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Krystal Stone tops Harley Greene Derby trials at Horseshoe Indianapolis

Krystal Stone, ridden by Jose Beltran, turned in the quickest time of four trials Tuesday for the Harley Greene Derby.

A total of 37 three-year-olds vied for a spot in the upcoming $75,000 final set for June 4.

Starting from post four in the second trial, Krystal Stone was in contention early on for the lead with Lexus Beach and Juan Marquez matching strides. The two Indiana-sired sophomores battled to the wire with Krystal Stone getting the edge by a nose at the wire in 17.862 seconds. Lexus Beach ended up second on the final list of qualifiers with a time of 17.864.

Owned by Ricardo Rodriguez, Krystal Stone was making his first start of 2022. The Brimmstone sorrel gelding had three starts last year with no trips to the winner’s circle, making this year’s trip in the Greene Derby trials a maiden-breaking effort. Karin Yike trains Brimmstone, who was bred by Indiana’s 2021 Leading Breeder Sheri Miller.

The third fastest qualifier was the winner of the third trial – Sweet Beach in 17.883. Trained by Randy Smith, the Escondido Beach gelding closed in gamely for jockey Juan Marquez at the finish to win by a nose in a close three-horse photo over Clovis Two Sox (Oscar Macias) and Motoring Molly (German Rodriguez).

Sweet Beach, owned by Keith Bode, was one of two trial winners on the night for Smith, who is the track’s all-time leading Quarter Horse trainer in wins and earnings. Smith also saddled FE Stone Crusher (photo) to a win in the final trial with a time of 17.891. The Brimmstone gelding, owned by Debbie Smith, was ridden to victory by German Rodriguez.

The final trial winner was Stormi Spirits for the Tim Eggleston barn. The Jess Zoomin gelding was making his first start of 2022 after winning three of seven starts last year at two. Ridden by Rolando Pina, Stormi Spirits was a head in front of Our Game Changer and Juan Marquez at the wire. Easy Torero and Erik Esqueda finished another neck back in third. The time of 18.049 was not among the top 10 qualifiers for the final.

The top 10 qualifiers heading to the Greene Derby final, in order of trial time and jockey includes Krystal Stone (Jose Beltran, 17.862), Lexus Beach (Juan Marquez, 17.864), Sweet Beach (Juan Marquez, 17.883), Clovis Two Sox (Oscar Macias, 17.887), FE Stone Crusher (German Rodriguez, 17.891), Fast N Fancy Stone (German Rodriguez, 17.894), Nachor Favorite (Sergio Ramirez, 17.896), My Royal Maiden (Juan Marquez, 17.900), Motoring Molly (German Rodriguez, 17.905) and Sarahs Violin (Erik Esqueda, 17.912).

The Harley Greene Derby Final is part of the first All-Quarter Horse racing day of 2022 set for June 4. The card will begin at 10 a.m. and will include the $75,000 Born Runner Classic Final as well as trials for the Horseshoe Indianapolis QHRAI Derby.

A total of 26 Quarter Horse Stakes are slated for the 2022 racing season, highlighted by the 2022 AQHA Bank of America Challenge Championships set for Oct. 22 at 7 p.m. It is the first time the Challenge Championships have been held in Indiana.