As expected, both favorites were strong in the trials Wednesday at Indiana Grand for the $100,000 Leader of the Class Futurity set for Sept. 15.
Mr Michel and Delreys Wagon Train (photo) were both impressive in their respective trials, finishing one-two among the top 10 headed to the final.
Mr Michel had the quickest time, winning his division in 18.091 seconds. The Kiss My Hocks freshman was a factor from the start, but it wasn’t until midway through the 350-yard dash that he emerged with a final kick that made him a one-half length winner for jockey Erik Esqueda.
My Royal Candy and Jose Beltran finished second over Knockout Swing and L.D. Danny Martinez for third.
Mr Michel, named after his breeder Mark Michel, is now two for four in his brief career. He is owned by Alberto Valdez and trained by Claudio Barraza.
Delreys Wagon Train was equally impressive in his trial. Also ridden by Martinez, the Freighttrain B filly wasn’t the first call in the field of nine, but when she got her momentum together, it was evident she was closing in on the leaders from the outside with every step. Delreys Wagon Train was a three-quarter length winner over Encores Bright Image and Giovani Vasquez-Gomez, who led the field most of the way. Leaving with Fire and Sammy Mendes finished third.
Delreys Wagon Train is owned by Pattie Marshall. The Freighttrain B filly is now two for four in her career. She was bred by Dan Wasserbeck and trained by Tony Cunningham.
The entire field for the final of the Leader of the Class Futurity, in order of time with jockey, includes: Mr Michel (Erik Esqueda, 18.091); Delreys Wagon Train (L.D. Martinez, 18.128); My Royal Candy (Jose Beltran, 18.163); Encores Bright Image (Giovani Vasquez-Gomez, 18.248); Leaving with Fire (Sammy Mendez, 18.293); Knockout Swing (L.D. Martinez, 18.305); My Royal Casino (Cristian Esqueda, 18.346); Keens Blood Legacy (Jose Ruiz, 18.539); Princess Beach (Edgar Diaz, 18.597); and Feature Miss Wagon (Jose Ruiz, 18.608).
Trainer Erin Thompson, Indiana Grand’s all-time leading female Quarter Horse trainer, will saddle three in the final (My Royal Candy, Keens Blood Legacy, Feature Miss Wagon) while Tony Cunningham saddles two for the final (Delreys Wagon Train, Knockout Swing).