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JW Who Dat Defends His Title In Saturday’s $15,000 Marathon Stakes at Harrah’s Louisiana Downs

Defending Marathon winner Jw Who Dat drew post seven in Saturday's 2019 Marathon Stakes around the turn at Harrah’s Louisiana Downs in Bossier City.

© Lou Hodges Photographry

BOSSIER CITY, LA—JANUARY 8, 2019—Stakes action continues Saturday at Harrah’s Louisiana Downs with a competitive field of distance specialists entered in the $15,000 Marathon Stakes.

This will be the 14th running of the 870 yard stakes, with defending champion Jw Who Dat and multiple-stakes winner Jessa Little Rusty leading the field of eight.

Jw Who Dat, a 7-year-old son of Agouti out of the Heza Fast Man mare Ew Comment was bred in Louisiana by J W Owens. Now owned by Giovanni Barron and trained by Eric Palacios, he was sent to the gates last year at odds of 11-1. It made sense as he had been claimed the month before for $3,500 and had never run an 870-yard race, or competed at the stakes level. But jockey Antonio Alberto had a strong feeling that the may gelding would excel around the hook.

"When you can’t pull a horse up after the wire and even the outrider couldn’t slow him down after the turn, you know he wants to go further," stated Alberto.

Alberto’s intuition was spot on, as Jw Who Dat not only won the Marathon Stakes, but returned three weeks later to capture another 870-yard feature, the Magnolia Stakes. He added stakes wins at Delta Downs and Fair Grounds. His only blemish was an eighth-place finish last October in the Herman Jefferson Stakes at Zia Park in Hobbs, New Mexico.

"I truly don’t know why he struggled in that race," said Alberto. "Maybe it was the surface switch or the altitude. He broke well, but when he hit the turn, he just stopped on me."

Jw Who Dat returned to form on December 15 defeating Jessa Little Rusty in an allowance race at Evangeline Downs.

"He was back to his own self and tore ‘em up that night," proudly stated Alberto. "Like any rider, you have your favorites and this horse is mine! I have all his win pictures on my entertainment center. I feel blessed that the connections stuck with me."

Jw Who Dat drew post position seven, the same post as last year. He enters Saturday’s feature with a record of nine wins from 32 starts and earnings of $125,892.

Louis Howard’s Jessa Little Rusty is another contender with $266,466 earned since he began his career at Ruidoso Downs in 2012. Trained by John Stinebaugh, the son of Mr Jess Perry out of the Royal Quick Dash mare Rustys Quickid, won two graded stakes in 2016, and added two more wins last year. The Texas-bred will break from post position two under regular rider Gilbert Ortiz.

"He’s a ‘tried and true’ racehorse," said Stinebaugh. "Over his career, he’s run over 44 miles, which is pretty incredible. He’s still running well and can put a lot of pressure on those younger horses."

Another notable contender is Mr Desert Streak, owned by Kaylee Walker, who ran third to Jw Who Dat and Jessa Little Rusty in the December 15th allowance race at Evangeline Downs. Trained by Trey Ellis, the 5-year-old Louisiana bred won three of his seven starts last year, including the $30,000 Race and Aces Stakes at Evangeline Downs. He will be ridden by Donell Blake.

Here is the field, in post position order including jockey assignments and morning-line odds:

  1. Rakin In the Jax (Luciano Duenez), 12-1
  2. Jessa Little Rusty (Gilbert Ortiz), 2-1
  3. Dwaynes First Perry (Ubaldo Luna), 20-1
  4. Agoutis Snowplow (Deamonte Chatman), 12-1
  5. Mr Desert Streak (Donell Blake), 5-1
  6. Jes a Spitfire (Jose Rodriguez), 6-1
  7. Jw Who Dat (Antonio Alberto), 5-2
  8. Zoomins Jewel (Donald Watson) 6-1

The $15,000 Marathon Stakes will run as the sixth race of the card, with an approximate post time of 3:00 pm (Central).

Road to Kentucky Handicapping Contest Begins on January 19.

Harrah’s Louisiana Downs will host an exciting on-track handicapping contest called the Road to Kentucky Handicapping Contest. It will begin on Saturday, January 19 with major stakes races and Kentucky Derby prep races featured each Saturday through May 4. Fans can register at the contest table adjacent to the program stand with weekly prizes awarded and points accumulated toward the $1,000 grand prize. For more information, CLCK HERE.

LQHBA Annual Stallion Service Auction

The Louisiana Quarter Horse Breeders Association (LQHBA) annual Stallion Service Auction kicked off on December 18 and will run through Wednesday, January 23 at 7:00 p.m. (CST). Online bidding is available for over 40 stallions based in Louisiana, including leading sire Heza Fast Dash, top 2018 freshman sire Five Bar Cartel, Game Patriot, Coronas Leaving You, Open Me A Corona, Mr Piloto and many more.

Fast N Famous Eagle, winner of last Saturday’s Harrah’s Dash, is also listed at an opening bid of $500. All minimum bids include farm/chute fees (if any). The price bid is the total price breeders will pay if they are the winning bidder.

Proceeds from the LQHBA Stallion Auction benefit the association's youth scholarship program. Since its inception in 2001, the LQHBA scholarship program has earmarked over $570,000 for Louisiana students to attend a higher education institution.

CLICK HERE to bid now.

For additional information contact the LQHBA office at (318) 487-9506 or visit the association website at

Louisiana Downs Dates and Post Times

The 2019 Quarter Horse racing season at Harrah’s Louisiana Downs got underway on Saturday, January 5. 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 16. Live racing will take place Saturday, Sunday, Monday and Tuesday with a 1:00 p.m. (Central) post time and will continue through March 20.

To see a complete list of race dates and post times, 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.

Courtesy Ses