Four trials were held during the final all-Quarter Horse racing program Saturday at Indiana Grand.
One of the trials was set up with three trials for the Sterlie Bertram Memorial, including a total of 21 entrants. Stone Lake (photo) from the Tony Cunningham barn, was the top performer, turning in a time of 19.884 seconds to lead the field of finalists.
Starting from post six, Stone Lake had a good break and was on top to lead the way throughout the 400-yard dash. The chestnut Escondido Beach gelding was a strong winner at the wire, posting a two and one-half length advantage over the field for L.D. (Danny) Martinez.
WRs Raise the Bar and Juan Marquez finished second with Jess Scare Me and Cristian Reyes rounding out the trifecta.
Stone Lake is owned by Patti Marshall. It was only his second win in seven starts for 2021, but the gelding has been a strong performer for the Cunningham barn the past two years.
“He’s been dependable his whole career,” said Cunningham. “He always qualifies for the final and he’s always right there. We hope he comes back and throws in a solid race in the finals.”
Joining Stone Lake as a winner in the Bertram Trials was WH Imastreakinbeach, ridden by Jose Ruiz. The Escondido Beach filly was a comfortable winner by a length over Rock Candy Almighty and Juan Marquez and Beach Diva and Rolando Pina.
The final trial was scored by Mitey Persuasive, who gave jockey Dex Mitchell his first career win. The Jazz Be First gelding was in contention for the lead throughout, finishing strong for the win in 20.375, the fourth fastest of the trials.
Inseperable Blood and James Flores finished second followed by DNA Dales Lil Zoomer and German Rodriguez for third.
Trained by Shelby Weintraut, Mitey Persuasive earned his first win of 2021 for owner-breeder Ted Harpold. Following the winner’s circle photo, Mitchell was greeted by the other riders in the room with the celebratory water and powder brigade to signify his first win.
The full field for the Bertram Memorial Final, in order of times with jockey, includes: Stone Lake (L.D. Martinez, 19.884); WRs Raise the Bar (Juan Marquez, 20.289); WH Imastreakinbeach (Jose Ruiz, 20.313); Mitey Persuasive (Dex Mitchell, 20.375); Inseparable Blood (James Flores, 20.406); DNA Dales Lil Zoomer (German Rodriguez, 20.407); Gottasmoochjess (Natasha Fritz, 20.414); Jess Scare Me (Cristian Reyes, 20.417); Rock Candy Almighty (Juan Marquez, 20.439); and HF Stormi Daniels (Cristian Esqueda, 20.471).
Randy Smith will saddle four in the final. Trainer Tim Eggleston has two to prep for the final.
The Sterlie Bertram Memorial Final will join five other stakes scheduled for Indiana Champions Day on Oct. 30. The day begins at noon with Thoroughbred racing, including four stakes, followed by six Quarter Horse Stakes.
The day will feature stakes purses in excess of $1 million for both breeds.