My Louisiana Rod wins QHRAI SSA Derby
After turning in the third fastest qualifying time in the trials, My Louisiana Rod proved she was the one to catch in the 17th running of the $71,954 QHRAI Stallion Service Auction (SSA) Derby Saturday, Aug. 27. The three-year-old daughter of La Jollaroid broke free from her opponents early in the 400-yard dash and never looked back, rolling to an easy victory for jockey Berkley Packer.
Starting from post six in the 10-horse lineup, My Louisiana Rod avoided any contact early on. Her early speed got her out and on task early on. She used the center of the track to keep her eye on the wire, posting a one-half length victory over stablemate Coco Beach and Juan Galvan. Mr Fool Me Twice and Giovani Vazquez-Gomez finished third.
“She (My Louisiana Rod) left like she always does and wins like she always does,” said Packer.
My Louisiana Rod paid $5.40, $3.40, $2.80 across the board. She is now six for 11 lifetime and has not finished worse than third in her career. Affectionately known as “Lucy” around the Smith Stable, her win in the QHRAI SSA Derby is her fourth career stakes victory for owner-trainer Randy Smith, who purchased the filly from breeder Gordon Timm when she was a yearling.
“I was a little concerned about the post,” said Smith when asked about the start. “But I’m glad she won. All four horses (from the Smith barn) had a shot of winning this race tonight. All four are really nice horses.”
Smith also saddled Coco Beach, Jumpn Chick and Megatron Harry in the QHRAI SSA Futurity. His horses finished first, second and fourth (Jumpn Chick) in the event.
A native of Broughton, Ill., Smith continues to lead the trainer standings for the third straight year. He has earned 32 wins and more than $600,000 in purse earnings so far in the 2016 meet. He could threaten the record-setting year he turned in during the 2015 meet when he won 46 races and more than $1.1 million in earnings to establish records for both wins and purse earnings in one season. Smith also established a new track record for most wins recorded in one night when he saddled seven winners during the all-Quarter Horse racing night Saturday, Aug. 13.
Packer is currently tied for the lead with Rolando Pina in the race for leading Quarter Horse jockey. The Idaho native has earned 20 wins during the 2016 meet and scored five of the seven wins for Smith on the Saturday, Aug. 13 racing program, marking a new record for most wins in one evening by a Quarter Horse jockey. Packer is in his second year riding on the Indiana circuit.