News December  3, 2022

Getting Creative When Previewing the First Trials of 2017

Crimson Tide lovers can find a Game Patriot colt named after Alabama football Coach Nick Saban in the seventh Mardi Gras Futurity trial (Race 8) on Saturday at Louisiana Downs.

By Martha Claussen

WRANGLER RACING ACES BLOG—FEBRUARY 23, 2017—Trials for the first official futurity of 2017 will take place Saturday at Louisiana Downs. There will be 14 heats with the 10 fastest qualifiers advancing to the $271,738 Mardi Gras Futurity (RG2) on March 18. None of the 128 entrants have ever competed before, although some had the experience of a schooling race.

So, how can a handicapper make sense of these trials, and more importantly, have a profitable day?

Providing they get a good break and no issues from their less experienced rivals, schooling race winners are logical choices. These include JRS Natural Runaway (race 2); Sheza Diamond Diva (race 6) and Dashing Red Lexus (race 7).

Pedigree for first-time starters can be helpful. Top Louisiana stallions include Heza Fast Dash, Jess Louisiana Blue, Coronas Leaving You, Game Patriot and Jet Black Patriot.

Of course, trainer and jockey connections are very useful. Kenneth Roberts Sr. continues to be one of the leading horsemen in the Pelican State, and will saddle four juveniles on Saturday. Orlando Orozco took top honors in the 2016 Evangeline Downs meet and is the leading conditioner this meet in Shreveport.

David Alvarez was the top-ranked AQHA jockey by wins in 2016. He has 10 mounts on Saturday’s card. Damian Martinez won over 100 races last year, and has been very successful since joining the Louisiana circuit last spring. He and Everardo Rodriguez are currently tied as the jockey leaders at Louisiana Downs. Veterans John Hamilton and Raul Ramirez Jr. are also very capable. Rodriguez piloted 2016 Mardi Gras Futurity winner RDD Lajollanfastdash to victory in his trial win and, of course, the final.

If that information is just too daunting, consider hunch plays, as there appear to be plenty of interesting ones up for consideration. For football lovers, there is Nick Saban in the eighth race and Bear Bryant in race 10. Crimson Tide alumni will be thrilled with both highly regarded coaches. Beyoncé followers might want to root for Mrs Queen Bee in the sixth. For those who prefer brisk winter weather, there is Brrrrr in race 2. Lastly, I prefer not to categorize this one, but Skirt Chaser will debut in race 9; he is trained by Roberts and is 4-1 on the morning line.

Wishing the best of luck to each of the connections on this very busy day of racing!

Courtesy Ses