August 24-26 Stakes Recap

A recap of non-graded stakes and trials.

Q-Racing Journal

Lance Finlinson's Rockys Candy Shop was a prompt favorite in Saturday's QHRAI Stallion Service Auction Derby at Indiana Grand. PHOTO: Linscott Photography

Following is a recap of all official American Quarter Horse stakes for the week of August 24-26. For recaps of graded stakes, Bank of America Racing Challenge stakes, and stakes with purses of $100,000 or more, see the individual recap in the Racing News section. This page will be updated throughout the week.

Ajax Downs
Sixth-fastest qualifier Usain Colt broke his maiden in Sunday's $50,515 Ontario Sires' Futurity (R).

Racing for John McCracken and trainer Scott Reid, Usain Colt covered 330 yards against a reported 6-mph head wind and on a track officially rated as "heavy" in :17.260. Cassandra Jesschke rode the gelded son of the Down Home Dash stallion Star Fire Dash.

Usain Colt was coming off of a fourth-place finish in his career debut, the second of two trials on August 5. The gelding was bred in the province of Ontario by Four Leaf Racing, and he has earned $20,822 from two starts.

Fastest qualifier Carlos The Second finished second, three-quarters of a length behind Usain Colt. Shake It Twice, Queens Award, Perryfunnysteven, Hanover Hill Dashing, All Night Loong, Show Them A Moonie, and A Fancy Arrangement completed the order of finish. Fourth-fastest qualifier Elizabeth Royal was scratched.

Albuquerque Downs
A sharp break from his outside post helped odds-on favorite Major Bites score a 1 1/4-length victory in the $70,000 First Moonflash Maturity (R) for New Mexico-breds at Albuquerque Downs on Sunday.

Israel Bordier's Major Bites earned his
fourth career stakes victory in Sunday's
First Moonflash Maturity (R) for New
Mexico-breds. (PHOTO: Coady

Ridden by Juan Pulido for the first time in a race and aided by a 5-mph tail wind, Major Bites went 440 yards in :21.249. Jesus Carrete prepped the 5-year-old son of Jesse James Jr for owner Israel Bordier.

“I’d only ridden him twice in workouts before today,” said Pulido of Major Bites. “He has a lot of talent. The first time I asked him for his best, he answered the question.”

Major Bites was bred by Carlos Paez. The bay gelding was making his first official start since March 3, when he scored a wire-to-wire, half-length win in the 350-yard, $85,000 Mesilla Valley Speed Handicap (RG2) at Sunland Park

“He was ready to go,” said assistant trainer Jesus Carrete Jr. “He’s been training really well, and we got him to where he needed to be to handle the 440 distance. He did really well.”

Major Bites opened his 2018 campaign with a dominating 2 1/4-length victory in the January 28, 440-yard Dona Ana County Stakes (R) at Sunland. Raced exclusively in New Mexico, the gelding has won eight of 23 starts, including three of five at the 440 trip, and he the $42,000 winner’s share of the purse from his fourth stakes score increased his earnings to $381,992.

Carrete Jr. indicated that Major Bites would be pointed to the 440-yard, $170,000 Namehimastreaker New Mexico Cup Championship (RG1) this fall at Zia Park, a race he won last year.

Major Bites was sent to post as the 7-10 favorite and returned a $3.40 win mutuel. Mamacita Cartel, Comin To Your Town, Moon River, First Note Medley, Dungarees Version, Gon In A Flash, RG Miracle, and Cinco Menudos completed the order of finish.

Elko County Fair

Silver Jet Dash, a son of Bodacious Dash owned and trained by Freddy Olmos, is the fastest qualifier to the September 3, $33,000-est. Elko Intermountain Futurity.

Ridden by Pedro Gonzalez, Silver Jet Dash on Saturday won the second of four 350-yard heats by 1 3/4 lengths in :17.546. The gray colt was making his first start outside Idaho and earning his third win in seven outs.

Silver Jet Dash was bred in Texas by Irwin Wall. The colt, who sold for $4,000 at last year's Heritage Place Yearling Sale, has earned $24,344, and he was runner-up in the June 22 Bitterroot Futurity (R) at Sandy Downs.

Click here for a complete list of qualifiers.

Gillespie County Fair
Graceful Eagle made his first official start of her 4-year-old season a successful one, as the 4-year-old One Famous Eagle mare scored a wire-to-wire, half-length win in Saturday's $15,000 Simulcast Services Stakes.

Prepped by Adrian Huitron for owner Florentino Leon, Graceful Eagle covered 330 yards in :16.396 and posted a 111 speed index while racing against a reported 8-mph head wind. Victor Urieta Jr. rode the mare, who was scoring her second stakes victory.

Graceful Eagle earned her first stakes win in last year's Simulcast Services Stakes. The mare was bred in Colorado by Thomas H. Bradbury. Raced in Texas and Louisiana, she has won seven of 14 starts, and the $9,000 winner's share of the purse increased her bankroll to $193,343.

Graceful Eagle was a finalist in the 2016 Sam Houston Futurity (G2), and she ran second in last year's Texas Classic (G1) and Firecracker derbies.

Jess Iam First Royal finished second and was followed by odds-on favorite Eye N Capo, Gianni Que, TLC Dale, Hotscotch N Courage, Kraken Black, Jess Gone Streakin, Sr Esmeralda, and Cantbeatthe IRS.

Indiana Grand
Making his first start in three months, Julia Rae Martin's WH Design By Dash sprinted to a nose victory from his outside post in Friday's $87,200 Bob Woodard Memorial Classic Stakes (R) for Indiana-breds.

WH Design By Dash covered 400 yards in :20.065 and posted an 86 speed index while racing against a reported 16-mph head wind. Rodney Prescott rode the 7-year-old Brimmstone gelding for trainer Paul Martin.

"This was an awesome race today, and drawing the 10 hole was perfect," said Paul Martin. "We are very blessed to have a horse like this. He beat such a great field of horses today, and it could have gone several different ways.

WH Design By Dash was bred by Greg Morrison. The gelding made his season debut with a three-quarter length victory in the 400-yard, $85,000 Born Runner Classic (R) on May 26. Raced exclusively at this track, WH Design By Dash has won 13 of 40 starts, and the $47,960 winner's share of the purse from his fifth career stakes score pushed his earnings to $422,997.

"He'll go in the Hoosier Park Classic for his next start, which could potentially close out his career," Martin said. "He's a very sound horse, and we'll see how he comes out of this race first. If he's OK, then we'll see how he comes out of the Hoosier Park Classic before we make that final decision."

WH Kenny G ran second and was followed by Sicario, Beach Cartel, Stinkin Rich, Fantastic Six Pack, HH Kentucky Krome, Kids Bright Image, DHD Nunzlo, and American Purr.

On Saturday, Rockys Candy Shop led from start to finish to win the 400-yard, $76,312 QHRA of Indiana Stallion Service Auction Derby (R).

Racing for Lance Finlinson of Greenwood, Indiana, Rockys Candy Shop defeated Beach Mercedes by three-quarters of a length in :19.8886. Jose Beltran rode the Fantastic Corona Jr gelding for trainer Randy Smith.

Rockys Candy Shop was bred in Indiana by Stanley Forbes, and he was coming off of a second-place finish in his trial on August 11.

“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.”

Rockys Candy Shop has won six of his 10 starts, all at this track, and his two career stakes wins include the Blue River Derby (R) on July 21. The $29,762 winner's share of the purse pushed his bankroll to $146,013, of which $114,747 has been pocketed this season.

“We broke him as a two-year-old,” said Smith, Indiana Grand's all-time leading Quarter Horse trainer. “He’s a really nice bred horse and he raced well last year, but he has come into himself as a 3-year-old. He’s pretty quiet most of the time, and he’s very smart. He’s just a nice all around horse.”

Rockys Candy Shop is out of Jesses Candy, a winning 11-year-old daughter of champion Mr Jess Perry and the graded stakes winning Leaving Memories mare Send Me The Candy. One of his full sisters, Jess Shantastic, ran third in last year's Rainbow Juvenile Stakes at Ruidoso Downs.

“Rocky was little as a 2-year-old, but he's always had the heart of a champion,” said Finlinson. “He’s come back this year as a beast. One of his advantages is he gets the lead on everybody so quickly. He has come back as a different horse this year.

“At the end of the season, we’ll take Rocky home and turn him out with our babies,” he added. “He’s such an easy horse to be around and to have. It would be really hard to get rid of him at this point.”

Hqh Fancy Pants, Twisted Lil Secret, Air Born Rio, Tuff E Nuff, Chic Down Lo, Bono Rhythm, Fish Head, and JJ James completed the order of finish.

Sweetwater Downs
Two sets of trials were contested at this track in Rock Springs, Wyoming, on Saturday.

Mighty B Royal, a stakes-placed son of Mighty B Valiant owned by Elsha McGarry and trainer Ross Brown, posted the fastest qualifying time to the September 9, $15,000-added WHR Open Futurity. Ridden by Uriel Dominguez, the gelding won the second of three 350-yard trials by one length in :17.781 while earning his fourth win in six starts.

Mighty B Royal was bred in Idaho by Dan Moon. The gelding has earned $19.771, and his record includes a third-place finish in the June 23 Cowboy State Futurity at Energy Downs.

Click here for a complete list of finalists.

Also on Saturday, the field was set for the September 9, $15,000-added Rock Springs-Wyoming Bred Futurity (R). Aron Saenz's A Dash Of Dynasty recorded the fastest qualifying time, as the daughter of Jr Dynasty Mountain won the first of three 350-yard trials by 1 1/2 lengths in :17.856. Jesus Osuna rode the filly for trainer Diana Garfias.

A Dash Of Dynasty was bred by Ron and Laurie Moosman. The filly has won three of five outs and has banked $6,530 while racing exclusively in Wyoming.

Click here for a complete list of qualifiers.

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