Quarter Horse Stakes Night filled with talent
Indiana Grand Racing & Casino will host the second of six all Quarter Horse racing nights Saturday, July 8. The eight-race evening dedicated to the sprinters includes two stakes races, the $81,500 Indiana Grand QHRAI Derby and the $52,900 Bradford Stakes, along with six trials leading up to $50,000 Heartland Futurity and the $100,000 Blue River Derby.
Heading the list of entrants for the Indiana Grand QHRAI Derby is Jess Kool Lady, who nearly established a new track record in her trial leading into the race. The quickest of the preliminary rounds, Jess Kool Lady was a three and three-quarter length winner under the direction of Indiana Grand’s Leading Quarter Horse Jockey Giovani Vasquez-Gomez. The three-year-old Apollitical Jess filly is owned by Enrique Ibarra and trained by former Indiana Grand jockey Victor Olivo.
Jess Kool Lady has already pieced together an impressive sophomore season. She ventured to Remington Park in March, posting the fastest trial time for the Grade III $251,000 Oklahoma Derby before finishing fourth in the final. The Oklahoma bred returned to her home base at Olivo’s farm and has posted two wins in two starts this season. She is now five for seven in her career with purse earnings in excess of $61,000. Jess Kool Lady was a $5,000 purchase from the Heritage Place Yearling Sale in 2015.She starts from post four at odds of 2-5, reunited with Vazquez-Gomez.
Joining Jess Kool Lady as a contender for the title of the Indiana Grand QHRAI Derby is Tommy The Train, also a trial winner. The sophomore son of FreighttrainB is undefeated in three starts over Indiana Grand’s track. He shipped in to compete in the $139,000 Governor’s Stakes, winning both the trial and the final before returning this season to earn a win in his trial for the Indiana Grand QHRAI Derby by a comfortable one and one-half lengths. James Flores will return to ride Tommy The Train in the final from post nine at odds of 7-2.
In the 19th running of the $52,900 Bradford Stakes, Woop Dee Doo returns to Indiana Grand as the favorite of the field. The four-year-old son of Good Reason SA was a perfect two for two as a two-year-old at Indiana Grand before heading out to stakes action from Iowa, Texas, Oklahoma and Florida. Owned and trained by Ricardo Martinez, Woop Dee Doo will be reunited with Jockey Cristian Esqueda and will begin from post eight in the 10-horse lineup.
Other top contenders in the Bradford Stakes, which relocated from Hoosier Park in 2013 when the state moved all Quarter Horse racing to Indiana Grand, includes TF Jess A Leader, ridden by James Flores from post nine at odds of 4-1, 2016 Indiana Quarter Horse of the Year Fantastic Six Pack, who will begin from post 10 with Rodney Prescott aboard at odds of 9-2, and My Royal Wagon, who begins from post one with Jose Santos aboard at odds of 4-1.
Post time for the evening is 6:05 p.m. and will be kicked off by a special appearance from Denis Blake, Wrangler Q-Racing Ace. Blake will co-host the preview show “Wire to Wire” with Rachel McLaughlin before heading to the Quarter Horse Racing Association of Indiana (QHRAI) booth where he will provide additional handicapping to the fans as well as offer $2 race wagers and t-shirts, while supplies last, courtesy of QHRAI. The evening will also include several t-shirt tosses with 2017 QHRAI t-shirts.