Three trials set up the $150,000 final of the Miss Roxie Little Futurity slated for Quarter Horse Night Saturday, Oct. 27 and as expected, Nachito Coronel will lead the top 10 qualifiers into the final.
Starting from post nine as the heavy favorite, Nachito Coronel seized the lead at the starting gate and never looked back. The Habits Secret freshman had the field at his heels the entire way, coasting under the wire in :17.641 seconds with Sergio Ramirez aboard. HF Greatbawlsoffire and Luis Guerrero finished two and one-quarter lengths back in second over RC Rayo and Uriel Cervantes for third.
Owned by Patricia Del Rocio Lopez, Nachito Coronel scored his third win in four starts this season, all recorded at Indiana Grand. It completed a three-win evening for the team of Ramirez-Martinez on the card.
The second fastest trial of the night produced the second fastest qualifier as One Smart Jess and Leonardo Rodriguez scored their second straight win, holding onto the victory by a head at the finish line in :17.772 seconds. Dominyun Cartel and Jose Beltran finished second followed by Daddys Moe and Berkley Packer for third.
Trained by John McCreary, One Smart Jess is already a stakes winner this season, winning the $45,000 Speed Sale Stakes in mid-September for Jeff Bonnell and John Murphy’s Brushy Valley Farm. The One Sweet Jess gelding was bred by Mark Michel. (more…)
Tres My Heart and Giovani Vazquez-Gomez had a job to do Saturday, Oct. 6 in the trials for the Quarter Horse Racing Association of Indiana (QHRAI) Derby and they handled their assignment with ease to qualify in the top spot for the $100,000 final slated for Saturday, Oct. 27.
Starting as the favorite of the field from post six, Tres My Heart had very little trouble getting out of the gate quickly and took over the top spot in the 400-yard dash. The Heart of the Cartel filly stayed focused on the wire the entire way, winning by a nose over Flight To La Jolla and Shanley Jackson, who closed late for second. Lota Cac and Berkley Packer rounded out the trifecta.
Owned by Jose Plascencia, Tres My Heart is now three for four in her brief career. Unraced at two, she was a winner earlier this summer in the $50,000 Indiana Grand QHRAI Derby. She is trained by Hector Sanchez and topped $50,000 with her win in the trial as she heads to the QHRAI Derby final during the final all-Quarter Horse racing night of 2018. The time of the dash was :19.923 seconds.
In the second division for the QHRAI Derby trials, a filly with a familiar relative made her Indiana debut as Jess Shantastic and Oscar Cordova posted a win in a time of :20.060 seconds. After getting a good break, Jess Shantastic was in contention the entire way before inching up for the win by a neck over BS Special and Juan Galvan. Eyesa Llano Senator finished third. (more…)
Be Afraid and Sergio Ramirez showed no fear in the 10th running of the $121,600 Sterlie Bertram Memorial Stakes Saturday, Sept. 29. The duo ran down the competition in the last few strides of the race to win the 400-yard event in a time of :19.730 seconds, establishing a new stakes record. The previous record of :19.819 seconds was set by Fantastic Six Pack and Shanley Jackson during the 2016 Bertram Memorial.
Starting from the far outside post 10, Be Afraid broke all alone on the outside and stayed wide early. Tight quarters in the center of the pack had a few horses tangled early. They were all seeking a clear running path, including Rockys Candy Shop and Jose Beltran.
As the field straightened out and began their quest for the wire, it was evident whoever got the advantage inside would have to tangle with Be Afraid in the final strides. In the end, Be Afraid lengthened his stride out and rolled past the opposition to win by one length over Beach Mercedes and Rodney Prescott. Kitty Sixup and Cesar Esqueda also made a nice late bid to move into third.
Be Afraid, who won his trial and posted the second fastest time behind Rockys Candy Shop in the trials, was tagged as the race favorite, paying $5.00, $3.60, $2.40. The Tac It Like A Man gelding earned his third career win for Trainer Ricardo Martinez.
“He (Be Afraid) had a good post position tonight and he took advantage of it,” said Martinez. “He’s pretty much done now for the rest of the season.” (more…)
It’s been a sweet ride for Owner Lance Finlinson of Greenwood, Ind. His horse, Rockys Candy Shop, scored another stakes victory Saturday, Aug. 25 at Indiana Grand, winning the 19th running of the $76,312 Quarter Horse Racing Association of Indiana (QHRAI) Stallion Service Auction (SSA) Derby. Guided by Jose Beltran, Rockys Candy Shop stopped the timer in :19.886 seconds for the 400-yard dash.
There was no doubt which horse got out of the gate quickest when the doors sprung open. Rockys Candy Shop had the sharpest foot from the center of the track and put Beltran in good positioning from the start. One of his biggest rivals in the race was his stablemate, Beach Mercedes, who broke on the outside with Sergio Ramirez aboard. Rockys Candy Shop turned all challengers away at the finish, winning by three-quarters of a length over Beach Mercedes for second. HQH Fancy Pants and Juan Galvan held their ground for third in the tight photo.
“He didn’t stand good in the gate in his trial and he didn’t break as good as he usually does,” said Beltran. “He broke in front tonight. He never quits. He stayed strong all 400 yards. I love to ride this horse.”
The win in the QHRAI SSA Derby was the sixth in 10 career outings for Rockys Candy Shop, who boosted his career earnings to nearly $150,000 with the win. The Fantastic Corona Jr gelding is trained by Randy Smith, Indiana Grand’s all-time leader in the trainer standings. Smith, who saddled three in the race, finished one-two.
It was a big night for Indiana Grand’s all-time leading trainer Randy Smith as horses from his barn swept the Quarter Horse Racing Association of Indiana (QHRAI) Stallion Service Auction (SSA) Stakes. Fresh on the heels of his win with Rockys Candy Shop in the $76,312 QHRAI SSA Derby, Smith was back in the winner’s circle with WRs Valentino in the $169,274 QHRAI SSA Futurity.
Almost all racing fans were looking toward the inside at the start of the 350-yard sprint, but few were looking at WRs Valentino. Instead, all eyes were focused on race favorite Pritty from post three, who has been a winner in three of four starts this season and has been dominant in each of those outings. WRs Valentino and jockey Omar Reyes broke to her inside out of the gate, and after some minor bumping, they were quick to catch up and stick close to the talented filly.
Midway through the race, Pritty and Yordanis Amaro began to move away from their opponents, but so did WRs Valentino. The two horses matched each other stride for stride and in the last steps. The son of Mighty B Valiant timed the wire just right, winning the race by a nose over Pritty. First Habits and Juan Galvan rallied from the outside to finish third.
“He (WRs Valentino) is really laid back and he acted good in the gate,” said Reyes, who flew in from Ruidoso Downs just to ride WRs Valentino. “A couple of horses moved and it helped him at the start. About three or four jumps in is when he really starts going. And, it always helps to be right next to a big runner.”
Pritty has been turning heads all season at Indiana Grand. Trained by Ricardo Martinez, she won her trial for the Quarter Horse Racing Association of Indiana (QHRAI) Stallion Service Auction (SSA) Futurity by two and one-half lengths, making her the obvious choice to lead the field for the $169,274 final Saturday, Aug. 25, 2018 running at a distance of 350 yards.
After winning her maiden at Remington Park in April, Pritty burst onto the scene in Indiana with a commanding win in the Heartland Futurity trials to be favored for the final. Bad luck at the starting gate cost her valuable ground in the early stages, but she was still able to recover and finish a hard charging fourth.
Pritty returned for the QHRAI SSA Futurity trials and once again topped the list of qualifiers with a :17.568 time. The two-year-old chestnut daughter of Coronado Cartel returns as the favorite in the 19th running of the QHRAI SSA Futurity as the early choice at odds of 7-5. Yordanis Amaro will guide the standout from post three in the 10-horse final for trainer Ricardo Martinez, who saddles three for the final. In fact, qualifiers from the Martinez barn were the fastest three for the final with Nacho Binez and First Habits joining Pritty for the top three spots. (more…)
It was a great night for Trainer Ricardo Martinez as horses from his barn won three of the four trials of the Quarter Horse Racing Association of Indiana (QHRAI) Stallion Service Auction (SSA) Futurity Saturday, Aug. 11 at Indiana Grand. Pritty, Nacho Binez and First Habits were all trial winners and recorded the top three times out of 33 entered in the Futurity trials.
Pritty rounded out the trials as the quickest on the night. After being slammed hard in the Heartland Futurity Final in her last start, Pritty rebounded and held her own out of the gate this time. Although there was mild bumping, she was able to use quick footing and get out in front of the field by open lengths, completing the 350-yard dash in a time of :17.568 seconds. With Yordanis Amaro aboard, Pritty, a daughter of Coronado Cartel, won by two and one-half lengths over Famous Cucuy and Alejandro Luna. Bully On the Beach and Fernando Fonseca-Soto finished third.
Owned by Miguel Lechuga, Pritty is now three for four lifetime, and completed a training triple for Martinez on the night. The chestnut filly will head into the $169,274 QHRAI SSA Futurity as the favorite.
The second fastest qualifier of the QHRAI SSA Futurity trials was the Martinez-trained Nacho Binez. Starting from the inside post one in the second of four trials, once again, he got a clean break from the gate and got an early lead for Sergio Ramirez, holding that advantage all the way to the wire in :17.761 seconds. Coronado Quiksilver and Rodney Prescott were closing in late in the race in the center of the track for second over Daddys Moe and Jose Beltran for third.
Beach Mercedes returned to her ultra-impressive form Saturday, Aug. 11 in the second of two trials for the Quarter Horse Racing Association (QHRAI) Stallion Service Auction (SSA) Derby. The three-year-old daughter of Escondido Beach was the only horse in the trials to dip under the 20 second mark to advance to the $76,312 final set for Saturday, Aug. 25.
Beach Mercedes was revved up and ready to go from the gate for Sergio Ramirez. She busted out of the gate and was on top in the field of eight in the first few strides. Stablemate Rockys Candy Shop and Jose Beltran had tabs on the top filly and tracked along well from the outside, but they could not make up any ground on Beach Mercedes as she cruised under the wire by one and three-quarter lengths over Rockys Candy Shop. Bono Rhythm and Rodney Prescott maintained ground in the center of the track for third in the 400-yard dash. The time of the sprint was :19.782 seconds.
Beach Mercedes is owned and bred by Sheri Miller, who stands the multi-year Stallion of the Year in Indiana at her Miller Ranch in Shipshewana, Ind. Randy Smith, Indiana Grand’s all-time leading Quarter Horse trainer and current leader once again in 2018 trains Beach Mercedes.
“She’s an easy keeper and is easy going,” said Smith. “She pretty well stays in here (at Indiana Grand) most of the time. She’s exactly the type of filly you want in your barn.”
Indiana Grand Racing & Casino will host its third of six all Quarter Horse racing programs Saturday, Aug. 11 featuring trials for the Quarter Horse Racing Association of Indiana (QHRAI) Stallion Service Auction (SSA) Derby and Futurity. Two trials of the QHRAI SSA Derby will be followed by four trials for the QHRAI SSA Futurity on the nine-race card that begins at 6:05 p.m. Both finals are slated for Saturday, Aug. 25.
Heading the 16 entrants for the QHRAI SSA Derby is Rockys Candy Shop in the third race, which is the second trial. The three-year-old son of Fantastic Corona Jr is currently three for three in 2018. He comes into the race off a win in the $131,000 Blue River Derby for owner Lance Finlinson of Greenwood, Ind. Randy Smith, Indiana Grand’s current leading Quarter Horse trainer, conditions Rockys Candy Shop, who has impressive blood lines.
Rockys Candy Shop’s mother, Jesses Candy, is a full sister to Jess Send Candy, who has produced some top contenders. She is the dam of Jess Good Candy, winner of more than $2 million during his career, which was a perfect eight for eight in 2015 and 2016. His wins included the Grade I $3 million All American Futurity in 2015 at Ruidoso Downs. The undefeated son of Good Reason SA now stands at stud at Lazy E Ranch in Oklahoma.
Trainer Ricardo Martinez came into the Heartland Futurity Final with three of the top four qualifiers, including two that were undefeated in two previous starts. Although the heavily favored entry Pritty ran into road trouble out of the gate, it was Packin Secrets that brought home the title to the Martinez barn and remains undefeated in three career starts.
Surging out of the gate from post six in the 10-horse Heartland Futurity Final, Packin Secrets and Sergio Ramirez got a good jump on the field and got the early advantage. The Habits Secret gelding kept his mind on the task and rallied home the winner by a neck over inside invader Filthy Rich and Shanley Jackson. The Martinez-trained Chicazum and Yordanis Amaro stayed close on the outside for third followed by Pritty and Juan Galvan, who recovered to move in for fourth, putting all three of Martinez’s entries in the Heartland Futurity Final in the top four.