August 9, 2014
Following is a recap of all official American Quarter Horse stakes for the weekend of August 8-10, listed by track. For recaps of graded stakes and Bank of America Racing Challenge events, see the individual race recap stories posted in the Previews and Recaps section. This recap page will be updated throughout the weekend.
American Quarter Horses made an appearance at Belterra Park (formerly River Downs) in Cincinnati, Ohio, on Sunday in the $15,000 Queen City Dash. In a tight finish, Michigan-bred Pescado Fuerte prevailed by a neck over Speed Smith with a :17.080 clocking at 350 yards. Ridden by Christian Esqueda for trainer Julio Almanza and owner J. Guadalupe Arevalo, Pescado Fuerte also won last year’s Queen City Dash contested at Beulah Park. All told, the Fishers Dash gelding, who was bred by You and Me Partners, has banked $65,739 with a record of 21-5-2-3.
Cesar Rosales’ Texas-bred Speed Smith came in from Indiana Grand to finish second. Favored Luminaro took third.
Dirt Road Queen won the $27,700 Cash Caravan Stakes (R) for Minnesota-breds on Saturday at Canterbury Park, covering the 440 yards in :22.136. The 3-year-old filly is now undefeated in her last four starts and is headed to the Minnesota Quarter Horse Derby (R) on August 31 at the Shakopee, Minn. racetrack.
Dirt Road Queen broke well but veered to the outside. She steadily gained ground under a hand ride by jockey Seth Martinez, winning by a length over Justa Bump. V Os Red Hot Cole finished third.
“She was kind of wandering a little bit when she got away from everybody,” Martinez said. “After that it was just a steer job.”
Dirt Road Queen, the wagering favorite, paid $3.00 to win. She is trained by William Harris and is owned and was bred by Bob and Julie Petersen of Cokato, Minn.
Harris remarked on the filly’s dramatic turnaround from last year, when she was winless in three starts, to this year.
“She had some problems last year. She was a little erratic behind the gate,” Harris said. “But she’s put it all together this year.”
Dirt Road Queen, by Country Chicks Man, is out of the race mare Inclinda, who won the 2003 Cash Caravan Stakes for the Petersens.
The Downs at Albuquerque
Frank Greenhaw’s Droppin Timber scored the first stakes win of his career on Saturday with a 1 ¼-length victory in the $50,000 Special Hank Handicap at The Downs at Albuquerque. Piloted by Jimmy Coates for trainer Orrin Cogburn, the gelding by First Timber earned a 101 speed index for a clocking of :44.633.
Bred in Oklahoma by Danny Caldwell, Droppin Timber has now won five of 14 starts and has earned $93,768. Prior to his Special Hank win, Droppin Timber finished third in the Remington Park Distance Championship (G3).
The Thoroughbred Safe Trip finished second with Im Royal Quick in third.
It was a one-two punch for Trainer Efrain Bueno, whose horses finished one-two in the sixth running of the $85,000 Bob Woodard Memorial Classic on Saturday at Indiana Grand Racing & Casino. Bright Eyed Vision and Victor Olivo won the event by a half-length over TRs Just Like Nate.
Starting from post seven in the 10-horse final, Bright Eyed Vision was present near the lead from the start. He held his ground in the center of the track all the way to the finish line for the win in a time of :19.928, which was a new stakes record. TRs Just Like Nate was also near the top spot the entire way to pull in second, just a head in front of This Lion Roars.
“This is a nice birthday present for Efrain (Bueno),” said Olivo. “I didn’t expect him (Bright Eyed Vision) to run so well and he held on for the win.”
Bright Eyed Vision is owned by Faustino Bueno Sr. The victory was his second of 2014 in his fifth outing and his 18th overall. The 8-year-old son of Ausual Suspect has now passed the $300,000 mark in career earnings.
“This win means a lot to me and I thank everyone for the opportunity to race in Indiana,” said Efrain. “I feel very blessed that the horses ran good tonight. I’m very excited and proud of them. I expected them to get out of the gates good and he (Bright Eyed Vision) did. I’m so happy right now, I’m speechless.”
Despite winning a trial for the Woodard Classic, Bright Eyed Vision was overlooked by bettors, paying $9.20, $5.20 and $3.80 across the board. The win was his first Indiana stakes win. He has two other stakes wins to his credit from earlier years, one at Beulah Park and one at Blue Ribbon Downs.
The Woodard Memorial Classic is named for Bob Woodard, who was instrumental in bringing Quarter Horse racing to the state in Indiana in the 1950s. His son, Bob, was on hand to help present the trophy to the Bueno Stable.
“My dad started in Quarter Horse racing in the 1950s, and he was one of the ones that got racing going in the state of Indiana,” said the younger Woodard. “I’ve been in the business now for the past 25 years as a breeder and owner, and we are still involved in the sport.”
G. Sue Fikes’ homebred Loves Brown Sugar apparently loves Retama Park as the 5-year-old Texas-bred daughter of Prime Talent picked up her third stakes win of the meet in Friday’s $15,000 Live Oak Handicap at the track near San Antonio. Ridden by Santos Carrizales for trainer Kie Mushinski, Loves Brown Sugar prevailed by a neck as the even-money favorite with a clocking of :17.611 for 350 yards. The mare also won the TQHA 250 Stakes and Selma Stakes at Retama with her only defeat there coming with a third-place effort in the TQHA Classic Stakes. All told, she has earned $142,565 with a record of 27-11-6-5.
Jess A Comment finished a clear second in the Live Oak with JA Jess Perfect in third.
On Saturday, Claud Denson’s The Field Cricket unleashed a dominating performance in the $15,000 San Marcos Handicap. Ridden by Jerry Yoakum and trained by Jesse Yoakum, the Texas-bred gelding by Lead The Field took an early lead in the 870-yard contest and was never headed before hitting the wire 5 ¼ lengths in front with a time of :45.963. Bred by Mary Denson, The Field Cricket now has three career stakes wins with a record of 31-8-6-5 and earnings of $108,913.
EC Cartel hit the board for the fifth consecutive time against stakes competition with a second-place effort. Corona La Jolla took third.
Bobby Cox’s homebred Wahoo, the 13-10 favorite, went to the front from the third post position and disposed of Whiteface Eagle to take the $30,000 Master Salls Handicap over 870 yards at Ruidoso Downs on Sunday afternoon.
Wahoo and Whiteface Eagle, who started outside of Wahoo, sprinted to the front and were neck-and-neck rounding the turn. Wahoo then pulled away when he was able to stay close to the rail entering the stretch while Whiteface Eagle drifted out. Whiteface Eagle made a bid, however jockey Russel Hadley mildly urged Wahoo and he easily secured the one-length win. Jessa Little Rusty was another three-and-one-half lengths back in third.
Wahoo was the making his first start since he was named champion distance horse of the meet this spring at Remington Park. All of his Remington Park starts came at 870 yards. He won the Grade 3, $51,800 Paul’s Valley Handicap and the Grade 3, $47,250 Red Cell Remington Park Distance Challenge.
A 5-year-old gelding by Feature Mr Jess, Wahoo was second as the 8-5 favorite in the Grade 3, $56,390 Remington Park Distance Championship to Emperor Valerian, who is entered in the $20,000 Brigand at 550 yards next Sunday at Ruidoso Downs.
Mexas Racing Team’s Whiteface Eagle was second in the $30,000 Fine Loom Handicap in her previous start. She now has a first and a second from three starts around the turn.
At Wyoming Downs on Sunday, Goodrich Quarter Horses’ homebred GG Motorboaten cruised to a dominating 1 ½-length victory in the $36,450 Wyoming Downs Futurity. The Utah-bred SS Showboat gelding, who was ridden by Daniel Carillo for trainer Gary Goodrich, earned a 111 speed index for a 350-yard dash in :17.479. GG Motorboaten now has a record of 6-2-2-1 with earnings of $24,134.
Favored Cir Mark Of A Queen got up to finish second with Blissful Bay in third.
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