News December  3, 2022

$106,964 Mardi Gras Derby Set For Sunday At Louisiana Downs

State-breds will be the focus when Louisiana Downs hosts an outstanding afternoon of live racing and entertainment for the entire family on Sunday.

Hodges Photography / Ann Switalski

BOSSIER CITY, LA­MARCH 24, 222–Louisiana Downs will host an outstanding afternoon of live racing and entertainment for the entire family on Sunday, March 27.

The first 100 guests will receive a free tshirt, beginning at 11am.  Sunshine with temperatures in the low 80’s will be ideal for both racing and family fun on the track apron.

In addition to watching the seven live races on the program, fans of all ages will be able to enjoy t
asty bites from some of the favorite local food trucks in the Metroplez; a Free Kidz Zone complete with bounce houses; face painting and live music via DJ Kat. There will also be an opportunity to capture memories with a photo from Southern Snaps photo booth.

Louisiana Downs also simulcasts the action from national racetracks including Aqueduct, Gulfstream Park, Santa Anita and the closing day Thoroughbred action from Fair Grounds in New Orleans. Fans at Louisiana Downs on Sunday will receive a $5 Free Bet, which they can redeem on Sunday, April 3.

Live Quarter Horse racing gets underway at 1:00 pm (Central) and will feature the richest race of the 2022 live season, the $382,658 Mardi Gras Futurity (RG2) (see related story) with a field of ten Louisiana-bred 2-year-olds as well as the final of the $106,964 Mardi Gras Derby for 3-year-olds.

A field of nine will compete in the Mardi Gras Derby final with the winner earning $48,133. Trainer Kenneth Roberts. Sr. will saddle Jose Luis Perez Aguirre’s homebred Mr Fast Mallard. He is a son of Heza Fast Dash, an iconic Louisiana stallion, who will be inducted into the LQHBA Hall of Fame next month.

This will be the eighth career start for the bay gelding, who had his best showing as a finalist in the 2021 LQHBA Louisiana Million (RG1) at Evangeline Downs last December. He finished third in his 400-yard trial on March 7 and Roberts feels he will move forward after that effort.

“He needed the race,” explained Roberts. “He’s got a lot of early speed and if he gets away well from the gates on Sunday, he’ll be there.”

Mr Mallard on will break from post position six under current leading Louisiana Downs jockey Ubaldo Luna.

Trainer Jose “Pepe” Lopez looks for a good effort from Stratosphear, a son of multiple stakes sire One Sweet Jess, bred by AQHA champion breeder Bobby D. Cox. Stratosphear broke his maiden at first asking last year at Louisiana Downs in a trial for the Mardi Gras Futurity and ran fourth in the 2021 LQHBA Sale Futurity (RG2) on October 30 at Evangeline Downs. Rider Noe Castaneda has the call and will break from post position three.

“He’s been a real honest horse,” said Lopez. “We are pleased with the way he has improved and see that he loves 400 yards. He broke his maiden here last year so really seems to like the Louisiana Downs track surface.”

Rueben Juan Casas’ He Aint Political was also a trial winner on Monday, March 7 and will reunite with jockey Everardo Rodriguez. The son of Apollitical Blood has won three of his nine starts for conditioner Martin Trejo.

Jeronimo Silva's Quid Pro Quo, a son of Five Bar Cartel has been installed as the 2-1 morning-line favorite. He has earned $94,332 in eight starts with his top score as the winner of the $100,000 Louisiana Champions Day Juvenile Stakes (RG2) on December 11 at Fair Grounds Racecourse. Humberto Vital will ride the sorrel gelding.

The complete field for the $106,964 Mardi Gras Derby, which will run as race seven, in post position order including jockey assignments and morning-line odds is as follows:

  1. Lett It Happen (Rolando Cabrera), 20-1
  2. Guidrys Credit Card (Modesto Pina), 12-1
  3. Stratosphere (Noe Castaneda), 9-2
  4. He Aint Political (Everardo Rodriguez), 3-1
  5. Jet Black Dasher (Raul Ramirez Jr.), 15-1
  6. Mr Fast Mallard (Ubaldo Luna), 6-1
  7. Quid Pro Quo (Humberto Vital), 2-1
  8. San Lorenzo Dash (David Alvarez), 5-1
  9. Patriotic Trump (Juan F. Garcia Jr.), 30-1

Two horses that qualified in the March 7 trials will not run back in Sunday's final due to supposed bad tests. Two horses moved up from the original qualifying list to replace them.

Mardi Gras Handicapping Seminar Begins at Noon on Sunday

Louisiana Downs track announcer John McGary and regional racing publicist Martha Claussen will team up for a Mardi Gras handicapping seminar on Sunday, March 27 at noon. The free event will be held in the Inside Rail, located on the first floor of the grandstand. McGary and Claussen will offer their selections for each of the races on the Saturday card and in-depth analysis of the Mardi Gras Futurity and Mardi Gras Derby.


LQHBA Scholarship Drawings Set for Sunday

Three students will win Louisiana Quarter Horse Breeders Association (LQHBA) Scholarships this Sunday. In an unprecented first, Louisiana Downs will generously contribute $3,000 to match the three LQHBA Scholarships. Three drawings of $2,000, a total of $6,000 will be offered to Louisiana students wishing to further their education.  Scholarship entrants must be a Louisiana High School graduate or a Louisiana High School student graduating in 2022 planning to attend a higher education institution. Louisiana residents enrolled in a Louisiana College or University are also eligible

Students can sign up at the LQHBA Scholarship Registration Table (located at the foot of the escalator on the casino level), beginning at 11:00 am. Registration will close after the third race of the afternoon program and LQHBA board members, Louisiana Downs officials and special guests will conduct the drawings live in the winner’s circle after race five Students must be present to win. 

Since 2001, the LQHBA scholarship program has granted over $700,000 for students attending a higher education institution. For more information on the LQHBA Scholarship Program, visit or call the LQHBA office in Alexandria at (318) 487-9506.

Louisiana Downs 2022 Quarter Horse Racing Season

The 46-day Quarter Horse meet began on Sunday, January 10 and continues through Wednesday, April 6. Live racing is conducted Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday with one Thursday race card added on March 31.

About Louisiana Downs
Located near Shreveport in Bossier City, Louisiana, Louisiana Downs opened in 1974 and is now owned by Rubico Acquisition Corporation. 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.

Courtesy Ses