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© Hodges Photography / Ann Switalski
BOSSIER CITY, LA—MARCH 5, 2019—An exceptional afternoon of racing is set for Saturday, March 16 at Harrah's Louisiana Downs. The card gets underway at 1:00 p.m. (CDT) with the $15,000 Leverne Perry Memorial Stakes, the $120,782 Mardi Gras Derby and the first "official" futurity of the year, the $305,296 Mardi Gras Futurity (RG2).
Tf Shez Jess Dashin Leads the Field in the $305,296 Mardi Gras Futurity (RG2) A standout field of accredited Louisiana-bred 2-year-olds will put it all on the line in the 300-yard final of the $305,296 Mardi Gras Futurity (RG2).
Sir Runaway Dash is owned by Down South Racing LLC and trained by Ned Goutierrez III. She has been installed as the 5-2 morning line favorite with the meet's leading jockey, Everardo Rodriguez, guiding her from post position two.
Sir Runaway Dash is also the sire of fourth-fastest qualifier, Jrs Sir Pop a Top, who is owned by Patrick Richardson and trained by Joe Davis. Davis will saddle two finalists with jockey Rolando Pina opting to ride Jrs Sir Pop A Top and Jose Rodriguez getting the call aboard Mr Achievement B. One of three finalists sired by Freighttrain B, Mr Achievement B is owned by Quency Grant and set the ninth-fastest qualifying time.
Coronas Leaving You set the eighth-fastest time.
Apollitical Blood, was a standout in her schooling race early last month and will be ridden by Eddie Sanchez.
Jet Black Patriot. Vals Fortune won the 2003 edition of the Mardi Gras Futurity and the Heath Taylor trainee went on to win 20 of his 23 starts, becoming the first Louisiana-bred millionaire.
Jet Black Patriot, bred and owned by Richard and Janelle Simon, stamped his name in the record books, winning the Mardi Gras, Lee Berwick and LQHBA Breeders Futurity, with a runner-up finish in the All American Futurity (G1) at Ruidoso Downs as well.
Mardi Gras Derby
Tdz Louisiana Toast Faces Nine Rivals in the $120,782 Mardi Gras Derby The $120,782 Mardi Gras Derby for accredited Louisiana-breds will also be a very competitive race. This is the richest purse in the history of the championship, with Tdz Louisiana Toast posting the fastest qualifying time in seven trials run on February 24. Owned by Juan F. Martinez, he covered 400 yards in a swift :19.565 seconds under rider Manuel Gutierrez.
© Hodges Photography / Ann Switalski
The son of Jess Louisiana Blue out of the Toast to Dash mare Shes a Royal Toast was bred in Louisiana by Tony Doughtie. He has been installed at odds of 8-5 for trainer Alonso Neri and will break from post position three under Gutierrez.
His most experienced rival is Zoomin Patriot, owned by Claudia Avila, who ran third to Tdz Louisiana Toast on December 8 at Fair Grounds. The son of Jet Black Patriot out of the Azoom mare Zippy Zoomer had a solid 2-year-old campaign, running fourth in the $700,000 Lee Berwick Futurity last July at Delta Downs and winning the Dash for Cash Juvenile at Lone Star Park.
"He's very consistent," said trainer Rolando Almanza. "He missed some training last fall after Lone Star, so we were just hoping to qualify. If he breaks well, we believe we have a shot."
It will be a very busy afternoon for trainer Joe Davis, who qualified three for the Mardi Gras Derby. Jockey Rolando Pina selected Royal Renegade, the fifth-fastest qualifier, who is owned by Martina Carmen Araujo Diaz. She also owns Heza Made Man, a son of Heza Fast Dash, who will be ridden by Jorge Linares. Davis' trio also includes Patrick Coclough's Tan Jet.
"We claimed Royal Renegade for $25,000 and he turned around and won by 2 ˝ lengths," said Davis. "Heza Made Man was a $40,000 sale purchase and has potential. Tan Jet was injured at Fair Grounds, but recovered well enough to qualify."
The Mardi Gras Derby will run as the seventh race. The field, in post position order, follows:
- Zoomin Patriot, (Ricardo-Garza Cruz), 9-2
- Follow My Wagon (John Hamilton), 20-1
- Tdz Louisiana Toast (Manuel Gutierrez), 8-5
- Louisiana Lightning (David Alvarez),15-1
- Five Bar Perry (Damian Martinez), 12-1
- Royal Renegade (Rolando Pina), 6-1
- Tan Jet (Jose Rodriguez), 15-1
- Achievopiloto (Rolando Cabrera), 6-1
- Appolitical Black (Everardo Rodriguez), 15-1
- Heza Made Man (Jorge Linares), 6-1
Stone Cold Leader Makes His 4-Year-Old Debut in the $15,000 Leverne Perry Memorial
The third stakes of the card, the $15,000 Leverne Perry Memorial, is named in honor of the esteemed breeder and Louisiana Quarter Horse Breeders Association (LQHBA) Executive Director Emeritus.
© Coady Photography
When trainer Joe Davis relocated to Louisiana last year, Stone Cold Leader continued to be one of the stars of the stable, taking both the Firecracker Derby at Delta Downs and the Evangeline Downs Derby last December. The 4-year-old gelding has bankrolled $426,333 to date.
"He's been invited to the stakes at Remington Park, so we needed to get a race in," said Davis, who has tabbed Rolando Pina to ride the 7-5 favorite.
Texas-bred Thecartelofmiracle also brings impressive credentials to the Leverne Perry Memorial. The 4-year-old son of Tough and Good won the 2017 Texas Classic Futurity (G1) for owner Mauro Luciano Villarreal and will be ridden by J. R. Ramirez.
Another worthy contender is Bileve, a 5-year-old mare by Stel Corona, owned by Fernando Beltran Rodriguez. She has won her last three races, including the Swift Stakes here on January 26 for trainer Xavier Alonso. Jockey David Alvarez has the return call.
Here is the field for the Leverne Perry Memorial, in post position order, which runs as race six:
- Ace Black Patriot, (Everardo Rodriguez), 20-1
- Mystical Jess (Manuel Gutierrez), 15-1
- Sixes Flash (Rolando Cabrera), 20-1
- Thecartelofmiracle (J.R. Ramirez), 7-2
- Bileve (David Alvarez), 6-1
- Stone Cold Leader (Rolando Pina), 7-5
- Jess Me Running V (John Hamilton), 8-1
- Sizzlin On Da Bayou (Pedro Espinosa), 12-1
- Th Maverick (Ricardo Hernandez, Jr.), 30-1
- Louisiana Seis (Luis Vivanco), 8-1
About Harrah's Louisiana Downs
Located near Shreveport in Bossier City, Louisiana, Louisiana Downs opened in 1974 and was purchased by Caesars Entertainment in December, 2002. With annual Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse racing seasons, the track is committed to presenting the highest quality racing programs paired with its 150,000-square foot entertainment complex offering casino gambling, dining and plasma screen televisions for sports and simulcast racing.