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SHELBYVILLE, IN—SEPTEMBER 15, 2020—Heza Fast Kisser and Antonio Rodriguez rallied home to score the win in the $80,520 Leader of the Class Sale Futurity at Indiana Grand Tuesday.
The duo covered the 350-yard dash in a time of :18.002 seconds, the first time in the eight-year history the race it has been contested at that distance. The previous distance was 330 yards.
Starting from post eight, Heza Fast Kisser got away from the gate with the pack. It took him a few strides to get in gear, but once he found his rhythm he began to close in on the top ones. The sorrel colt lengthened his stride to win the race by a neck over Beach Blast and Sammy Mendez. Beach Stone and Juan Marquez finished third.
© Coady Photography
Owned by Abraham Favela and bred by Mark Michel, Heza Fast Kisser earned his second win in six starts in his young career. It marked his first start under the conditioning of trainer Ricardo Martinez.
The freshman son of champion and a leading second-crop sire, Kiss My Hocks, was initially purchased out of the QHRAI Speed Sale last fall as a yearling for $19,500. He is out of the First Smart Money mare First Smart Stride and is a half-brother to Lovemelikethat, multiple Indiana stakes winning mare with eight wins and more than $277,000 in earnings. Mark Michel is the breeder.
A surprise at the windows, Heza Fast Kisser paid $22.00, $9.80, $5.00 across the board, resulting in a $3,948.20 carryover in the Quarter Horse Grand High Five (Pentafecta), which will resume in Race 10 on Wednesday.
The freshman boosted his career earnings over the $59,000 mark with the win, his first stakes victory. It also marked the first stakes victory for Rodriguez, who began his professional riding career in mid-July at Indiana Grand.
"I've been riding since I was 12," said Rodriguez, who now has two career wins. "This is my first stakes win and I'm very happy to get that."
Trainer Randy Smith saddled runner-up Beach Blast for owners Keith Bode and Brock Hutchinson. The son of leading Indiana sire Escondido Beach earned $16,104 to nearly double his 2020 earnings mark to $31,257. Bred by Sheri Miller, from the Feature Mr Jess mare Jess Alive Bully, Beach Blast was ridden by Samuel Mendez.
Another Seri Miller Indiana-bred, Beach Stone, picked up $8,052 for third. Stacy and Tyler Martin own the son of Brimmstone from the Escondido Beach mare Coco Beach. Trainer Paul Martin named jockey Juan Marquez to ride the $22,677 earner.
Hf Hells Bells, Too Pretty To Catch, Streakin James, Relentless Princess, Stone Lake, Coronado Creek and Beach Shakin completed the field.
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