Kitty Sixup quickest in Harley Greene Derby trials

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.

Kitty Sixup and Fernando Fonseca-Soto turned in the quickest time in two trials leading up to the Harley Green Derby final slated for Saturday, June 2. (Photo by Linscott Photography)

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.

Beach Mercedes and Jose Beltran were winners in the second trial of the Greene Derby Saturday, May 19, ranking fourth fastest heading into the final. (Photo by Linscott Photography)

Owned by Deane Lehman and Erin Thompson, Kitty Sixup earned his first win of 2018 and his second victory lifetime. The grey son of Sixes Liaison is trained by Erin Thompson.

In the second trial, a similar strategy played out as Beach Mercedes and Jose Beltran broke sharply from post three and took the early lead. The Escondido Beach filly maintained her prominence on the front end and scored the win by three-quarters of a length. MPT Visions of Mars and Gerardo Garrido made a mild bid late on the inside to close the gap for second over Sixes Loaded to Fly, who won the tight photo over Eyem Sixes and Fonseca-Soto for third. The time of the trial was :17.981 seconds.

Beach Mercedes is the latest star to emerge from Sheri Miller’s Miller Ranch of Shipshewana, Ind. where 2017 Indiana Stallion of the Year Escondido Beach stands. Randy Smith, three-time leading Quarter Horse trainer at Indiana Grand, trains the talented filly who is now three for eight lifetime.

The top 10 qualifiers for the Harley Greene Derby, in order of qualifying time with jockey, includes: Kitty Sixup (:17.825, Fernando Fonseca-Soto); DNA Dalesblackbueaty (:17.883, Rodney Prescott); Beach Treat (:17.912, Aron Hunt); Beach Mercedes (:17.981, Jose Beltran); MPT Visions of Mars (:18.087, Gerardo Garrido); BV Running Bear (:18.121, Jose Beltran); Sixes Loaded to Fly (:18.167, Cesar Esqueda); Eyem Sixes (:18.169, Fernando Fonseca-Soto); LF Curly (:18.211, Shanley Jackson); and DNA Bells Bay (:18.329, Aron Hunt). Of the 10 finalists, Randy Smith trains four, including DNA Dalesblackbueaty, Beach Mercedes, BV Running Bear and DNA Bells Bay. Thompson will saddle two in the final, including Kitty Sixup and Eyem Sixes.

The Harley Greene Derby will join several trials on the first all-Quarter Horse night Saturday, June 2. Trails for the Jaguar Rocket and Gordon Mobley Futurity will also be included on the program. Other all-Quarter Horse racing nights for 2018 include July 7, Aug. 11, Sept. 15, Oct. 6 and Oct. 27, all Saturday evening events beginning at 6:05 p.m.