BLACKFOOT – Another year of the Eastern Idaho State Fair has come and gone and left us with the memories of great racing, both pari-mutuel and Indian Relay Racing.
First of all, congratulations to the Cedar Ridge team that won the national championship in the Indian Relay Races. They survived five days of qualifying and the championship run to pick up the big prize. That is no easy feat and they survived missed switches, rain, slippery track and did something that the other professionals didn’t do, race in the rain and wind on Friday.
They stepped up and thrilled the thousands of fans that were in the grandstand to watch and cheer and cheer they did. It was truly something to see and witness and they earned my respect while the jockeys on the flat track lost a bit of my respect at the same time by declining to run Friday.
To the flat track or pari-mutuel racing, we were treated to some great racing and some great riding. The riding came at the hands of Nakia Ramirez, who dazzled with a seven-win day on Monday when she could do no wrong. She had eight mounts on that Monday and seven of them resulted in wins.
Ramirez was named the leading the jockey of the Eastern Idaho State Fair, the fourth such honor that has been bestowed upon her and she is now off to New Mexico, to ride primarily at the AQHA Challenge Championships.
For the record, Ramirez won 10 races, with four seconds and six thirds during the meet that only had 27 total races that were run. It is even more impressive when you consider that she actually was first, second or third 20 times in the 23 races that she actually rode in. That is an 87 percent in the money percentage, which is just unheard of. Her win percentage of nearly 44 percent is also nearly unheard of, even in a short meet like Blackfoot’s.
Mark Hanson was the leading trainer of Quarter Horses and Kash Evans was leading trainer of Thoroughbreds and Evans captured the most prestigious race of the meet when Olympio’s Scat Cat won the T.J. Fackrell-Spa Boy Memorial on Saturday.
Horse wise, He Looks Royal won the Eastern Idaho State Fair Quarter Horse Derby on Saturday for trainer Mark Hanson and jockey Nakia Ramirez. The three-year-old was winning his second race during the Blackfoot meet and his fourth race of his life in the 400 yard dash.
The Eastern Idaho State Fair Quarter Horse Futurity was won by Serenity West, who is trained by Skylar Greene and was ridden by Eddie Aceves. The win was the second lifetime win for the two-year-old and he added the win to a third earlier in the race meet.
The Miss Quick Stakes for Quarter Horse fillies and mares was won by Cajun Prize, who was winning her third straight race, and her fourth race of 2019. She races for trainer Don Atwood and jockey Nakia Ramirez.
The Lee and Melba Ward Memorial was won by Jt Easy Bug. The four-year-old is trained by Glen Jamison and was ridden by Dallas Erickson. The speedster was winning for the third straight time, the fourth time of the year and his 10th win of his career.
Olimpio’s Scat Cat was the horse of the meet by all standards. He won a 6 ½ furlongs race on Monday and came back to win the T.J. Fackrell/Spa Boy Memorial on Saturday. That made two wins in only five days, at two different distances and he races for Tammy Evans and is trained by Kash Evans. He, of course, was ridden by Ramirez. Olimpio’s Scat Cat was winning his fourth straight race and fourth of the year and his 11th race of his 35-race career.