Wrangler Racing Aces Blog

Rich Lee Berwick headlines Delta finale.

Rich Lee Berwick headlines Delta finale.

Rising Star Brings joy to Texas Family
By Martha Claussen

There is a very fast filly making headlines in Louisiana. Dashnunder Afullmoon, owned by 23-year-old Rogelio Marquez Jr. of Rosenberg, Texas, will enter the starting gate of Saturday’s $705,495 Lee Berwick Memorial Futurity (RG1) in pursuit of her second futurity of the season.

Bred in Louisiana by D & S Racing LLC, the daughter of Heza Fast Dash out of the Dash Ta Fame mare Full Moon Dasher was purchased by Marquez at the 2016 LQHBA Yearling Sale for $44,500. Now 3-for-3, the talented lass, trained by Jose Sanchez, has already earned $174,342. 

Her good fortune began on April 28 when she won her trial for the $322,282 Lassie Futurity (RG2) in :16.937, tying for the 10th qualifying spot. She won the shake and advanced to the final where, overlooked at odds of 28-1, she rallied under Eddie Sanchez to defeat stablemate and post-time favorite, TTT Kas. The two fillies will meet again Saturday with 19-year-old Sanchez opting for the mount aboard Dashnunder Afullmoon and skilled veteran Gilbert Ortiz guiding Jorge Meraz’ TTT Kas. Ortiz rode Vanessa Bartoo’s Watergirl B to victory in last year’s Lee Berwick Futurity at odds of 42-1.

Marquez and his father have been avid supporters of Quarter Horse racing in Texas and Louisiana for the past two years. He is currently the seventh-leading owner in the country and very grateful for the success this year. Sanchez is also in the midst of his best showing, as he has already won 43 races, including the Mardi Gras Futurity with Blue Eyed Fance; the Harrah’s Entertainment Futurity (G3) with Together To The End; the Sam Houston Classic (G2) with Politically Corrupt; and last weekend’s Firecracker Derby at Delta Downs with Mega Hero. The son of Jet Black Patriot has won his past five starts for the Sanchez barn. 

“He is one of my best owners,” Sanchez said of Marquez. “He talks to me and always wants to do the best for his horses. Dashnunder Afullmoon continues to be one of our easiest fillies. The first time (my son) Eddie worked her, he told us ‘I think we have a runner.’ ”

Should Dashnunder Afullmoon win the Lee Berwick as well as the Lassie, she would be just the fourth filly since 1981 to accomplish that impressive feat. Flashy Hemp (1985), Miss Go Avenger (1992) and Jessa Louisiana Zoom (2015) are the previous dual champions. Marquez also owns TF El Whiskey, a $42,000 LQHBA Sale purchase, who also qualified for the richest race of the Delta Downs meet.

The Lee Berwick Futurity is one of seven Louisiana Showcase stakes on Saturday night, an exciting finale for the 2017 Delta Downs Quarter Horse meet. Presentations will also be made to the leading trainer, jockey and owner.

Kenneth Roberts Sr. looks to have locked up his eighth Delta Downs title with 54 wins headed into the final three nights of the meet. Roberts leads all North American Quarter Horse trainers with 72 victories. The “ageless” John Hamilton, 53, will pick up his fifth leading jockey title. He has won 53 races since the season began on April 21. Marquez has 10 wins for the meet and is solidly in the hunt to earn his first leading owner title.

Fastest Qualifier Looms Large in the $705,495 Lee Berwick Memorial Futurity (RG1)
By Denis Blake

Delta Downs on Saturday closes out its American Quarter Horse meet with a great card of racing, featuring seven Louisiana-bred stakes worth more than $1.25 million. The richest race on the card is the $705,495 Lee Berwick Memorial Futurity (RG1), named after the late founder of the track. A total of 141 juveniles entered the trials for this race, and the result is a highly-competitive final field of 10.

Young owner Rogelio Marquez Jr. has a pair of finalists and they happen to be drawn next to each other with fastest qualifier #10 Dashnunder Afullmoon on the outside and #9 TF El Whiskey one gate over. His best chance, and my top pick, is the fastest qualifier Dashnunder Afullmoon for trainer Jose Sanchez. The filly by Heza Fast Dash has been perfect in three career starts, including a win in the Louisiana Breeders’ Lassie Futurity (RG2) earlier in the meet. The outside post should help her avoid trouble, and she’s definitely the horse to beat.

#3 You Drive I Fly certainly did fly in his trial, as he drew clear to a 2-length win with Donald Watson riding for top trainer Kenneth Roberts Sr. The Jet Black Patriot colt only has two career starts, but he improved significantly in those two starts, as he won his 350-yard debut in :17.72 against maiden company and then recorded a time of :17.52 in his trial. That was the second-fastest time behind Dashnunder Afullmoon, so even with just a little more improvement he could win this.

#5 TTT Kas is the most experienced runner in the field with five starts. The filly by Kas I Said So has hit the board every time. With consistent speed figures and two previous stakes placings, this horse is a must-use for any exotic bets.

For a longshot, take a look at #2 Angiesprizedpatriot. This filly broke her maiden back in late February and hadn’t run for three months before closing to be second in her trial. She might have needed that race and could surprise here.

Wrangler Racing Ace Denis Blake’s selections: 10-3-5-2

Wrangler Racing Aces in July
Aces Denis Blake and Martha Claussen will hit the road on Saturday, July 8. Blake will appear at Indiana Grand for the track’s second All Quarter Horse program of the 2017 season. Claussen heads to Delta Downs for the stakes-filled Louisiana Showcase Night.

Visit the @AQHARacing page on Facebook or follow the Aces on Twitter for timely updates on Quarter Horse racing across North America. The Wrangler Racing Aces are following the horses, jockeys, trainers and milestones at Los Alamitos, Arapahoe Park, Delta Downs, Retama Park and Ruidoso Downs.

AQHA News and information is a service of the American Quarter Horse Association. For more news and information, follow @AQHARacing on Twitter, “like” Q-Racing on Facebook and visit www.aqharacing.com.