WRS Valentino Scores Upset Victory in $169,274 QHRAI Stallion Service Auction Futurity

The homebred gelding outruns his 18-1 odds and gets his first stakes win.

Q-Racing Journal

WRS Valentino (red cap, inside) outsprinted odds-on favorite Pritty to win Saturday's QHRAI Stallion Service Auction Futurity. PHOTO: Linscott Photography

Omar Reyes rode 18-1 longshot WRS Valentino to the bay gelding's first stakes victory in Saturday's $169,274 QHRA of Indiana Stallion Service Auction Futurity (R) at Indiana Grand.

Trained by Randy Smith, who earlier in the evening sent out Rockys Candy Shop to win the $76,312 QHRAI Stallion Service Auction Derby (R), WRS Valentino covered 350 yards in :17.840, and his margin of victory was a nose from fastest qualifier and 3-10 favorite Pritty. Omar Reyes flew in from New Mexico to ride the homebred son of Mighty B Valiant, who banked the $66,017 winner's share of the purse for Randy and Gwen Williams' Williams Racing Stables Inc. of LaCenter, Kentucky.

WRS Valentino and Pritty matched strides down the stretch, but it was the former who reached the wire first.

“He is really laid back, and he acted good in the gate,” said Reyes. “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," the rider added, referring to Pritty.

WRS Valentino was bred in Kentucky. The gelding is out of WRS Kissandteller, an unraced homebred 9-year-old daughter of champion Teller Cartel, and he has won two of his three starts and has earned $74,167.

“This is one of those horses that has just had bad luck,” said Smith. “Even tonight there was some bumping out of the gate, but he has always shown he has heart and that he won’t quit.”

WRS Valentino's second dam, the Zevi (TB) mare Hava Zevi, produced WRS Special Shoe, a multiple graded stakes winner for the Williamses and half brother to WRS Kissandteller. The Williamses currently have 17 horses between their racing stock and their broodmares and babies. They do all the work themselves on the farm and when it’s time to send the horses to the track, they call Smith, and he comes and picks up the yearlings to begin their training.

“This is a wonderful thing to win this race,” said Randy Williams. “We are very excited. We work hard at this and we do all the work ourselves, so it makes it even sweeter to get a reward like this. Randy has become a great friend to us. He’s honest and has all the integrity you could ask for in a trainer.”

First Habits ran third, a half of a length behind runner-up Pritty, and was followed by Nacho Binez, Daddys Moe, Famous Cucuy, Hopeful Success, Abe, and Coronados Quiksilver. Stoneburner was scratched.

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