News - Headlines May  28, 2024

Mexico Bred Dk Marney Jess Wins Louisiana Downs Futurity, Juan Diaz, Jr. Saddles Top Four Finishers


Dk Marney Jess (inside) holds off stablemate Kiss My Maruska (#8) in the $397,702 Louisiana Downs Futurity(G2) on Saturday.

Roberts Communications

BOSSIER CITY, LA–MARCH 30, 2024–Dk Marney Jess held off a strong close by stablemate and fastest qualifier Kiss My Maruska to win the Grade 3 $397,702 Louisiana Downs Futurity on Saturday.

Trainer Juan Diaz, Jr., who saddled half the field, also finished third with Jj Fuego and fourth with Rr Favoritefireworks.

Ridden by jockey Nestor Duran, a nervous Dk Marney Jess broke through the starting gate prior to the race. The header was able to hang on to the Mexico-bred daughter of leading sire Apollitical Jess and get her back into the gate for the start.

Dk Marney Jess broke well in her second career start then held off a late charge from Kiss My Maruska to get her second win by a nose while completing the 300 yards in :15.287, a 104 speed index into a 10 mph headwind.

The winning connections of Dk Marney Jess accept the Louisiana Downs Futurity stakes trophy Saturday at Louisiana Downs. © Ann Switalski Photography

Riding the filly for the first time, jockey Duran said "I was nervous after the gate malfunction, but she (Dk Marney Jess) ran a great race.

The $178,966 winner's purse swelled her earnings total to $181,966.

"She (Dk Marney Jess) matured a letter better than my other finalists," trainer Diaz, Jr. said after the race.

Racing for owner CH Horse Racing LLC, Dk Marney Jess was bred by Cuadra La Presita from the stakes winning Corona Cartel mare Marney Jo, a sister to champion and Kvn Corona and Grade 1 winner Big Lew. Dk Marney Jess is from the first-crop of foals out of Marney Jo. The second dam is Grade 1 winner and six-time black type producer Executive Looks.

Also from the Diaz Stable, runner-up Kiss My Maruska clocked a 104 speed index and took home $67,610 to increase her earnings to $70,610.  Heavy Hitters Racing Stables paid $88,000 for the daughter of champion Kiss My Hocks at the 2023 TQHA Yearling Sale.  Tyler and Naia Graham bred the gelding in Texas from the Favorite Cartel mare Ms Highmaitenance.

A $42,000 TQHA Yearling Sale graduate, third-place finisher Jj Fuego sold under the name Fiery Dreamer last summer. Diaz, Jr. named jockey Jose Hebert to ride the Highest Fire gelding out of Let Me Dream Longer, by First Moonflash.

The second dam is Grade 2 winner Thrill And Grade the dam of six black-type including Heritage Place Futurity(G1) winner Jet Black Grace. She is also the granddam of champion Trump My Record. The $39,770 third-place payday pushed the Texas-bred colt's earning to $42,770. Fulton Quien Sabe Ranches LP is the breeder.

Completing the field were Rr Favoritefireworks, Dm Nite Hawk, Twinkly, Corona Marys, Gatlan, Coco Ravin and Voodoo Child Sc.

Additional reporting by Martha Claussen.

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About Louisiana Downs
Located near Shreveport in Bossier City, Louisiana, Louisiana Downs opened in 1974 and is 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