My Louisiana Rod wins Harley Greene Derby
The first of six all-Quarter Horse racing programs was conducted Saturday, June 4 with 10 races on the card. The featured event of the night was the second running of the $89,800 Harley Greene Derby for three-year-olds with My Louisiana Rod and Jockey Berkley Packer getting the nod at the end for the victory.
Starting from post 10 in the 10-horse lineup, My Louisiana Rod had no issues from the start and had plenty of room to get in gear. Beach Bum Eddie and Cesar Esqueda had the early lead in the center of the track. They were digging in all the way to the wire, making it tough on the rest of the field to catch them. My Louisiana Rod had a strong finish on the far outside, and Packer timed the wire just right, getting the win in the final stride of the 350-yard dash in a time of :17.433 seconds over the sloppy track. Bella Estrella and Cristian Esqueda won the tight photo for second over Beach Bum Eddie.
It was the second start of the season for My Louisiana Rod, who finished second in her trial to qualify for the final. The three-year-old daughter of La Jollaroid was bred by Gordon Timm and is now owned and trained by Randy Smith.
“In her last race, it was her first start back and she (My Louisiana Rod) needed it,” said Packer. “She is honest and she likes to go to the other end of the track. They ran with her for a while but she was running away from them at the end so I thought we got it.”
The win in the Harley Greene Derby was the third stakes win for My Louisiana Rod and her fourth career trip to the winner’s circle out of seven career starts, all recorded at Indiana Grand. She has been a force for the Smith Stable since her debut last year and has not finished worse than second in her career thus far.
“We felt comfortable with her first start back in the trials,” said Smith, who established new records for Quarter Horse trainers last year in the training ranks. “We felt even better when she drew post ten. That just helps you stay out of trouble.”
The time posted by My Louisiana Rod was a new stakes record for the Harley Greene, besting the time of :17.706 seconds set by Hand of Doom and Jose Beltran last season. My Louisiana Rod paid $6.20, $3.60, $2.80 across the board as the favorite in the race.
The next all-Quarter Horse racing program is set for Saturday, July 9 featuring finals for the $50,000 Heartland Futurity and the $100,000 Blue River Derby. To help promote the event, Wrangler Racing Ace Denis Blake will be on hand to assist fans with handicapping and to answer questions about Quarter Horse racing.