by posting a picture of the cuts to Ete Indien’s hind leg, saying: “I think running 3rd with a cut up hind leg, lost shoe, and a grabbed heel is pretty above average to me but to each his own.”
Speaking this week, Biancone said: “I usually don’t respond to things like that because I think it is a waste of energy. People are always going to have something negative to say.
“But in this case I decided to stand up for my horse. He ran his heart out. He is really brave so I felt like that guy had to be shut up.”
Ete Indien was bidding for his third win of the Gulfstream Park season to add to victories in an optional claimer and the Fountain of Youth, which followed a defeat to Tiz The Law in the Holy Bull.
He led the field into the straight but could find no extra when joined by the impressive winner and was caught for second place by outsider Shivaree. Ete Indien finished five lengths behind Tiz The Law.
Biancone explained: “As Seen On Tv kind of climbed on him down the backside and I think that’s where he got it from. He lost a shoe and the other horse grabbed his back heel and he had some decent cuts going down his back leg.
“Obviously it was enough to hinder his performance,” she went on. “We are super proud of him. He did come back okay though; he is sound, eating all his food and we have the swelling under control. We are just going to give him some time and he will be back to resume training in like two weeks probably.
“Tiz The Law is clearly a tough horse. I think Ete Indien would have been a sure second, if not given Tiz The Law a run for his money.”
Barclay Tagg-trained Tiz The Law has climbed to the top of the leaderboard in ranking points on the road to the 2020 Kentucky Derby, postponed until the first Saturday in September due to the coronavirus outbreak.
Ete Indien is still very much in the picture occupying third spot with stablemate Sole Volante, the Tampa Bay Derby runner-up in whom Andie Biancone was given a stake by her father as a 22nd birthday present, in 14th place.
“We have a lot of time to decide what to do next,” said Andie Biancone. “Ete Indien was a horse that was coming into form pretty quickly but we will keep him sound and happy and take it from there.
“He is still in Derby contention and it is the same with Sole Volante. It all depends how they do and improve over the next couple of months. They are both very talented horses. Although the Derby is the goal we wouldn’t be upset if they didn’t go. There are plenty of other races they can excel in.”