Dominyun Cartel Qualifies For Blue River Derby Trials at Indiana Grand
Coady Photography
Dominyun Cartel (#6) holds off First Habits to win the second Blue River Derby trial.


SHELBYVILLE, IN—JULY 6, 2019—Dominyun Cartel contested the Blue River Derby trials Saturday at Indiana Grand. The event was part of the second all-Quarter Horse racing night of 2019 at Indiana Grand with the top 10 returning for the $100,000 Blue River Derby Final set for Saturday, July 20.

The second trial of the evening pitted two top Indiana breds in a head to head battle and included the return of Dominyun Cartel, who was a finalist for 2018 AQHA Champion Two-Year-Old held at Heritage Place. Both Dominyun Cartel and First Habits went to battle early in the race, matching each other stride for stride.

First Habits, ridden by Oscar Andrade Jr., had a slight edge on Dominyun Cartel, ridden by Jose Beltran, coming down to the wire, but Dominyun Cartel was able to squeeze by in the last stride for the win by half a nose. Abe and Cervantes finished third.

“He (Dominyun Cartel) is very strong,” said Beltran. “Last year, he would move around in the gate a lot but tonight, he was perfect and stood still the entire time. He is such a nice horse.”

Dominyun Cartel now has four wins in 10 career starts with just over $125,000 in career earnings for owner-breeder Brian Gunder. Erin Thompson trains the sorrel colt by DOMINYUN, who earned year-end honors in Indiana last season and returned to her barn in mid-May. Thompson can see some changes in the colt, who is always a fan favorite during barn tours for various kids’ groups at Indiana Grand.

“He (Dominyun Cartel) is just bigger and stronger this year,” said Thompson. “He’s just more grown up. Jose (Beltran) does a good job with him, and they seem to fit each other well. We will just work to keep him happy and send him out to jog (until the final). He is such a happy horse all the time. He is fun to have in the barn and he loves company. He sure put on a show for all the kids’ groups that came through the barn last year.”

For the top 10 Blue River Derby qualifiers, their times, sires, dams, owners, breeders, trainers and jockeys CLICK HERE.