Keen Liaison quickest in Bertram Memorial Trials
Keen Liaison and Ronald Hisby set the bar in the first of three trials for the upcoming $100,000 Sterlie Bertram Memorial Stakes Saturday, Sept. 16. The duo turned in the fastest time of :20.080 seconds heading into the Saturday, Sept. 30 final at Indiana Grand Racing & Casino.
Starting from post six as the favorite of the eight-horse field, Keen Liaison had a good break and was all business from start to finish in the 400-yard dash. The three-year-old daughter of Sixes Liaison grabbed the lead early and could not be caught, winning the race by one-half length at the wire. Dreamers Liaison, also a son of Sixes Liaison, kept close the entire race for Rodney Prescott to finish second over Kid Cartel and Giovani Vazquez-Gomez, who came out on top of a close photo for third.
Owned by James Black and trained by Erin Thompson, Keen Liaison paid $5.60, $4.00, $2.60 across the board. She is now four for five in 2017, just missing a perfect season by the margin of a nose earlier this year to finish second.
Keen Liaison increased her career earnings to more than $78,000 with the win in the Bertram Memorial trial. She will have her eye on the top prize in the final, hoping to win her second stakes race of the year. Keen Liaison won the $98,000 Harley Greene Derby in early June for her connections.
In other trial action, Kids Bright Image and Danny Martinez rallied home winners in the final trial, grabbing the win by a nose over Zoomin B Cartel and Berkley Packer. HH Kentucky Krome and Oscar Macias finished third and will also advance to the final.
The time of :20.209 seconds ranks Kids Bright Image third on the list of fastest qualifiers for the Bertram Memorial final behind Keen Liaison and Dreamers Liaison. Owned by Alberto Valadez, Kids Bright Image is trained by Sacramento Chavez. The win was the Kool Quick Kid gelding’s second straight trip to the winner’s circle, now scoring two victories in three outings this year.
The final trial of the night was won by Tru Lee Quick and Harold Collins in a time of :20.374 seconds. Starting from post seven in the eight-horse lineup, Tru Lee Quick had a late response to her opponents, holding off a late charging Sicario and Santiago Mendez for the win, her second of the year in nine starts. Im The Captain Now and Cesar Esqueda finished third. The daughter of La Jollaroid is a homebred, that is bred, owned and raised by Duane Swingley.
The full list of qualifiers for the $100,000 Bertram Memorial Stakes final, with jockey and time, includes: Keen Liaison (Ronald Hisby, :20.080); Dreamers Liaison (Rodney Prescott, :20.181); Kids Bright Image (Danny Martinez, :20.209); Zoomin B Cartel (Berkley Packer, :20.210); Kid Cartel (Giovani Vazquez-Gomez, :20.282); DNA Dales Prospect (Berkley Packer, :20.330); HH Kentucky Krome (Oscar Macias, :20.332); American Purr (Rolando Pina, :20.356); Tru Lee Quick (Harold Collins, :20.374); and Sicario (Santiago Mendez, :20.376). Randy Smith is the only trainer to have two horses advance. He will saddle both DNA Dales Prospect and Zoomin B Cartel in the Bertram Memorial Stakes final.