News - Racing October  26, 2021

Jess U R Blue Keeps Win Streak Alive in $123,790 Mardi Gras Derby at Harrah's Louisiana Downs

Jess U R Blue (#2), under jockey Luis Vivanco, winning the $123,790 Mardi Gras Derby at Harrah's Louisiana Downs Saturday.

© Hodges Photography / Ann Switalski

BOSSIER CITY, LA—MARCH 14, 2020—The $123,790 Mardi Gras Derby for accredited Louisiana-breds featured the top ten qualifiers from six trials run on February 23.

The trophy went to fastest qualifier, Jess U R Blue, who led in gate to wire fashion, surging to the wire of the 400 yard final in :19.803 seconds, equaling a 94 speed index into a 12 mph headwind, for owner Jose U. Oviedo and trainer Fernando Lopez.

Jockey Luis Vivanco had return call aboard the son of Jess Louisiana Blue out of the Walk Thru Fire mare. The $7,000 LQHBA Yearling Sale graduate is now undefeated with five wins, beginning on November 7 at Evangeline Downs.

LQHBA Executive Director Bruce Salard (left) presents the winning connections of Jess Ur Blue accept the Mardi Gras Derby stakes trophy Saturday at Harrah's Louisiana Downs. © Hodges Photography / Ann Switalski
This was the fourth stakes win for Lopez.

“There are no words; I’m speechless,” said Lopez. “The horse is very good; we took the time with him as a 2-year-old and the results speak for themselves.

Bred by Jumonville Farms, Jess U R Blue is out of the Walk Thru Fire mare U R Blue. Undefeated five career starts Jess U R Blue ($6.80) earned $55,706, increasing his lifetime bankroll to $83,306. Lopez reported that he is paid into the Delta Downs Derby.

Leavin You Blue, under leading rider Ricardo Hernandez, Jr., earned $21,045 for finishing second. Katie Carlos saddled the Coronas Leaving You gelding for owners Tyler Graham and Diana Brandon. Kenneth Garcia bred the chestnut gelding from the Jess Louisiana Blue mare The coloroftheblues. A finalist in the LQHBA Louisiana Million Futurity(G1) last fall, Leavin You Blue has earned $82,625.

Patriot On Ice completed the trifecta with Francicso Calderon in the saddle for owner Rogelio Marquesz, Jr. and trainer Alberto Solis. Bred by Jordan Bertrand, the son of Jet Black Patriot earned $12,380 for his effort. Winner of the Billy Montgomery Stakes in January, he is out of the Azoom mare Zooming On Ice and has earned $71,910. Lto Thumbs Up, Fast Black Hunter, Sir Runaway Cash, A Quick Jewel, Swamp Cartel, Ms Diamond Prize and Swamp Eagle completed the order of finish.

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According to the Louisiana Quarter Horse Breeders Association (LQHBA), this year’s purse is the highest in the history of the race. Last year, fastest Qualifier Tdz Louisiana Toast won the final with a purse of $120,782; in 2018, The Cazador was the champion of the $87,506 Mardi Gras Derby.

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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