GONE CARTEL KEEPS HIS WIN STREAK ALIVE WITH A VICTORY IN THE $25,000 MR JESS PERRY AT HARRAH’S LOUISIANA DOWNS

Bossier City, LA – Harrah’s Louisiana Downs hosted an action packed day of racing on Saturday, February 24. Despite inclement weather, a nice crowd was on hand to enjoy the racing action and Family Fun Day activities.

A field of ten accredited Louisiana-breds kicked off the card in the  $25,000 Mr Jess Perry Stakes, and Gone Cartel came flying to win his fourth race in a row. Trained by leading Louisiana Downs conditioner Vann Haywood, the 5-year-old son of Coronas Leaving You is owned by Tommy E. Rhodes. Regular pilot Damian Martinez guided his charge to the wire of the 350-yard feature in :17.517 seconds, outdueling Im All Out by a nose. Tf Racee Runaway closed solidly from his far outside post to clinch third under Everardo Rodriguez. Each earned a speed index of 101.

“He had been training so well, I really felt he could step up today,” said Haywood. “He didn’t break as sharp as he could have, but left good enough and came home strong.”

Haywood has been a fan of Gone Cartel since he first saw him in training as a 2-year-old.

“I tried to buy him from Doug Weeks three years ago and was finally able to get it done last October,” said Haywood.  “Doug calls me after each win and is really happy that the horse is doing so well.”

Bred by Chad Hart, Gone Cartel ($11.20) has now won eight of his 21 starts and shown his affinity for a muddy track with a record of four wins from six tries on the off going. With today’s winner’s check for $15,000, his career bankroll stands at $143,082.

Im All Out owned by Girl Goes Racing and ridden by David Alvarez earned $5,000 for his runner-up finish. The 5-year-old son of Heza Fast Dash was one of two entrants trained by Kenneth Roberts, Sr. Mps Shake Em in Style completed the superfecta, followed by Icanonlyemagine, Ww Showtime, Ldn Jessasaltydog, Scoopies Leaving You, One Hot Flame and Coronaoro.

The stakes is named in honor of Mr Jess Perry, the acclaimed racehorse and stallion who passed away last November at the age of 25. Honored as AQHA Racing Champion 2-Year-Old and Champion 2-Year-Old Colt in 1994, he won 12 of his 21 career starts before setting new standards as a stallion. Mr Jess Perry sired 138 stakes winners and 156 stakes placed horses, including nine running champions. He remains one of only three Quarter Horse stallions to sire the racing earners of more than $52 million.

 

Kenneth L. Roberts Sr. Honored As LQHBA and AQHA Champion Trainer

A presentation took place in the Louisiana Downs winner’s circle today following the third race to honor Kenneth L. Roberts, Sr., 2017 LQHBA and AQHA Racing Champion Trainer.  The popular horseman finished the year as the leading Quarter Horse trainer in North America with 116 wins and was ranked fourth in earnings with $2,847,909.

This was the first time Roberts was named AQHA Champion trainer and his stakes wins in Louisiana were pivotal to  his award.  He capped the year with an impressive victory by You Drive I Fly in the LQHBA Louisiana Million on December 16.

Tony Patterson, executive director of the LQHBA, is grateful to Roberts for his dedication to the state’s racing program and annual yearling sale.

“Kenny is an extremely talented and dedicated horseman who is a tremendous ambassador for Louisiana Quarter Horse racing,” said Patterson. “Several board members were on hand to congratulate Kenny and thank him for his continued support of our association and our efforts to run the top state-bred racing program in the country.”

 

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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.

For further information, please contact:

Trent McIntosh  |  Assistant General Manager
318-752-6980
8000 East Texas Street | Bossier City, LA 71111
www.caesars.com

COMPETITIVE TRAINER AND JOCKEY BATTLES UNDERWAY IN THE HARRAH’S LOUISANA DOWNS QUARTER HORSE MEET

The 46-day Live Racing Season Continues Through March 21

 

Bossier City, LA – The 2018 Quarter Horse racing season at Harrah’s Louisiana Downs is continuing at a rapid pace with trials for the Mardi Gras Futurity set for Saturday, February 24.

Since the meet began on January 6, the competition has been fierce in both the trainer and jockey standings. It’s a safe bet that both titles will go down to the wire until the meet concludes on Wednesday, March 21.

Vann Haywood Tops the Trainer Leaderboard

The current top horseman is Vann Haywood, who leads his fellow conditioners with 14 wins from 45 starts. His top horse so far is Kris Locklear’s homebred Beyondthcos, a 3-year-old son of Tee Cos, who won his third race of the Louisiana Downs meet on Tuesday afternoon.

The North Carolina native has been training for 20 years and is a fixture on the Louisiana circuit. He’s won three Louisiana Downs leading trainer titles and is pleased with the way 2018 is progressing.

“We’re having success entering our horses in the right spots,” stated Haywood. “It’s great to be able to run in a state year-round. I used to run horses and then go home for six months.”

He also appreciates having futurity opportunities at each of the four meets in Louisiana and has three paid into the Mardi Gras Futurity with options to hold off until Delta Downs.

Kenneth Roberts, Sr., who was honored as 2017 AQHA Champion Trainer, is second in the standings with 11 wins and Carlos Saldivar, who won the 2015 training title here, is also having a solid meet. He has saddled ten winners and is tied with 2017 leading trainer Orlando Orozco and Josue Huitron.

“It’s going to be a close race,” acknowledged Saldivar. “We’re doing well so far for our owners and this is the closest track to my home in Dallas. Of course, Kenny’s got some big horses. He’s amazing and we are all proud of him being named AQHA champion trainer.”

Another horseman to watch is Javier Contreras who is the only trainer to have won two stakes races this meet. Jw Who Dat, the 6-year-old Louisiana-bred is making a name for himself as a distance horse, winning both the $15,000 Marathon Stakes on January 13as well as the $25,000 Magnolia Stakes three weeks later.

 

Leading Rider Everardo Rodriguez Posting Solid Stats

Louisiana Downs boasts a highly competitive jockey colony and Everardo Rodriguez, the current leader, knows that winning the title will be simple feat.

The 28-year-old was born in San Luis Potosí, a city in central Mexico, and began riding professionally in 2013.  He won his first title last December at Evangeline Downs and with 19 wins so far at Louisiana Downs, holds a narrow lead over 2017 champion DamianMartinez and David Alvarez. They are tied for second in the standings with 17 wins each.

“The competition is very tough and winning the title will not be easy,” stated Rodriguez. “We all get along well, and I wish my fellow riders the best, but I will try to beat them!”

He rides for many trainers and the consensus from horsemen and his agent, Gerald Thomas, is that Rodriguez is a hard worker who always gives 100%, on the racetrack and in morning works.

“Working for Everardo is a pleasure,” stated Thomas. “No one says a single bad word about him; he reminds me of a young Gilbert Ortiz, who will help anyone in need.”

Martinez, 24, returns to Louisiana Downs off a record year that began with the title here last March.  He won 37 races at Louisiana Downs and kept his momentum going throughout 2017, winning 124 races to finish the year as the top North American Quarter Horse jockey in wins.

Martinez shipped his tack to Louisiana in 2016 and rode the entire meet at Delta Downs, finishing second to David Alvarez.  He was not sure how the transition from Texas would go, but was welcomed with open arms by the members of the Delta Downs jockey colony.

“It’s a whole different atmosphere in Louisiana,” stated Martinez. “Everyone was helpful and encouraging.  You don’t find that everywhere!”

Born in Vera Cruz, Mexico, Alvarez, 38, is the younger brother of jockey Jose Amador Alvarez. Although Texas is home, the Louisiana circuit has fueled his career; he has won leading rider titles at Louisiana Downs, Delta Downs, Fair Grounds and Evangeline Downs. Alvarez is a man of faith and credits his success in the saddle to his belief in God and his work ethic.

“Every morning, I put myself in God’s hands and appreciate every opportunity I am given,” said Alvarez.

 

Trials for the Mardi Gras Futurity Will be Contested Saturday, February 24

The draw for trials for the Mardi Gras Futurity will take place on Saturday, February 17. The interest is solid for the first official futurity of the year with 185 Louisiana-bred 2-year-olds eligible to compete in the 300-yard trials.  Racing officials are projecting 14 heats and will announce a revised post time following Saturday’s draw.

In addition to the Mardi Gras Futurity trials on Saturday, February 24, Louisiana Downs will offer entertainment for fans of all ages, beginning at 11:00 am! There will be a FREE children’s area with bounce houses, games and face painting and culinary delights from the most popular food trucks in Shreveport-Bossier City.

Louisiana Downs Dates and Post Times

The 2018 Quarter Horse racing season at Harrah’s Louisiana Downs got underway on Saturday, January 6. The 46-day meet includes 12 stakes highlighted by the first official championship for 2-year-olds, the $100,000-added Mardi Gras Futurity on March 17. Live racing will take place Saturday, Sunday, Monday and Tuesday with a 1:00 p.m. (Central) post time and will continue through March 21. To see a complete list of the stakes schedule, including trial dates, click here             

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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.

For further information, please contact:

Trent McIntosh  |  Assistant General Manager
318-752-6980
8000 East Texas Street | Bossier City, LA 71111
www.caesars.com

SCOOPIES LEAVING YOU CAPTURES HIS SECOND EDITION OF THE ​ $15,000 HARRAH’S DASH AT LOUISIANA DOWNS

Bossier City, LA – Harrah’s Louisiana Downs kicked off its 2018 American Quarter Horse season on Saturday afternoon. The seven-race program included the first stakes of the meet, the $15,000 Harrah’s Dash.

Joel Galindo’s Scoopies Leaving You, who won the 2016 edition of this feature and holds the track record at 250 yards, topped his nine rivals. Breaking from the rail under regular rider Donald Watson, Scoopies Leaving You broke well and held off a solid charge by Fast N Famous Eagle to win by a neck. He covered 250 yards at :13.579 seconds into a 10-mph head wind over a fast track, earning an 85 speed index.

Bred in Louisiana by Gerald D. Libersat, Scoopies Leaving You is by Coronas Leaving You, out of the Toast to Dash mare Ms Scoopies Toast. Today’s win marked his 17th victory from 43 starts. He has bankrolled $318,433 since making his debut at Louisiana Downs in trials for the 2013 Mardi Gras Futurity. Kevin Broussard trains the multiple graded stakes winner and continues to marvel at his longevity and competitive spirit.

“He’s 7-years-old, has run 43 races and is as sound as a dollar,” said Broussard. “He’s still a stallion, but you would never know it.”

The far inside post was no problem for Scoopies Leaving You, according to his conditioner.

“He likes the rail,” added Broussard. “He’ll lug in sometimes, so that’s the gate we really like.”

Sent to the gate as the 5-2 favorite. Scoopies Leaving You paid $7.60 for the win. to show. Fast N Famous Eagle, ran second at odds of 20-1 under Rolando Pina, followed by Barefoot Beach and Msm Runaway Dash.  The remainder of the field included Tf Jess a Leader, Fancy Mamacita, Vicious Woman, Rbd Jessaswingin. Kut the Rope and Di Maria, who stumbled out of the gate and finished last.

Live racing continues Sunday, Monday and Tuesday at 1:00 pm. The 2018 Quarter Horse meet runs through March 21.

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.

For further information, please contact:

Trent McIntosh  |  Assistant General Manager
318-752-6980
8000 East Texas Street | Bossier City, LA 71111
www.caesars.com

HARRAH’S LOUISANA DOWNS QUARTER HORSE MEET GETS UNDERWAY ON SATURDAY, JANUARY 6

 Twelve Stakes Set for the 46-day Live Racing Season 

Bossier City, LA – The 2018 Quarter Horse racing season at Harrah’s Louisiana Downs will commence on Saturday, January 6. The 46-day meet includes 12 stakes highlighted by the first official championship for 2-year-olds, the $100,000-added Mardi Gras Futurity on March 17. Live racing will take place Saturday, Sunday, Monday and Tuesday with a 1:00 p.m. (Central) post time and will continue through March 21.

Leading Rider Damian Martinez Finishes out the Year as the Top Jockey by Wins 

Jockey Damian Martinez returns to Louisiana Downs off a record year that began with the title here last March. He won 37 races and kept his momentum going throughout 2017, winning 124 races to finish the year as the top North American Quarter Horse jockey in wins.

The 24-year-old was born in Coahuila, Mexico and began riding professionally in 2012. His career got a huge boost when Texas horseman Brian Stroud saw his potential and the two embarked on a prolific association with Jrc Callas First. Under Martinez, the versatile Texas-bred won ten stakes and was honored as 2014 AQHA World Racing Champion. There are many jockeys that ride their entire life without riding a Grade 1 winner, let alone a world champion, but Martinez has that on his resume’ already.

Martinez shipped his tack to Louisiana in 2016 and rode the entire meet at Delta Downs, finishing second to David Alvarez. He was not sure how the transition from Texas would go, but was welcomed with open arms by the members of the Delta Downs jockey colony.

“It’s a whole different atmosphere in Louisiana,” stated Martinez. “Everyone was helpful and encouraging. You don’t find that everywhere!”

In 2016, Martinez won 102 races; finishing second in AQHA standings by wins, to David Alvarez. The two Louisiana leaders were two of only four Quarter Horse jockeys in the country to eclipse 100 wins for the year.

But Martinez took it to another level in 2017, winning 124 races and purses of $1.8 million and will certainly be on the ballot for AQHA champion jockey with voters having to make a very tough choice in that category. Rodrigo Vallejo completed the year as the leading money-earning rider with $3.5 million and 2015 AQHA champion jockey Ricky Ramirez had a strong year as well.

“It feels great,” Martinez said his 2017 record. “I could not have done it without the support of so many trainers and owners.”

Trainer Bobby Martinez (no relation) has known Damian for many years and will give him a let up on Tf Jess a Leader in the Harrah’s Dash on Saturday.

“Damian is very patient on a horse and has become one heck of a rider,” said Martinez.

A devoted family man, Damian and his wife, Bianca are proud parents of daughter, Daila, and are awaiting the birth of their second child in July.

“It would be nice to be honored as champion jockey,” added Martinez. “If its meant to be, it will be great. But for now, I am looking forward to the Louisiana Downs meet and just taking life as it comes.”

Scoopies Leaving You Leads a Full Field in the $15,000 Harrah’s Dash 

A field of ten Louisiana-bred sprinters will compete in Saturday’s $15,000 Harrah’s Dash, the first stakes of the live racing season.

Joel Galindo’s Scoopies Leaving You is the 3-1 morning line choice in the 250-yard feature. The 7-year-old son of Coronas Leaving You has won 16 of his 42 career efforts, bankrolling $318,433 to date. His most recent stakes win came at Delta Downs on April 21, when he rallied to victory in the $20,000 Delta Dash in a swift :12.964 seconds. The multiple-graded stakes winner drew the rail post and will be ridden by his regular pilot, Donald Watson.

Di Maria begins her 4-year-old season under jockey Everardo Rodriguez, who recently won the riding title at Evangeline Downs. The bay daughter of Tee Cos ran a game third in the $100,000 Louisiana Champions Day Quarter Horse Derby (G3) on December 9 at Fair Grounds. Owned by Jose O. Barron, Di Maria is conditioned by Carlos Saldivar, who finished second in the trainer standings in last year’s Louisiana Downs Quarter Horse meet.

Tf Jess a Leader makes his first start in Louisiana for owner Jose M. Chavez and trainer Bobby Martinez. Sired by Mr Jess Perry, the sorrel gelding raced at Indiana Grand for the past two years, winning the $130,360 QHRA Indiana Derby on October 22, 2016. He will be seeking his fourth career win Saturday afternoon with Damian Martinez in the saddle. Martinez won the 2017 edition of the Harrah’s Dash aboard Mr. Big, edging Scoopies Leaving You at the wire.

Here is the field for the Harrah’s Dash (Race 6), in post position order including jockey assignments and morning-line odds:

1. Scoopies Leaving You (Donald Watson), 3-1

2. Fast N Famous Eagle (Rolando Pina), 8-1

3. Vicious Woman (David Alvarez), 12-1

4. Di Maria (Everardo Rodriguez), 5-1

5. Msm Runaway Dash (Luis Vivanco), 15-1

6. Barefoot Beach (Randy Edison), 9-2

7. Kut the Rope (Antonio Alberto), 20-1

8. Fancy Mamacita (Nestor Duran), 15-1

9. Tf Jess a Leader (Damian Martinez), 7-2

10. Rbd Jessaswingin Alfonso Lujan), 12-1

Louisiana Downs 2018 Quarter Horse Stakes Schedule 

The following stakes will be contested during the 2018 Quarter Horse racing season:

January 6 $15,000 Harrah’s Dash 4 YO & Up 250 yards

January 13 $15,000 Marathon Stakes 4 YO & Up 870 yards

January 20 $25,000 Billy Montgomery 3 YO LA-Bred 350 yards

January 27 $15,000 Swift Stakes 4 YO & Up 350 yards

January 27 $25,000 Party Girl Stakes 4 YO & Up F&M LA-Bred 350 yards

February 3 $25,000 Magnolia Stakes 3 YO & Up LA-Bred 870 yards

February 10 $15,000-added LAD Maiden Stake 3,4 &5 YO LA-Bred 350 yards

February 24 $25,000 Mr Jess Perry 4 YO & Up LA-Bred 350 yards

March 17 $100,000-added Mardi Gras Futurity 2 YO LA-Bred 300 yards

March 17 $50,000-added Mardi Gras Derby 3 YO LA-Bred 400 yards

March 17 $15,000 Streakin La Jolla 2 YO & Up 400 yards

March 21 $75,000-added Harrah’s Futurity 2 YO 300 yards

To see a complete list of the stakes schedule, including trial dates, click here

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.

For further information, please contact: Trent McIntosh | Assistant General Manager O 318-752-6980 8000 East Texas Street