Month: May 2018
Seven trials for the Gordon Mobley Futurity and the Jaguar Rocket Futurity will dominate the eight-race card that kicks off the first all-Quarter Horse racing night of 2018 at Indiana Grand. The Mobley trials are slated as the first four races on the card with the Jaguar Rocket trials taking center stage in races five through seven. First post for the evening is 6:05 p.m.
Of the 34 two-year-olds entered for the Mobley Futurity trials, only two have visited the winner’s circle. Stoneburner from the Randy Smith barn will kick off the action in the first Mobley trial in race one. The Brimmstone gelding, owned by Gerald Keesling was a winner in his racing debut May 9 to break his maiden in a time of :15.926 in the 300-yard dash. Stoneburner will be ridden by Jose Beltran from post four and is the even favorite of the nine-horse lineup.
Eight races will be featured on the first all-Quarter Horse racing night of 2018 at Indiana Grand Saturday, June 2, including the $90,100 Harley Greene Derby. Slated as the final race on the card, the event tags DNA Dalesblackbueaty as the favorite of the 10-horse field.
Starting from post two, DNA Dalesblackbueaty led early on in her trial before being caught at the wire by Kitty Sixup to finish second. The three-year-old daughter of Brookstone Bay will be ridden once again by Rodney Prescott in the final at odds of 5-2 for Indiana Grand’s all-time leading Quarter Horse trainer Randy Smith and DNA Quarter Horses.
Smith will saddle four in the Greene Derby final, including the second choice on the morning line, Beach Mercedes, who begins her quest from post nine with Jose Beltran aboard. The Escondido Beach filly was an easy winner in her trial and will seek her second win of the season in her third start for owner-breeder Sheri Miller.
To say WH Design by Dash has a late kick is an understatement. The running style of the big chestnut is well known around Indiana and at the age of seven, he can still deliver a blow to a field in the final strides. That’s exactly what he did in the ninth running of the $84,800 Born Runner Classic Saturday, May 26 at Indiana Grand.
Starting from post nine in the talented 10-horse lineup, WH Design By Dash and Gerardo Garrido broke well, but did not get an early look by many in the 400-yard dash. His stablemate, HH Kentucky Krome and Giovani Vazquez-Gomez used their customary early speed to get a nose in front early as DHD Nunzlo and Natasha Fritz led the field along the outside in the early stages of the race. Halfway through the stretch, race favorite Beach Cartel began to power forward for Jose Beltran and looked as if he would be the one to catch. It wasn’t until a few strides more that WH Design by Dash began to emerge as a threat and was rolling at the end, capturing his second straight title in the Born Runner Classic. Beach Cartel finished three-quarters of a length back in second, just a neck in front of DHD Nunzlo, who held gamely for third.
Each year, several new trainers emerge on the backstretch at Indiana Grand. This season, a familiar face, Brandi Steele, is back in a different capacity and is off to a great start, winning three of her first six starts as a trainer.
Steele, the longtime assistant trainer for Mike Lauer, Indiana’s all-time leading stakes winner, branched out onto her own earlier in 2018 and is now overseeing operations in her stable of eight horses. Through the first 24 racing programs, she earned three wins, including her latest with Meetme At d’Street with Santo Sanjur aboard.
Meetme At d’Street, owned by Chris Meyer and Bryan Beccia, held his own along the inside of the five and one-half furlong race and fended off horses from start to finish. The four-year-old son of Discreetly Mine was greatly challenged late in the lane by Jackson Chrome and Richard Bracho but he held on gamely to win by a nose over Jackson Chrome. R Luckey Charlie and Marcelino Pedroza were also charging hard at the end, wrapping up third place honors. The time of the sprint was 1:04.32.
It’s the first true test of Quarter Horse power for the 2018 racing season at Indiana Grand as the ninth running of the $84,800 Born Runner Classic takes the spotlight Saturday, May 26. Ten of the state’s best older horses will go to battle in the final race of the night at a distance of 400 yards featuring many champions from the Indiana breeding program.
The favorite of the field is Keen Liaison, a four-year-old daughter of Sixes Liaison. “Keenie” as she’s known in the Erin Thompson barn, had one previous start to prepare for the Born Runner Classic and had a bad start, which took her out of the race early on. Her regular jockey, Ronald Hisby, was involved in an incident on the track earlier in the day and was unable to ride. However, Hisby will be back aboard to ride Keen Liaison at odds of 3-1 from post two for owner James Black.
Sometimes fate steps in and intervenes, which is exactly what happened in the fifth running of the $100,000 Sagamore Sired Stakes at Indiana Grand Wednesday, May 23. The race marked the first stakes race of the season and provided a great platform to showcase some of the state’s best Indiana sired products.
One of those horses with the spotlight was It’s Just Fate, ridden by Rodney Prescott. The three-year-old son of Skylord rallied out of the gate with early speed, and after putting Instant War and Alex Canchari and Stone Sober and Sammy Bermudez, It’s Just Fate was all alone on the lead heading into the only turn of the six furlong event.
Coming out of the turn, Prescott had It’s Just Fate in full stride extending his lead by open lengths at one time, leading by eight lengths in the stretch. Santisteban and Marcelino Pedroza made a move late in the turn to move up in position and looked to be the only horse that could catch It’s Just Fate. But in the end, It’s Just Fate was too tough, crossing under the wire by four lengths as the favorite to win his first stakes race. Mike the Man saved ground around the turn to move into a comfortable second over Santisteban for third.
Having a great brood mare in one’s possession can be a great thing. The mare, Mor Trust just got a little more valuable to breeders Mike and Penny Lauer as her latest protégé, Entrusted, rallied home to a surprise win in the $100,000 Swifty Sired Fillies Stakes Wednesday, May 23 at Indiana Grand.
Starting from post seven in the 10-Indiana sired filly lineup, Entrusted and jockey Marcelino Pedroza were one of the first names mentioned by Announcer Bill Downes as the duo moved into an early lead. Polarizing and Fernando De La Cruz held their ground on the inside and set the pace with Entrusted sitting to their outside. Ideal Sky and Jesus Castanon were able to find just enough room to squeeze through on the inside and get into position as the field moved into the turn.
When the field came out of the turn, it was all up to Entrusted and Polarizing, two longshots of the race, to fend off the rest of the field, and they both did just that. In the final strides it came down to the two fillies with Entrusted getting the edge late in the race to pull away to a three and one-half length victory over Polarizing, who held her ground along the rail. Ideal Sky maintained her positioning for third in the race timed in 1:10.82.
Bruce Murphy loves horse racing and is always trying to find ways to enhance the sport. At the conclusion of last season, it was unclear who would take over the tack shop on the backstretch following the passing of “Big Jim” Duncan. So Murphy decided to buy the business and relocate to the permanent tack supply building on the backstretch. As a result, Backstretch Supplies emerged and with a little renovation, the business is thriving at Indiana Grand.
Murphy implemented some facility changes and created one big room to accommodate more inventory, offering everything from hoof packing and ointments to saddles, bridles and boots. A horse owner himself, Murphy understands the need for accessible supplies for those stabled on the backstretch and those shipping into race and has provided a great venue to accommodate all types of horsemen racing at Indiana Grand.
Murphy has his finger on the pulse of the backstretch workers and wanted to reward those who work so hard to care for the horses and race them each time they head to the paddock. Therefore, he has created “Groom of the Week” for the month of June to provide incentive and payback to those who go the extra mile to prepare their horses for the races as well as work to make themselves presentable as the “best dressed” grooms while they are visible on the television feed that expands across the United States.
It’s always an exciting time of the year when the fresh crop of racehorses hit the track. The Tuesday, May 22 racing program at Indiana Grand included one of the first showings of two-year-olds for 2018 with Overanalyzer and Andres Ulloa impressing the crowd with a win in the $31,000 Two-Year-Old Maiden for Indiana bred colts and geldings.
Stayonthegrind and jockey Magdaleno Salazar rallied out of the gate quickly and were on top of the field of six by open lengths in the first few strides of the race. Devilish Charm and Sonny Leon tracked the progress of Stayonthegrind while Overanalyzer stayed on the outside in a stalking position.
Two $5,000 trials for the Harley Greene Derby capped off a 10-race card at Indiana Grand Saturday, May 19. Kitty Sixup emerged with the fastest time to head into the final. The fourth running of the $75,000 Harley Greene Derby is slated for Saturday, June 2, which is the first of six all-Quarter Horse racing nights in 2018 at Indiana Grand.
In the first division, Beach Treat and Aron Hunt were the first to emerge from the starting gate in the eight-horse field. They looked strong in the early stages of the race and proved they would be the duo to catch. They held onto the lead until late in the 350 yard dash before Kitty Sixup (Fernando Fonseca-Soto) and DNA Dalesblackbueaty (Rodney Prescott) began a rally from behind on the far outside.
In the final 50 yards, the two outside horses traveled in unison and passed by Beach Treat to finish one-two at the wire in a time of :17.825 seconds. Kitty Sixup reached the wire first over DNA Dalesblackbueaty. Beach Treat held gamely for third.