Arthur Guinness sets new Quarter Horse track record

Arthur Guinness and Ubaldo Luna established a new track record for 250 yards at Indiana Grand Racing & Casino Saturday, May 7. The duo crossed under the finish line in a time of :13.078 seconds to place their name in the record books at the Shelbyville, Ind. track. The old mark of :13.168 seconds was set in 2010 by Bold Badon and jockey Victor Olivo for Trainer Efrain Bueno.

Starting from post two in the 10-horse lineup, Arthur Guinness got a good start and was a threat from the beginning. Luna, who is new to Indiana Grand in 2016, kept the three-year-old son of Tempting Dash focused on his job and rallied up the inside in the final strides to take the win by the margin of a head. Scandalia and Cesar Esqueda finished second while Beyond Ivory and Giovani Vazquez-Gomez rounded out the trifectas.

Arthur Guinness was making his first career start at Indiana Grand. Owned and trained by Hipolito Bueno, he came into the race off two starts in early 2016 at Hialeah. The Iowa bred gelding now has two wins in his eighth career start and boosted his career earnings to more than $20,000.

As the longest shot on the board, Arthur Guinness paid $93.40, $41.00 and $17.60 across the board for his win.

Luna is one of several new Quarter Horse jockeys at Indiana Grand for 2016. At the conclusion of the season last fall, the Quarter Horse Racing Association of Indiana (QHRAI) noted a shortage of jockeys and sent Ramiro Torres, former jockey and current valet at Indiana Grand, down to Hialeah to recruit some new faces to the Indiana racing circuit. As a result, Luna, Jose Luis Davila, Leonel Bolanos and Fernando Soto Fonseca are all competing at Indiana Grand for the 120-day race meet that almost always includes one Quarter Horse race at the end of the racing program.

“The trip to Hialeah was very worthwhile because there was a need of Quarter Horse jockeys in Indiana,” said Torres. “There is so much ability and talent there. New faces at a track are always a positive.”

Torres explained that after Hialeah, a lot of the jockeys cannot get a break to go to a bigger, more established racetrack such as Remington Park or further West. Therefore, Indiana Grand could be a great spot to develop some young riders interested in building up experience and their name.

“Most of the riders are in their 20’s and are relatively young,” said Torres. “They want to do well and most of them have been riding in match races since they were 12. They are all looking for an opportunity to ride. This could be a starting place for a foundation to build young riders before they advance into some of the tougher Quarter Horse racing circuits.”

Through the first 14 days of racing with 21 Quarter Horse races thus far, Luna has had the best start, earning two wins in 10 outings. Fonseca-Soto has also scored a victory in the early portion of the 2016 race meet, which runs through Oct. 29, 2016.

The first of six all-Quarter Horse racing nights is slated for Saturday, June 4. Included on the card will be the $75,000-added Harley Greene Derby for Indiana sired three-year-olds running 350 yards. Trials for the $100,000-added Jaguar Rocket Stakes and the $150,000-added Gordon Mobley Futurity will also be held that evening. The first post is 6:05 PM.

Other all Quarter Horse racing nights in 2016 are July 9, August 13, September 10, October 8 and October 22, all Saturday evening events. A total of 20 stakes are scattered throughout the meet with total stakes purses in excess of $1.5 million.