News - Racing October  17, 2021

Tdz Louisiana Toast Sets Fastest Qualifying Time For $120,782 Mardi Gras Derby at Louisiana Downs

Tdz Louisiana Toast, under jockey Manuel Gutierrez, setting the fastest qualifying time for the $120,782 Mardi Gras Derby Sunday afternoon at Louisiana Downs.

© Hodges Photography / Ann Switalski

BOSSIER CITY, LA—FEBRUARY 24, 2019—Perfect weather set the stage for Sunday’s seven trials for the $120,782 Mardi Gras Derby and there were several impressive performances at the distance of 400 yards.

Tdz Louisiana Toast won the third trial in a blazing :19.565 seconds for owner Juan F. Martinez and trainer Josue Ponce. Jockey Manuel Gutierrez had the return call aboard the son of Jess Louisiana Blue out of the Toast to Dash mare Shes a Royal Toast.

This was the fifth win from 11 starts for the gelding who ran second in the $100,000 Louisiana Champions Day Juvenile at Fair Grounds on December 8, and was the runner-up in the Billy Montgomery Stakes here on January 19.

”We know he loves the distance and were just hoping for a good break,” said Ponce, who became his conditioner during the 2018 Delta Downs meet. “Manny told me he didn’t have to ask him, so we did our jobs. He’ll go back to the farm and come back about three days before the final.”

Adame Racing LLC’s Appolitical Black ran second to Tdz Louisiana Toast, setting the second-fastest time of :19.860 seconds under leading Louisiana Downs jockey Everardo Rodriguez. The colt by Jet Black Patriot, out of I Jess Wear Nike by leading sire Appolitical Jess, had not run since finishing seventh in the $700,000 Lee Berwick Futurity (RG1) on July 7 at Delta Downs.

Achievopiloto (#7) holds off fellow qualifier Heza Mad e Man (#1). In the fifth trial on Sunday at Louisiana Downs.
© Hodges Photography / Ann Switalski
”He had chips in his knees and we sent him to Dr. Tommy Hays for surgery,” explained his conditioner Martin Trejo. “He was off for four months, but began training very well. I asked the owners if they wanted to run him in the Mardi Gras trials or wait until the Delta Downs Derby. He’s a pretty good horse and we were very happy with his comeback.”

Achievopiloto won the fifth trial to set the third-fastest clocking of :19.927 seconds. Rolando Cabrera rode the son of Mr Piloto, who was bred by AQHA Champion breeder, Grant Farms.

Owned by Rancho Herrandura, LLC, he was purchased for $11,000 at the LQHBA Yearling Sale. Trained by Barbara Alcantara, he made his first start at Louisiana Downs and competed in trials for both the Laddie and Lee Berwick Futurity before qualifying to the LQHBA Louisiana Million. He ran fourth in the state’s richest quarter horse championship. The sorrel gelding is out of the Achievement mare Achieve The Splash. He has earned nearly $71,000.

Joe M. Davis led all trainers with three qualifiers to the March 16 final. He saddled 5th fastest Royal Renegade, 6th fastest the aforementioned Heza Made Man and 8th fastest Tan Jet.

Jet Black Patriot led all sires with three qualifier while Heza Fast Dash got two.

According to the Louisiana Quarter Horse Breeders Association (LQHBA), this year’s purse is the highest in the history of the race. Last year, The Cazador won the $87,506 Mardi Gras Derby, so this is a marked increase for the first major race for 3-year-old Louisiana-breds.

For a complete list of Mardi Gras Derby qualifiers, with their times, sires, dams, owners, breeders, trainers and jockeys CLICK HERE.

Two LQHBA Scholarships to be Awarded on Saturday, March 16 In addition to the final of the Mardi Gras Futurity and Mardi Gras Derby on Saturday March 16 at Harrah’s Louisiana Downs, the LQHBA will award two (2) $2,000 scholarships to eligible Louisiana students.

The LQHBA Scholarship Fund was the vision of the late Jim Mitchell and Executive Director Emeritus Leverne Perry, and is supported strongly by the LQHBA and its board members. Over $550,000, has been earmarked for this program since its inception in 2001. For more information on the LQHBA Scholarship Fund, visit

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

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