Beach Cartel wins Quarter Horse stakes prep

Beach Cartel and Jockey Jose Beltran made a huge statement Tuesday, May 8, winning the $20,000 Quarter Horse Allowance that was filled with champions. The race served as a preview for the upcoming eighth running of the $75,000 Born Runner Classic set for Saturday, May 26.


Beach Cartel and Jose Beltran used the center of the track to get by Beach Bum Eddie in the final strides of the $20,000 Quarter Horse Allowance Tuesday, May 8. (Photo by Linscott Photography)

Keen Liaison, three-year-old champion filly from last season, got the nod from the public and was tagged as the favorite of the field with Jockey Rodney Prescott aboard. However, it was Beach Bum Eddie and Cesar Esqueda who surged out of the gate with the best speed, grabbing the top spot in the 10-horse field. Beltran had the grey Beach Cartel up close early on while Sicario and Cristian Esqueda and HH Kentucky Krome were also in contention through the early stages.

Jose Beltran, wearing the familiar black and red silks of trainer Randy Smith, heads back to the winner’s circle following his win aboard Beach Cartel. (Photo by Linscott Photography)

 In the final strides, it became a two-horse race between Beach Bum Eddie and Beach Cartel. Beach Cartel had the best momentum in the last few yards of the race to get under the wire first by one-half length over Beach Bum Eddie. Sicario closed well for third. The time of the 400-yard dash was 19.986 seconds.

Owned by Sheri Miller of Shipshewana, Ind., Beach Cartel was the second favorite of the field, paying $7.60, $3.80 and $3.00 across the board. The Escondido Beach gelding is trained by Indiana’s all-time leading Quarter Horse trainer Randy Smith, who has won the training title the past three years.

 Beach Cartel earned his 13th career trip to the winner’s circle. He is now 13 for 22 during his career and increased his career bankroll to more than $313,000. The former Indiana Horse of the Year will seek to regain his title in the Born Runner Classic, a stakes race he won for his connections during the 2016 racing season at Indiana Grand.

Randy Smith and his wife, Debbie, (on right) stand in the winner’s circle with Beach Cartel, one of the stars of his stable over the past few seasons. (Photo by Linscott Photography)

The win was the fifth of the season for jockey Jose Beltran, who leads the early race for leading jockey at Indiana Grand. Trainer Randy Smith leads the Quarter Horse trainer standings once again in 2018.