Lexus Beach and Juan Marquez turned in the quickest time of 48 vying for a spot in the $150,000 Miss Roxie Little Futurity Saturday at Indiana Grand. The duo covered the 350-yard dash in 18.094 seconds to lead the way into the final set for Oct. 30.
Starting from post four, Lexus Beach was a threat from the beginning, maintaining the top spot throughout to score the win by one-half length. Cat Express and Giovani Vazquez-Gomez got the second spot by a nose over High Rolling Seize and Shanley Jackson at the wire.
Lexus Beach is owned by Rose Bode and trained by Randy Smith. It was one of three wins on the all-Quarter Horse Day card for Smith, and one of two for Marquez, who is currently fourth in the leading Quarter Horse standings.
Another stellar performance was turned in by Mr Michel (photo), who scored the second fastest time in the trials. The Kiss My Hocks gelding, trained by Claudio Barraza, was strong throughout to win his trial in 18.097. It was one of three wins in the Miss Roxie Little Futurity Trials for jockey Erik Esqueda, who also guided Botticelli Beach to victory as well as Stormi Spirits, who was the third fastest in the trials.
“I wasn’t expecting to have such a good day, but I’ve been working really hard for this,” said Esqueda. “It helps to ride such good horses such as these three. Mr Michel is the one I won the stakes on. I get along really well with him. He didn’t break as sharp in that race but once he got going, he ran really well. I’ll talk to the trainers and see which one to ride in the final.”
Barraza also trained Botticelli Beach, a filly he also owns. She has won three of six this season for Barraza, who purchased the Escondido Beach filly out of an online sale from Sheri Miller’s consignment last fall.
Other trial winners included Knockout Swing, who didn’t make the final, and Stormi Spirits for trainer Tim Eggleston and owner-breeder Owen Stanley Jr. It was the third win in six starts for the Jess Zoomin gelding.
“This horse is maturing,” said Eggleston. “He’s been real immature and is just now finding his groove. Erik (Esqueda) did well on him. He kept him on task because he loses focus, but the last 100 yards, he came running.”
The final field for the $150,000 Little Futurity, in order of time with jockey, includes: Lexus Beach (Juan Marquez, 18.094); Mr Michel (Erik Esqueda, 18.097); Stormi Spirits (Erik Esqueda, 18.151); Cat Express (Giovani Vazquez-Gomez, 18.200); High Rolling Seize (Shanley Jackson, 18.204); Botticelli Beach (Erik Esqueda, 18.205); FE Stone Crusher (Juan Marquez, 18.222); Tooyahbooya DHD (Rolando Pina, 18.300); Our Game Changer (German Rodriguez, 18.269); and All Star Beach (Rolando Pina, 18.300).
Trainer Randy Smith will saddle three in the final while Claudio Barraza saddles two and Tony Cunningham has two for the final.