Tommy The Train hangs on in QHRAI Derby

Tommy The Train proved how tough he really is in the 21st running of the $120,120 QHRAI Derby at Indiana Grand Saturday, Oct. 21. The three-year-old son of Freighttrain B didn’t have a perfect journey but was able to put together a trip that brought home the win, his fourth straight victory with Jockey James Flores aboard.

Tommy The Train (inside) and James Flores hold off One Fantastic Gal and Luis Guerrero (No. 6) to keep a perfect record at Indiana Grand – now six for six in action over the Shelbyville, Ind. racetrack. (Photo by Linscott Photography)

Starting from post two, Tommy The Train came out of the gate awkwardly and drifted in, catching some contact with Prudish Cartel in the process. Flores was able to get the gelding straightened up and he began to run during the 400-yard dash. Midway through the race, it appeared that Tommy The Train would kick into his familiar closing gear and pull away from the field, but he seemed to flatten out late in the race.

 One Fantastic Gal and Luis Guerrero were in position to pounce on Tommy The Train in the late stages of the race, and they took advantage of the situation. They closed in to create an exciting finish and a tight photo at the wire. After a short deliberation, it was determined Tommy The Train was the winner by a nose over One Fantastic Gal. Cartels Justice and Jorge Torres finished third.

Kristin Hutchison, office manager at the Centaur Equine Specialty Hospital, presented the winning connections of Tommy The Train with a blanket following their win in the QHRAI Derby. Kristin was joined by Jon Schuster, vice president and general manager (back left) for the presentation. (Photo by Linscott Photography)

 An objection regarding the start then prolonged the win once again for the connections of Tommy The Train for a second time after the race. However, the objection was disallowed, providing the platform for Tommy The Train to retain his perfect six for six record at Indiana Grand.

 The heavy favorite of the field, Tommy The Train paid $2.80, $2.40 and $2.10. The time of the race was :20.247 seconds.

 “He (Tommy The Train) did just about everything he could to get beat tonight,” laughed Sharp. “He had a pretty good run, then he laid off a bit. I don’t know. Maybe he’s like me and wanted to go home.”

 Tommy The Train has been at Indiana Grand since before the trials, which were held Oct. 7. Sharp said he doesn’t do anything special with the horse between races and he’s easy to keep fit. He did notice a change in him leading up to the final of the QHRAI Derby earlier in the day.

Wrangler Q-Racing Ace Martha Claussen talks with Trainer Larry Sharp about Tommy The Train, who is now a perfect six for six at Indiana Grand after his latest win in the QHRAI Derby Sat. Oct. 21. (Photo by Linscott Photography)

 “He (Tommy The Train) did get a little nervous in the stall today,” said Sharp. “There were so many people coming through, and he knew he was going to run. He started walking the stall a little. This win was a gift tonight. He was able to pull through to get the win.”

 Tommy The Train now has eight career wins in 12 career starts for owners Brant and Jon Barley and Brad Sharp. He increased his bankroll to more than $220,000 with his win in the QHRAI Derby. It also marked his third stakes win at Indiana Grand in the past 12 months.