News - Racing October  26, 2021

You Drive I Fly Takes Off With The $1,000,000 LQHBA Louisiana Million

You Drive I Fly, under jockey Donald Watson, winning the $1 million LQHBA Louisiana Million Saturday night at Evangeline Downs.

© Coady Photography

OPELOUSAS, LA—DECEMBER 16, 2017—A late kick under jockey Donald Watson propelled You Drive I Fly to a one-length win in the $1 million LQHBA Louisiana Million Saturday night at Evangeline Downs.

You Drive I Fly overcame a strong start by the fastest qualifier Shesa Diamond Diva, passing the filly in the stretch. You Drive I Fly was sent off as the 2-1 betting favorite and returned $6 to win, $3.20 to place and $2.60 to show. Shesa Diamond Diva paid $4 to place and $3.20 to show. Jrs Taylors Runnaway was third and paid $4.40 to show.

"He (You Drive I Fly) was pretty sharp in the trials," Watson said after the winning ride. "Kenny (Roberts) and his crew had him running good. I knew the others would have to run the race of their lives to beat him in the final."

A home bred racing for owners Richard Simon and Janelle Zachary, You Drive I Fly completed the 400 yards in :19.663 seconds, a 98-speed index into a 12-mph headwind, to pocket the winners' purse valued at $445,000.

Leading trainer Kenneth Roberts, Sr. picked up his eighth Breeders' Futurity win tonight—second since the purse was boosted to $1,000,000 (Ol Time Preacher Man-2013), with the son of leading Louisiana sire Jet Black Patriot.

Senator Gerald Boudreaux presents the LQHBA Louisiana Million stakes trophy to winning owners Richard Simon and Janelle Zachary, trainer Kenny Roberts, Sr., jockey Donald Watson Saturday at Evangeline Downs.
© Coady Photography
The Grade 1 winning son of Game Patriot, who recently sold at the Heritage Place Fall Mixed Sale in Oklahoma City for $725,000, gave Richard and Janelle Simon their first win in the LQHBA Breeders' Futurity in 2008. He won seven of nine starts that year, including finishing second in the Grade 1 All American Futurity at Ruidoso Downs. He stands at Robicheaux Ranch near Breaux Bridge, Louisiana.

"First of all, I have to thank the Good Lord and all the owners I have," Roberts said in the Evangeline Downs winners' circle. "It's amazing that I have these kinds of people backing me up. They give me the opportunity to train these horses and I have to give "Coach" Kenny Roberts credit for breaking this horse. He told me that he was special and that if we take our time, you'll get the good out of him. Nothing but teamwork. We have the best in the nation breeders program," he added.

A $30,000 repurchase in the 2016 LQHBA Yearling Sale, the sorrel colt broke his maiden at Delta Downs in May then qualified and finished second in the Lee Berwick Memorial Futurity(RG1) to the outstanding three-time stakes winning filly Dashnunder Afullmoon.

You Drive I Fly (outside) passing horses in the stretch on his way to victory in the $1 million LQHBA Louisiana Million Saturday. © Coady Photography
After a three-month layoff, You Drive I Fly cruised to impressive 1-¾ length win and the third fastest time in the November 17th LQHBA Louisiana Million trials. He has compiled a (5) 4-1-0 record and banked $590,134 this season.

You Drive I Fly is the third foal to race (all winners) from the Mr Jess Perry mare Shakemupperry. The second dam is a First Down Dash sister to champion Shake The Bank ($257,009) and stakes winner and multiple stakes sire Royal Shake Em ($257,009). The third dam is former Broodmare of the Year Shake Em Six by Streakin Six.

A victorious Donald Watson aboard You Drive I Fly after winning the $1 million LQHBA Louisiana Million Saturday.
© Coady Photography
Fastest qualifier Shesa Diamond Diva, under jockey Eddie Sanchez, was no match for the winner. Trainer Saul Ramirez, Jr. conditions the Struttin To Beduino filly. Owner Cruz Nava purchased the filly for $9,000 at the LQHBA Yearling Sale from breeders Paul Fontenot, Jr. and Tate Farms

Out of the Heza Fast Dash mare Sheza Fortune, Shesa Diamond Diva was second in the De Saix Stakes at the Fair Grounds and fourth in the Mardi Gras Futurity(RG2) his year. Tonight's second-place payday of $220,000 boosted her bankroll to $271,021.

Jrs Taylors Runnaway broke out and bumped at the start under jockey Jorge Linares, but held to pick up the third-place check of $110,000.

You Drive I Fly in the post-parade for the $1 million LQHBA Louisiana Million at Evangeline Downs.
© Coady Photography
Trainer Martin Trejo saddled the Sir Runaway Dash gelding for owner Rosalio Espinosa. Julien R. Stevens III bred the 2-year-old from the Royal Shake Em mare No Matches Tonight. A $10,000 buy back in the LQHBA Yearling Sale, Jrs Taylors Runaway has earned $246,589 this season. He entered tonight's race with a four-race win streak that included the $297,220 LQHBA Sale Futurity(RG1) at the Fair Grounds in September.

Ima Gone Reba, Featuring Fast Jess, Eye Am Sizzlin, Diamondinthefront, Rf Shez Leaving You, Stormy T and Fpj Blazen Fast Ryon completed the field.

Live racing at Evangeline Downs will resume on Monday afternoon with a 10-race program. Post time on Monday is scheduled for 3:15 pm Central Time.

Additional reporting by Martha Claussen.

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