Local Sports

Indiana Grand sets record handle for Quarter Horse racing

Indiana Grand Racing & Casino recorded its highest all-sources handle during the first six All-Quarter Horse racing programs Saturday.


A total of $1,000,393 was wagered to establish a new track record.


The day featured 13 races, including two stakes races and trials for the Indiana Grand QHRAI Derby, with the top 10 heading to the $75,000 final set for June 28.


The seventh running of the $95,900 Harley Greene Derby was a good preview of 3-year-olds in the state with Beach Blast turning in a very impressive performance in the 350-yard dash.


Jockey Sammy Mendez rode Beach Blast to the finish line in 17.65 seconds. Owned by Keith Bode and Brock Hutchinson, Beach Blast now has four wins in eight career races and increased his career bankroll over the $200,000 mark.


The second Quarter Horse stakes of the day was a first for both horse and jockey. Eric Esqueda guided Jess a Flyin Beach to his first stakes win in the $83,200 Born Runner Classic.


Starting from post two, the duo had good positioning early and was able to take over midway through the 400-yard dash to get a nose under the wire first for the win.


Owned and trained by Tony Cunningham, Jess a Flyin Beach earned his fourth career win and increased his career bankroll to more than $119,000.


“He’s been second or third in stakes action but never quite got his head in front at the wire,” said Cunningham. “He has a lot of class. He’s had some issues over the past couple of years but was able to put it all together today. I’m happy for Erik (Esqueda) to get his first stakes win. We have a great team and can’t do it without all of them.”


Earlier on the card three trials were held to determine the final field for the Indiana Grand QHRAI Derby.


The top 10 qualifiers are Cartel Creek (jockey Jose Beltran, 20.215 seconds); WRs Moonin the Wagon (Sammy Mendez, 20.261); Jess Over Yonder (Natasha Fritz, 20.358); Jess Good Reason SA (Uriel Cervantes, 20.45); Paint Me Brown (Uriel Cervantes, 20.473); CC Moonflash (L.D. Martinez, 20.532); Lone Cartel (L.D. Martinez, 20.603); Apollitical Tools (Giovani Vazquez Gomez, 20.623); Shez Bodacious (Cristian Reyes, 20.638); and AA Storm the Mozoomo (Eric Esqueda, 20.655).

Another first was recorded Saturday when trainer Shawna Martin scored her first career training victory with a win from Delightful Dahlonega, ridden by Cristian Esqueda).


The next all Quarter Horse Day at Indiana Grand is July 3.