Tommy The Train rolls to fastest trial win in QHRAI Derby
When Tommy The Train comes to town, it means one thing for his opponents – trouble. The three-year-old son of Freighttrain B is undefeated in five career outings at Indiana Grand spread out over the past 12 months. Guided by James Flores, he once again proved he will be the one to beat in the $100,000 final of the QHRAI Derby set for Saturday, Oct. 21.
Starting from post four, Tommy The Train and Flores had a less than desirable start from the gate on the sloppy surface, losing some momentum early on but quickly regained his composure and was right back in the thick of the race. The Missouri-bred gelding dug in gamely and emerged as the eventual winner by one and one-half lengths in a time of :19.795 seconds as the heavy favorite of the field. Ladys Freighttrain B and Berkley Packer finished a solid second over One Fantastic Gal and Luis Guerrero for third.
Paying $2.40, $2.10 and $2.10 across the board, Tommy The Train is now seven for 11 lifetime for his owners Brant and Jon Barley and Brad Sharp. Larry Sharp picked up his third training win of the night with Tommy The Train, who has accumulated more than $150,000 in career earnings.
A newcomer to Indiana was the winner of the second trial, turning in the second fastest time behind Tommy The Train. Roostersito, owned by Carlos Ignacio Rosales of North Carolina, has raced all over the United States, but his start in the trials for the 21st running of the QHRAI Derby was his first in the Midwest. The three-year-old son of Pappasito rallied out of the gate early for jockey Rolando Pina and fought hard along the inside to fend off his challengers. Grabbing a short lead a few strides before the wire, Roostersito rallied home in a time of :19.913 seconds, one-half length ahead of Tuxedeau and Alonso Rivera, who was just a nose ahead of Jess A Dollar and Jose Davila who had to settle for third.
Roostersito earned his second career win in eight starts. The win in the QHRAI Derby trial marked his first start of 2017 under the direction of local trainer John McCreary.
The top 10 qualifiers for the QHRAI Derby, with jockey and time, includes: Tommy The Train (James Flores, :19.795); Roostersito (Rolando Pina, :19.913); Tuxedeau (Alonso Rivera, :19.978); Jess A Dollar (Jose Davila, :19.998); Ladys Freighttrain B (Berkley Packer, :20.045); Inundated (Juan Galvan, :20.112); One Fantastic Gal (Luis Guerrero, :20.142); Prudish Cartel (Oscar Macias, :20.458); Fast Prize Shonda (Rolando Pina, :20.481); and Cartels Justice (Berkley Packer, :20.481). Indiana Grand’s leading Quarter Horse trainer Randy Smith will saddle two in the final (Ladys Freighttrain B and Cartels Justice).
More than $425,000 in stakes money will be showcased during the final all-Quarter Horse night of 2017 at Indiana Grand Saturday, Oct. 21. The evening features five stakes races, including the $100,000 QHRAI Derby, which is one of three stakes races that kicked off pari-mutuel Quarter Horse racing in the state of Indiana in 1997. Martha Claussen, Wrangler Racing Ace will be on hand to assist with handicapping during the night and the Quarter Horse Racing Association of Indiana (QHRAI) will provide $2 race wagers to the first 100 fans as well as long sleeved t-shirts. Post time for the first race is slated for 6:05 p.m.