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$382,658 Mardi Gras Futurity (RG2) Set For Sunday at Louisiana Downs


Louisiana Downs will host the $382,658 Mardi Gras Futurity (RG2) on Sunday's race card.

Hodges Photography / Ann Switalski

BOSSIER CITY, LA—MARCH 22, 2022—An exceptional afternoon of Quarter Horse racing is set for Sunday, March 27 at Louisiana Downs. The seven-race card gets underway at 1:00 p.m. (Central) and will be highlighted by the first "official" futurity in Louisiana of the year, the $382,658 Mardi Gras Futurity (RG2).

Jess Sea Louisiana, a $30,000 LQHBA Sale graduate, has been installed as the 8-5 morning-line favorite. Bred by Jon and Donna McPherson of Alexandria, who own Grant Farms, LLC, the son of champion sire The Louisiana Cartel is out of the winning Mr Jess Perry mare Jess Sea, a half-sister to World Champion Waver Carver and three-time Champion Ocean Runaway.

The brown gelding is owned by Eleazar Martinez, Sr. and trained by Raul Galvan. Jockey Luis Vivanco won his 300-yard trial in :15.732 seconds, into a 15 mph headwind. This would be the first Mardi Gras Futurity win for Galvan, whose top performer to date was Cruzin Cartel, winner of the 2020 TQHA Sale Futurity.

"He broke very well in his trial," said Galvan of Jess Sea Louisiana. "It was very windy, but Luis was pleased with the way he finished. He came out of the race well and we like our draw. He will break  from post position five for the final; not much different from the four hole in the trial."

Jess Sea Louisiana, under jockey Luis Vivanco, setting the fastest qualifying time on Day 2 of the Mardi Gars Futurity trials at Louisiana Downs Sunday. © Hodges Photography / Ann Switalski

Adame and Trejo Racing Team’s Toast To Blue will break from post position  seven as the 4-1 second choice. He finished in a dead-heat with Mrs Kennedy Tlc in their  trial, both clocked in :15.905 seconds as they faced a 20 mph head wind.

Trainer Martin Trejo co-owns the son of Jess Louisiana Blue out of the stakes winning Toast To Dash mare Sante Mon Amie, who won the 2010 Mardi Gras Futurity(RG2). Trejo spotted the sorrel colt in last year’s LQHBA Yearling Sale and had no qualms about the $22,000 purchase.

"I liked his pedigree and he has been a pleasure to train," said Trejo. "He ran very well in the schooling races (on February 12) and showed even more in his trial. He’s a stud colt, but seems more like a 5-year-old. Everardo knows him well and we are thrilled with his draw"

Mrs Kennedy Tlc (#2) and Toast To Blue (#3) dead-heat in their qualifying trial. © Hodges Photography / Ann Switalski

A victory by Toast to Blue would give Trejo his second win in the Mardi Gras Futurity; he won in 2015 with Magic Black Jack.

Mrs Kennedy Tlc, is a filly by The Louisiana Cartel out of the Louisiana Senator mare  Time For The Senator. She was bred by Jorge Haddad, whose homebred Ultimo Alex was the fastest qualifier in the 2021 Mardi Gras Futurity. Purchased for $6,500 in the LQHBA Yearling Sale by owner  Eduardo Lopez, she will be ridden by Arturo Alvarez.

Trainer Barbara Ball will saddle Mrs Kennedy Tlc and Rh Querido Ruperto, a son of All American Futurity(G1) winner Mr Piloto, who is owned and bred by Rancho Herradura LLC. Jockey Guadalupe Lucio, Jr. has the return call aboard the sorrel gelding  out of the Tinys First Corona mare Tinys First Velocity,

The Mardi Gras Futurity has featured more than a few longshot winners as other than schooling races and trials on March 5 and 6, these are all very lightly raced juveniles. Last year’s champion Kk Sandra Patriot broke her maiden at odds of 14-1.

Her dam, Sandra Sue Blue lit up the toteboard with a $69 win payout in 2013 and Blue Eyed Fance was dismissed by the betting public at odds of 15-1 in 2017. The last favorite to prevail was El Camino Cl in 2020.

Trainer Jose Carrizales, a two-time leading trainer at Louisiana Downs, is hoping that TTT Ivan Power joins that list. Owned by Jorge Meraz, the son of third-crop sire Ivan James ran second in his trial, qualifying with a clocking of :15.873 seconds. He was a private purchase from breeder Rickey Thompson and Carrizales looks for a good effort with Ricardo Hernandez, Jr. in the saddle.

"He’s a talented colt and has done everything right so far," said Carrizales. "I’ve had my best success with fillies (Ss Classyjess, who has earned over $435,000) and One Sweet Filly ( a finalist in the 2021 Mardi Gras Derby.  If I were fortunate enough to win the Mardi Gras Futurity, you can be sure I will do a back flip in the winner’s circle!"

Since its first running in 1988, the Mardi Gras Futurity launched the career of many of Louisiana’s most renown Quarter Horse champions. Vals Fortune won the 2003 edition of the Mardi Gras Futurity for owner Teddy Abrams, Jr. and trainer Heath Taylor. The striking chestnut went on to win 20 of his 23 starts, becoming the first Louisiana-bred millionaire.

Five years later, Jet Black Patriot, bred and owned by Richard and Janelle Simon, stamped his name in the record books, winning the Mardi Gras, Lee Berwick and LQHBA Breeders Futurity prior to running second in the prestigious All American Futurity (G1) at Ruidoso Downs.

The $382,658 Mardi Gras Futurity (RG2) will run as the sixth race on the card, with an approximate post time of 3:00 pm (Central. The champion will receive a check in the amount of $172,196. Here is the field, in post-position order, including jockey assignments and odds:

  1. Jeg Fascination (Rodrigo Vallejo), 12-1
  2. Rh Querido Ruperto (Guadalupe Lucio, Jr), 8-1
  3. Mrs Kennedy Tlc (Arturo Alvarez), 9-2
  4. TTT Ivan Power (Ricardo Hernandez, Jr), 15-1
  5. Jess Sea Louisiana (Luis Vivanco), 8-5
  6. Jrs Tonvas Majestic (Raul Ramirez, Jr), 15-1
  7. Toast to Blue (Everardo Rodriguez), 4-1
  8. Onemorewildtrain (Juan Garcia, Jr.), 10-1
  9. Little Bill Daggett (Rolando Cabrera), 20-1
  10. Louisiana Freight (Heriberto Aguilar-Orozco) 10-1

Five horses that qualified in the March 5-6 trials will not run back in Sunday's final due to supposed bad tests. Five horses moved up from the original qualifying list(s) to replace them.

Mardi Gras Handicapping Seminar Begins at Noon on Sunday, March 27

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, March 27

Breeding and racing are certainly top priorities for the Louisiana Quarter Horse Breeders Association (LQHBA), but one very important goal of the association is to promote education for Louisiana youth.  Since 2001, the LQHBA scholarship program has granted over $700,000 for students attending a higher education institution.

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. 

For more information on the LQHBA Scholarship Program and eligibility requirements, visit LQHBA.com or call the LQHBA office in Alexandria at (318) 487-9506.

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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