Baltas Shoots for Two with Insta Erma
When Drayden Van Dyke won Thursday’s $250,000 Old Friend Stakes aboard the Richard Baltas-trained Next Shares, it was the jockey’s first time aboard the gelding. Now he’ll try to win Saturday’s $500,000 Ladies Turf while riding another Baltas horse for the first time, Insta Erma.
The 5-year-old mare, owned by Medallion Racing and Premier Racing Club, hasn’t competed since finishing last in Churchill Downs’ Grade II Distaff Turf Mile on May 5. Back in California, Insta Erma had won a restricted stakes before finishing third in the Grade I Matriarch and second in the Grade III Megahertz.
“She’s coming off a layoff, minor stuff, just tired, needed a break,” Baltas said.
Insta Erma is a daughter of Pioneerof the Nile, the sire of 2015 Triple Crown winner American Pharoah, so she has pedigree.
"She’s got some value now as a broodmare," Baltas said. "If we could win a graded stakes, that would be awesome. Our whole deal with some of our owners is that they buy these mares with a little bit of pedigree, hoping that we can win a stakes or something and then they resell them. I think she has a shot. I know it’s a tough race.”