Stone Cold Leader easy winner in Gordon Mobley Futurity
Everything asked of Stone Cold Leader to this point in his career has been accomplished and the two-year-old son of Brookstone Bay didn’t disappoint in his latest task. Ridden by Rolando Pina, Stone Cold Leader was a comfortable winner in the eighth running of the $184,000 Gordon Mobley Futurity Final at Indiana Grand Saturday, June 17.
Starting from a prime post three in the field of 10, Pina only had to worry about possible bumping at the start as the freshman rocked out of the gate with authority. Once the coast was clear, he was on cruise control, running to the wire under wraps for Pina in a time of :15.469 seconds in the 300-yard dash, a new stakes record. Stone Cold Leader was two and one-quarter lengths ahead of The Ebony Hare and Giovani Vazquez-Gomez, who won the tight photo over Sixes Loaded to Fly and Rodney Prescott for second.
“Before the gate opened, I was just hoping for no interference,” said Pina. “What I was thinking is what came out perfect in the race. This horse (Stone Cold Leader) did it all on his own. He has always done everything on his own to this point.”
The heavy favorite of the field after turning in the quickest time in the Mobley Futurity trials, Stone Cold Leader paid $2.40, $3.00, $2.10 across the board. With only four career starts to his credit now, he has three wins in four outings for purses in excess of more than $125,000. He is trained by Joe Davis and owned by Patrick Richardson of South Carolina.
“I met Joe (Davis) at Hialeah through some friends and we connected immediately,” said Richardson, who works for NuCor Steel Berkley as a crane operator. “We had a horse with him last year that didn’t race too well, so we went to the sale last fall and actually had another one picked out, but we didn’t get him. So this one (Stone Cold Leader) was our second choice and he’s been a dream come true. I have a small farm in South Carolina so it’s nice to get this win. I have a lot of support that drove up here with me tonight, including my little girl, my fiancé, my parents and friends. It makes the trip worth it.”
Richardson had to work when Stone Cold Leader ran in his trial June 3 during the first of six all-Quarter Horse nights of racing for the 2017 season at Indiana Grand. He hopes to work it out where he’s off to watch his next start coming up at Indiana Grand in July. Because he’s so far away from Indiana, Davis keeps him updated on the horse’s progress at Indiana Grand.
“He’s (Stone Cold Leader) probably the soundest horse I have in the barn right now,” said Davis, who is leading the Quarter Horse trainer standings this season with 10 wins already. “He needs the least amount of work of anything. He’s not the sharpest breaker, but he’s a racehorse. He may belong outside Indiana but there is a lot for him to do here. We are looking forward to his next start.”
Richardson, Davis and Pina were also joined in the winner’s circle by longtime Indiana Quarter Horse owner and breeder, Mark Michel of Pierceton, Ind. Michel has four mares on his farm in northern Indiana and this particular family has already fared well for his operation.
“We raced his mother, Sheza Classy Leader, right here at Indiana Grand,” said Michel. “So far, she’s had several runners and this horse (Stone Cold Leader) has a three-year-old full sister (Sheza Classy Bay) in Wednesday. We have a yearling filly out of this mare right now at home and we will most likely take her to the sale in the fall.”