A total of 16 trials are set for the second all-Quarter Horse racing day of 2021 Saturday at Indiana Grand in Shelbyville.
The seven-hour non-stop Quarter Horse card gets underway at 10 a.m. with four sets of trials filling up the 16-race program.
The 19th running of the Blue River Derby will be determined by four trials to kick off the program. A total of 37 three-year-old Indiana breds will compete to advance to the final set for July 24.
The Transmission, last year’s winner of the Jaguar Rocket Futurity makes his 2021 debut in the first race. The Freighttrain B colt, owned by Nicole Florida and trained by Ricardo Martinez, was two for two last year at two. He begins from post five at odds of 5-2 with Cristian Aguire-Erives aboard.
Trainer Randy Smith, who has 34 horses in during the card, will saddle the early morning line favorite in the second trial for the Blue River Derby. Fire the Cartel, owned and bred by Rose Bode, is one for two this year and will seek to advance from post seven at odds of 5-2 with Smith’s first call rider Sammy Mendez aboard.
Smith also will saddle the favorite in the fourth and final trial of the Blue River Derby. Beach Blast, who won the Harley Greene Derby in his last start, is the overwhelming favorite at odds of 4-5. He starts from post nine with Mendez aboard.
Moving to the Gordon Mobley Futurity Trials in the next four races, a total of 40 two-year-olds will seek a spot in the 12th running of the final, also set for July 24.
Six of the entrants already have a win on their credentials, including HH Jess Trippin in the final trial. The Jess Zooming filly won her debut in May at Indiana Grand for owner Larry Carter and John Myers, who also bred the Indiana-sired freshman. Paul Martin trains Cristian Esqueda is aboard at odds of 7-5.
The Jaguar Rocket Futurity will be set up with four trials as 34 vie for a spot in the July 24 final.
Trainer Tony Cunningham will saddle eight in the trials, including race favorite Bye Bye B Train (photo) in the first trial. Owned by breeder Pamela Hann, Bye Bye B Train was a winner by a neck in his last start. The Freighttrain B gelding will start from post four in the ninth race with L. Daniel Martinez aboard at odds of 6-5.
Cunningham also will saddle the early morning line favorite in the third trial as Ravin Stone starts from post two in race 11. The Brimmstone filly, owned by Katie and Glen Miller, was a winner in her last start. Martinez is assigned to ride at odds of 9-5.
The final set of trials for the all-Quarter Horse day is the Heartland Futurity. A total of 40 two-year-olds will vie over the final four races of the card, with Kiss Me At Midnight getting the nod as the early morning line favorite in the second trial, slated as the 14th race.
Starting from post four, Kiss Me At Midnight comes into the race off one start and one win, a dominant performance in maiden action. The Kiss My Hocks gelding is owned by Gordon Timm and Debbie Smith. Randy Smith trains the freshman, who will be ridden by Sammy Mendez at odds of 2-1.
The final race of the card gives BP CK Eagle the early nod from the Randy Haffner Stable. The Moonin the Eagle filly ships in for the first time from Remington Park for owner-breeder Bill Price. Cristian Esqueda is set to ride the grey freshman from post nine at odds of 7-5.
Indiana Grand will offer four more all-Quarter Horse racing days in 2021. All of the trials from Saturday’s card will feed into the next event on July 24, which also will feature Exotic Animal Racing. Ostriches, camels and zebras will take the track between races, a first-of-its-kind in Indiana.
Other all-Quarter Horse racing dates in 2021 include Aug. 14, Sept. 4, and Oct. 9.
The track also will host two Regional Challenge qualifiers for AQHA’s Bank of America Challenge. Trials for the John Deere Juvenile Challenge and the Q-Racing Videos Distaff Challenge are set for Sept. 4 with the finals scheduled for Sept. 20.