LQHBA Insider - By Martha Claussen July  25, 2024


Two amazing juveniles have made their mark this year in Louisiana with another exciting chapter coming up at the end of this month when trials at Evangeline Downs will determine the field for the LQHBA Louisiana Million (RG1).

Both LQHBA Sale Futurity(RG1) champion San Lorenzeaux and the Lee Berwick Futurity(RG1) and previously undefeated Blood Money came out of the $382,415 LQHBA Sale Futurity in good order and are paid into the richest Quarter Horse race in the state.

When San Lorenzeaux broke from the gate in the final on Saturday, October 30, it was crystal clear that the son of Carters Cartel would not be caught. Raul Ramirez, Jr. guided the gelding to the wire, covering 350 yards in :17.204 seconds, to earn a 105 speed index. That eclipsed the previous track record of :17.235 seconds set in 2014.

Owner Rogelio Marquez, Jr. was thrilled with his performance.

"You are always happy to win a major stakes but to see your 2-year-old set a track record is really special," he said.

Marquez and his dad first spotted San Lorenzeaux on a visit to Kenneth Garcia’s farm in Palacios, Texas.

"We really liked him; I had a very nice Carter’s Cartel colt named San Lorenzo Flash who qualified to the 2020 Lee Berwick," said Marquez. "I wanted another and really liked that San Lorenzeaux was out of a Mr Jess Perry mare (Scoopie Coochie)."

The $29,000 LQHBA Sale graduate has already banked $325,813 in five starts. He continues to impress Marquez and trainer Hector Alcala.

"He’s the smartest horse I have ever owned," stated Marquez. "He gets to the track and just lays down in his stall. But when you walk in with the bridle, he’s ready to go!"

Marquez won the 2020 LQHBA Million with San Lorenzo, named for the historic city in Mexico that has great meaning for the Marquez family. He looks forward to the November 26 trials for the LQHBA Million and expects to run two other juveniles in addition to San Lorenzeaux.

"You always hope for a good trip in a trial of this importance," added Marquez. "But we had tremendous disappointment with (LQHBA champion filly) Dashinunder Afullmoon (in 2017), when she drew next to an inexperienced runner. He broke into her out of the gate; she had to stop and go around him and did not qualify. We’ve seen in all with our 2-year-olds."

Trainer Rosendo Valdez, Jr. was hoping that Lee Berwick Futurity winner Blood Money would win his sixth in a row in the LQHBA Sale Futurity trials, but the son of Apollitical Blood was only able to complete the exacta under leading rider Everardo Rodriguez.

Owned by Rojas Racing Stables, LLC, he came out of the race in good shape and will be pointed to the LQHBA Million trials. Bred by Spring Hill Farms, LLC, from the Shazoom mare Zoom To The Money, Blood Money was purchased for just $17,000 at the LQHBA Yearling Sale and tops San Lorenzeaux in earnings with $672,142.

"If he would have had a better break, it might have been a different result," said Valdez. "But San Lorenzeaux made no mistake. After that start, he was gone!"

Valdez still has confidence in Blood Money and also looks forward to running Ultimo Alex in the LQHBA Million trials.

"Blood Money has been an amazing horse for us," he stated. "He’s back at the farm and doing well. We’re ready for the next one!"

Conditioner Wendy Garcia qualified two runners for the final of the LQHBA Sale Futurity and reports that both Rubios Landscaping’s Apollitical Tornado, bred by Narcisco Flores and Risen Patriot, who finished eighth and ninth, are paid into the LQHBA Million. Jodie Robeau & Freeman Mowad bred the son of Jet Black Patriot for owner Jesus Armando Ortega, Jr.

"Apollitical Tornado broke really well in the Lassie Futurity (on June 12 at Delta Downs) and had the lead till Blood Money caught us," she explained. "Risen Patriot picked his head up just as the gates opened and lost all chances. Both of them are fine and will run in the Million trials."

Garcia and her husband, jockey Modesto Pina, have been involved in Texas and Louisiana Quarter Horse racing since 2010. They are no strangers to the highs and lows of trials and final competition.

"We are proud of our horses and have qualified for the Mardi Gras, Lassie and LQHBA Sale futurities this year," said Garcia. "I get more nervous for trials than finals and always have to have faith in God. We look forward to the LQHBA Million trials and another chance to run in a championship!"

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The LQHBA Insider is a monthly feature written by Martha Claussen for www.lqhba.com. She served as publicity director at Sam Houston Race Park for ten years. She continues to be active in writing, fan education and Quarter Horse racing publicity in Texas, Louisiana and other regions in North America.