News - Racing October  17, 2021

The Cazador Returns Saturday to Win Mardi Gras Derby

Jockey John Hamilton pilots The Cazador to his first career stakes win in the Mardi Gras Derby(RG2) Saturday afternoon at Louisiana Downs.

© Hodges Photography

BOSSIER CITY, LA--MARCH 17, 2018--Fastest qualifier The Cazador returned to Louisiana Downs Saturday to defeat Featuring Fast Jess by three-quarters in the $87,506 Mardi Gras Derby(RG2). Gunna Be Alright finished one-length back in third.

The Cazador broke sharp under jockey John Hamilton to quickly clear the field in a game effort. He completed the 400 yards in :19.439 seconds, just missing the :19.4 track record while earning a 107-speed index.

"When youíre mounted like that, itís hard to get beat," Hamilton said following the win. "He makes you confident and might be the fastest gate horse Iíve ever ridden."

Michael Zingelmann saddled the lightly raced son of Sir Runaway Dash to his third win in six career starts for owner Rayne Knight. The 2018 Mardi Gras Derby winner earned $43,753 for the win.

The winning connections of The Cazador accept the Mardi Gras Derby stakes trophy at Louisiana Downs.
© Hodges Photography
"Itís a true team effort," Zingelmann said in the winner's enclosure. "He was great as a 2-year-old. He got a little shin sore, so we waited on him. Weíll go to Delta next. All I can say is that he is the coolest horse to be around!"

Zingelman and Curtis Crewnwelge bred The Cazador from the Toast To Dash mare Told Ya.

Runner-up Featuring Fast Jess, a finalist in the RG1 LQHBA Louisiana Million Futurity last fall, finished a game second under jockey Noe Castaneda. Trainer Eduardo Morales conditions the son of leading sire Heza Fast Dash from the Mr Jess Perry mare Featuringmissjess.

Jockey John Hamilton won his first stakes, since returning from an injury, aboard The Cazador Saturday at Louisiana Downs. © Hodges Photography
Bred by Jumonville Farms and Burnett Ranch the sorrel gelding earned $16,528 for second.

Third-place finisher, Gunna Be Alright, also a 3-year-old gelding by Heza Fast Dash, races for owner Maxxiprime Enterprises LLC. AQHA Racing Champion trainer Kenny Roberts saddled with jockey David Alvarez in the irons. Bred by Jo Baya Foreman, from the Streakin La Jolla mare Jj Streakin Illusion, Gunna Be Alright earned $9,722 for his effort.

The Cazador returned $12 for the win, $4.80 to place and $3.40 to show in his first stakes victory. Featuring Fast Jess returned $6.20 and $4 and Gunna Be Alright paid $3.60 to show.

Cos I Get It, Jrs Taylors Runnaway and Jet Black Secret completed the field.

A Canadian Chill, Heza Jess Cuervo, Storm Patriot and Tf El Whiskey were all scratched by the stewards prior to the race.

Courtesy Ses