News - Racing October  26, 2021

LQHBA Yearling Graduate Hh Gailforce Gets Up To Win $305,296 Mardi Gras Futurity at Louisiana Downs

Hh Gailforce (#4) gets up in a blanket finish over Tf Shez Jess Dashin (#2) and Patriot On Ice (#5) in Saturday's $305,296 Mardi Gras Futurity (RG2) at Harrah’s Louisiana Downs.

© Hodges Photography / Ann Switalski

BOSSIER CITY, LA—MARCH 16, 2019— A solid field of accredited Louisiana-bred 2-year-olds put on a very entertaining show in the first "official" futurity of the year, the $305,296 Mardi Gras Futurity (RG2) today at Harrah’s Louisiana Downs.

Hh Gailforce, the third-fastest qualifier, scored a mild upset over fastest qualifier Tf Shez Jess Dashin and was greeted in the winner’s circle by a very happy group of owners! Egoizzta Partnership consists of Juan, Joel and Jose Cantu as well as Eric Hinojosa.

They made the trip to Louisiana last year and purchased the filly for $12,000 in the 2018 LQHBA Yearling Sale. The daughter of Freighttrain B, out of the First Prize Perry mare Open My Prize, a half-sister to champion Open Me A Corona, is trained by Joel Cantu. The January 11th foal was bred by Harvey Hayes.

"It’s a partnership with my brothers and cousin," explained trainer Joel Cantu. "At the LQHBA Sale, we didn’t know what to buy; there were so many horses! We looked at the pedigree and the mare is a sister to Open Me A Corona. It was a big race for us and Luciano!"

Duenez guided the filly to her trial win on February 23 and felt that she improved today, surging to the wire of the 300-yard final in a final time of 15.399 seconds over the fast main track.

"In the trial, she ran a little green," said Duenez. "This is a biggest futurity of my career."

The winning connections of Hh Galeforce accept the Mardi Gras Futurity(RG2) stakes trophy Saturday at Louisiana Downs. © Hodges Photography / Ann Switalski
Sent off at odds of 7-1, Hh Gailforce returned $16.20 for the win, and picked up a check for $137,384 in her second career start. Cantu reported that she is paid into both the Lassie and Lee Berwick Futurities at Delta Downs, but will wait to see how she comes out of today’s championship before confirming her next start.

Fastest qualifier Tf Shez Jess Dashin put in a late effort under jockey Everardo Rodriguez to finish second. The $38,000 LQHBA Yearling Sale graduate returned $51,901 for his owner Down South Racing LLC. Bred by Tate Farms, the gray daughter of multiple stakes sire Sir Runaway Dash is out of the Mr Jess Perry mare Jess Ought To Go Now. Ned Goutierrez, III is the trainer.

Third-place finisher Patriot On Ice races for owner Rogelio Marque, Jr., who will be honored as the 2018 LQHBA Champion Owner next month, and trainer Alberto Solis. The $9,200 LQHBA Sale graduate is by leading Louisiana sire Jet Black Patriot from the Azoom mare Zooming On Ice. Ridden by jockey J.R. Ramirez, the sorrel gelding earned $30,530 for his effort.

Heza Fast Train, also sired by Freighttrain Be, completed the superfecta with Manuel Gutierrez picking up the mount for owner Juan F. Martinez, who owns Tdz Louisiana Toast, winner of the Mardi Gras Derby earlier on the card.

Streakin Fast Rogue, Escandalo, Jj Jess an Meteoritem Jrs Sir Pop a Top, Jrs Duel Fantasy and Mr Achievement B completed the order of finish.

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

Since its first running in 1988, the Mardi Gras Futurity launched the career of many of Louisiana’s greatest Quarter Horse champions. Vals Fortune won the 2003 edition of the Mardi Gras Futurity and the Heath Taylor trainee 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, with a runner-up finish in the All American Futurity (G1) at Ruidoso Downs as well.

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

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