Trainer Randy Smith Sweeps Top Three Spots in Sterlie Bertram Memorial

Sheri Miller's Beach Cartel wins the $120,200 stakes at Indiana Grand Saturday night.

Q-Racing Journal

Sheri Miller's Beach Cartel wins Indiana Grand's Sterlie Bertram Memorial Stakes (R) for state-bred sophomores on Saturday. PHOTO: Linscott Photography

Beach Cartel, a homebred son of Escondido Beach trained by Randy Smith for owner Sheri Miller, led at every call en route to a 1 1/4-length victory in the $120,200 Sterlie Bertram Memorial Stakes (R) for state-bred 3-year-olds, one of five Quarter Horse stakes run at Indiana Grand on Saturday.

Ridden by Berkley Packer and sent to post as the 3-5 favorite, Beach Cartel covered 400 yards in :19.933 on a muddy and sealed track. Smith also prepped the runner-up, DNA Dales Quick Cat, and the third-place finisher, BV Hello Darlin.

Smith is the leading Quarter Horse trainer at the Indiana Grand meet, which runs through October 31. The trainer has sent out 44 winners, and his starters have purse earnings of more than $1 million, both meet records.

“He is such a good horse,” Smith said of Beach Cartel. “He always stays focused and is all about taking care of business. He struggled in an earlier race with a muddy track, but he overcame that tonight.”

“We absolutely loved this horse as soon as he came off the trailer,” added Smith’s wife, Debbie. “He’s been such a great horse for us and Sheri. We’re so excited he won tonight.”

The Smiths have always shared a love of horses, but it wasn’t until just a few years ago that they decided to turn their focus from their construction business into horse racing full time. They still own several businesses in Southern Illinois and retain their home in Broughton.

However, with a full barn of horses, Smith now relocates to Northern Florida each winter to train and get the next crop of young horses ready for racing in Indiana.

“(Beach Cartel) has run his races for the year,” said Smith. “He will get turned out now to rest and come back for next year.”

Beach Cartel has won six of nine races, including two stakes, and the $66,110 winner’s share of the Sterlie Bertram Memorial purse pushed his earnings to $167,233, all of which has been banked this season. The gelding was unraced at 2.

Paytons Gone finished fourth and was followed by Hand Of Doom, Sparky McClone, Interfector, Docs First Dynasty, and LDZ Special Jess.

Also on Saturday, Alejandro Medina’s Mavara Vegas sprinted to a three-quarter length victory in the 400-yard, $125,000 Quarter Horse Racing Association of Indiana Derby.

Ridden by Alejandro Luna for Sacramento Chavez, Mavara Vegas stopped the timer in :19.744 and earned a 102 speed index on a muddy and sealed track. The $68,750 winner’s share of the purse pushed the filly’s earnings to $115,828 from nine starts.

Mavara Vegas was bred in California by Dunn Ranch Ltd. The filly has won three of her four outs this season, including the $72,000 Indiana Grand QHRAI Derby in August.

“She’s just one of those horses that you don’t have to do too much with,” Chavez said. “She always races well.”

Parti Favor, Bye Bye Birdy, Fast Man Vic, Eye Popping, RC Tac Man, Apollitical Clique, and Easily Bono completed the order of finish.

WH Kenny G won the evening’s richest race, the $193,500 Miss Roxie Little Futurity (R) for Indiana-bred juveniles.

Racing for Robert A. Ray and trainer Ronald Brown, WH Kenny G made his 350-yard trip in :17.427 and posted a 105 speed index while defeating Fantastic Six Pack by three-quarters of a length. Jose Beltran rode the gelded son of the Mr Jess Perry stallion Gold Medal Jess.

"He's getting better and better with every start," said Brown. "I thought he would improve tonight over his last start. He ran a little like a snake last time out, but he straightened out better tonight and Jose got him to the wire."

WH Kenny G was bred by Ken and Reba George. The gelding has won four of seven races and has banked $129,829.

Megatron Harry ran third, one length behind the winner, and was followed by Beach Bum Eddie, Maranatha Is Coming, Sixes A Flyn, Hooray Houdini, Zoomin Lane, BV I Know You Rider, and Rags Ta Cash.

Mo Zoomo, a Shazoom gelding owned and trained by Sacramento Chavez, posted an upset victory in Saturday’s $82,520 Indiana Championship Stakes.

Ridden by Jose Ruiz and sent to post at odds of 8-1, Mo Zoomo defeated 3-5 favorite Pistolpacking Pepsi by a half of a length in :19.751 for 400 yards on a muddy and sealed track. The $45,799 winner’s share of the purse from his first career stakes win increased his earnings to $127,729.

Mo Zoomo was bred in Oklahoma by Vaughn and Jill Cook. The gelding has won five of 19 starts while racing in Indiana, Florida, and Iowa.

"When I saw he got a clean start and was on the lead in the middle of the track, I had no doubt about him winning," Chavez said. "If you give him a chance to run, he can run. He's been very unfortunate. He could've easily been a million-dollar earner, but he's just had bad luck in the past.

"We will head to Hialeah for their season this winter," he added. "He'll come back for next season at Indiana Grand."

Jettastic, Brimmerton James, Dashing Manner, Finche, and WH Design By Dash completed the order of finish.

Sent to post at odds of 25-1 in a full field of 10 2-year-olds, BP Valiant Policy responded with a wire-to-wire victory in the 350-yard, $133,160 Governor’s Stakes on Saturday.

Ridden by Rodney Prescott for owner Bill B. Price and trainer Randy Haffner, BP Valiant Policy reached the wire in :17.808 while defeating 5-2 second choice Fast N Famous Eagle by a head.

"Randy did a great job with this filly," said Prescott. "She broke really well tonight and was able to hold on all the way to the wire. Maybe the mud movd her up a little. Whatever it was, it was enough to get her home."

Haffner's and Prescott's friendship dates back to their days at Jay County High School in Portland, Indiana. In additiion to running a farm and training horses with his wife, Lynn, Haffner serves as president of the Quarter Horse Racing Association of Indiana.

BP Valiant Policy was bred by Price, a resident of Thackerville, Oklahoma. The bay filly’s sire, Valiant Hero, is an 11-year-old multiple graded stakes winning son of all-time leading sire First Down Dash and champion Corona Chick. Her dam, CC Policy, is a homebred graded stakes-winning mare by Corona Cartel.

BP Valiant Policy was winning for the third time in seven races, and the winner’s share of the Governor’s Stakes purse boosted her bankroll to $105,884.

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