Three trials were contested to determine the final field for the $100,000 Jaguar Rocket Futurity final Saturday at Horseshoe Indianapolis in Shelbyville.
It was Piloted by an Angel who flew to the top of the leaderboard among 30 starters as the fastest qualifier in 15.506 seconds.
The Jaguar Rocket Futurity will be one of four Quarter Horse Stakes finals on the July 23 racing card featuring more than a half million in stakes purses.
Piloted by an Angel and Juan Marquez were able to get an early lead in the 300-yard dash and fought their way to the wire for the win, one length ahead of R Sweet Maggie May and German Rodriguez to give Indiana’s all-time leading Quarter Horse trainer Randy Smith a one-two finish. Jess A Lil Bit Hero and Cristian Aguirre-Erives finished third.
Piloted by an Angel is now two for two in her young racing career. The daughter of Paint You Pilot is owned by Smith’s wife, Debbie, and is moving in the right direction for the Smith barn.
“She started out pretty tough,” admitted Smith. “But she seems to have gotten her mind focused now.”
The Smith Stable also has the second quickest qualifier on the day as Our Louisiana Girl scored a win for Marquez and Smith. The freshman sorrel filly was out of the gate like a rocket to catch the top spot early and was well under wraps by Marquez under the wire in a time of 15.621. CV Struttinforakiss and Edgar Diaz finished second over GV Diamante and Giovani Vazquez-Gomez for third.
Out Louisiana Girl also is two for two in her career. Owned by Debbie Smith and bred by Gordon Timm, the daughter of Duponte brings in a second generation of winners for Smith, who also trained her mother, My Louisiana Rod, to four stakes wins and more than $220,000 in career earnings.
“They are a whole lot alike, which is a good thing because this daddy can make them pretty tough,” said Smith in the comparison of My Louisiana Rod with her daughter Our Louisiana Girl. “We’ve had a tough time getting foals from that mare. This is the only one we have so far, and she didn’t get back in foal again this year.”
The final trial winner for the Jaguar Rocket Futurity was Dashtraxx, who dashed to the wire late to score the win by a nose over Flashin Five Bar and Juan Marquez. Ridden by Rolando Pina, the Valiant hero son earned his first career win after finishing second in his racing debut during the first all-Quarter Horse racing day. The gelding is owned by Steve Mullins and trained by Tim Eggelston, who had two qualifiers earlier in the day in the Mobley Futurity Trials.
“From day one, I’ve told the owners he was going to go on when he gets older and be a good one,” said Eggleston of Dashtraxx closing kick. “He’s a really nice horse and I’m glad to have him in the barn for Steve (Mullins), who brought this mare at Heritage Place and foaled her out in Indiana.”
Mullins, a native of Clinton, Tennessee, has been associated with horses and racing all his life. After taking a break a few years ago, he’s now back in the business with a good prospect for Indiana.
“He (Dashtraxx) ran ‘em down in his first start to finish second and he did the same thing today to get the win,” said Mullins. “We bred the mare back and have a half sister to this horse coming up and she’s back in foal, so we’ll have another one next year.”