Racing


Rock Candy Blue Dominates Horseshoe Indianapolis QHRAI Derby
Rock Candy Blue, under jockey Giovani Vazquez-Gomez, dominated the $115,840 QHRAI Derby Tuesday afternoon at Horseshoe Indianapolis.

Coady Photography
Rock Candy Blue Dominates Horseshoe Indianapolis QHRAI Derby

SHELBYVILLE, IN–JUNE 28, 2022–After turning in the second fastest trial time, Rock Candy Blue was all business when the gates sprung for the 13th running of the $115,840 Horseshoe Indianapolis QHRAI Derby.

The Oklahoma-bred gelding, guided by Jockey Giovani Vazquez-Gomez was an open length winner in the event to secure his first stakes title.

Starting from the inside post one, Rock Candy Blue was patient in the gate while adjustments were made to other starters. Once the field was set, he was out of the gate quickly and on top in the 400-yard dash, grabbing the lead early.

As the wire neared, the sorrel sophomore never let up, coasting under the wire for the two and one-quarter length win. One Night Too Long and German Rodriguez, the fastest trial winner, finished second a neck ahead of Screenshot and Jose Ruiz and A Little Louie and Francisco Ramirez Jr., who could not be separated at the wire for third in the tight five horse photo.

"We didn’t do anything different with him between the trials and the final," said Jessi Vazquez. "We made no changes on him. He’s so hyper in the stall but once he gets in the gate, he knows he’s a racehorse and he is so laid back."

Purchased out of the Heritage Place Winter Mixed Sale for $88,000, owners Campos Family Ventures have nearly paid for Rock Candy Blue in two starts, both wins for the new connections.

Jessi Vazquez trains the Jess Louisiana Blue gelding, who is now three for nine lifetime and possesses earnings of more than $83,000, $70,000 of which has been earned since arriving in Indiana. Randy and Stacy Hill bred the gelding from the Good Reason SA mare Rock Candy SA.

The winning connections of Rock Candy Blue accept the QHRAI Derby stakes trophy at Horseshoe Indianapolis Tuesday.. © Coady Photography

"From day one, this horse has been great," said Jessi, who partners with her husband, Giovanni, in the care and training of Rock Candy Blue. "Giovani loves him and has been on top of him since we bought him. We’ll keep running him in Derbies and see what else comes up."

One Night Too Long earned $23,168 for her second-place finish. Trainer Randy Smith saddled the Texas-bred daughter of Capo de Capi, out of Devoted Love by Desirio, for owner Jeff Wiley. Jack Powers bred the three-time winner of $66,067.

Sceenshot and A Little Louie earned $11,584 each for the dead-heat finish.

Erin Thompson sent out Sceenshot, a Tres Seis filly out of Shades Of Blue by Corona Cartel, for owner BFD Farms. Reliance Ranches LLC bred Screenshot in Oklahoma. She has earned $20,389. Jose Ruiz was riding.

A Little Louie races for owner-breeder Laura Dominguez and is trained by Claudio Barraza. Raul Ramirez, Jr. rode the Illinois-bred son of multiple stakes sire Dominyun from the Kiddy Up mare Zerena. A Little Louis has earned $29,912 in 10 starts.

Kiss Me At Midnight, Jess A Partner, Incredible, Separate Rose, Skip To My Lew and Paradyce completed the field.

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The 20thseason of live Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse racing extends through Wednesday, Nov. 23. Live racing is conducted at 2:30 p.m. Monday through Wednesday with Thursday post times set for 2:10 p.m. A total of 12 Saturdays will feature live racing in 2022 highlighted by the 28th running of the Grade 3 $300,000 Indiana Derby and the 27th running of the Grade 3 $200,000 Indiana Oaks set for Saturday, July 9. For more information on live racing at Horseshoe Indianapolis, visit www.caesars.com/horseshoe-indianapolis.

About Horseshoe Indianapolis
Horseshoe Indianapolis, owned and operated by Caesars Entertainment, Inc. (NASDAQ: CZR), holds multiple awards for customer service, entertainment, gaming, racing, dining, and diversity. Located just minutes from Indianapolis in Shelbyville, Ind., this one-of-a-kind property has wall to wall excitement on the 105,940 square foot gaming floor, featuring more than 1,600 slots and 72 table games along with a state-of-the-art World Series of Poker Room containing 20 tables.  Please visit www.caesars.com/horseshoe-indianapolis for more information and find Horseshoe Indianapolis on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.