News - Racing October  24, 2021

Hes Innocent Scores Firecracker Double With Derby Win At Delta Downs Monday

Hes Innocent, under jockey David Alvarez, cruises to an easy win in the $196,995 Firecracker Derby(G3) on Monday at Delta Downs.

© Coady Photography

VINTON, LA—JULY 19, 2021—Delta Downs hosted the $196,995 Firecracker Derby (G3) on Monday and race was won by Priscilla Rodriguez’s Hes Innocent, who was ridden to victory by jockey David Alvarez.

The Martin Trejo trainee swept the Firecracker series of races as he also took the Firecracker Futurity (G2) as a 2-year-old in 2020.

Breaking from post five in a full field of 10 for the Firecracker Derby, Hes Innocent took the lead early before separating himself from his rivals with 100 yards to go in the 400-yard test. During the final stages the brown runner drifted inward a bit but was never threatened and reported home by one length to the good of Pops First Lady, who finished a game second. Fastest qualifier and race favorite Dirtwater Dash hesitated a bit at the start and would up another head behind the runner-up in third.

Hes Innocent covered the distance of the Firecracker Derby in a time of 19.786 seconds, which equaled a speed index of 91. The race was contested over a track that was sealed and muddy.

The win by Hes Innocent marked the sixth tally of his eight-race career. He earned $98,497 for the effort on Monday and now owns a career bankroll of $327,107.

Bred in Oklahoma by Debbie Strebig, Hes Innocent is a 3-year-old colt by Hes Relentless out of the Volcom mare End of Innocence. He was purchased for $22,000 at the Heritage Place Mixed Sale in 2019.

Sent to the gate at odds of 9-2 by the wagering public, Hes Innocent paid $11.20 to win, $6.40 to place and $3.60 to show. Pops First Lady was worth $6.60 to place and $3.40 to show. Dirtwater Dash returned $2.20 to show.

Runner-up Pops First Lady races for owner CT Racing Stables and is conditioned by trainer Eric Long. The daughter of leading sire Apollitical Jess was bred in Texas by Gary Kurz and Double M Racing.

Jockey Luis Vivanco had the riding all aboard the sorrel filly from the Shazoom mare Shazooms Pop Pop. A finalist in the Dash For Cash Futurity(G2) last season, Pops First Lady picked up $33,489 for her effort to bring her earnings total to $79,224.

Fastest qualifier Dirtwater Dash earned $19,699 for his third-place effort. Trainer Rosendo Valdez Jr. saddled the Louisiana-bred son of Sir Runaway Dash for owner Rosendo Valdez. Everardo Rodriguez road the gray gelding out of Dashing Kate Perry by Dashin Bye. Bred by Michael Carlton Dirtwater Dash won the Delta 550 Stakes on May 24th. He has earned $67,638.

Completing the Firecracker Derby field were Sirprince Knockout, Diane To Be A Hero, Fear The Dragon, Synergized, Kk Blue Wagon, Hennessy XO and Lucchesse.

Delta Downs’ race week will continue Tuesday through Thursday with first post time each day at 3 pm Central Time. The featured race on Tuesday’s card is the $296,745 Firecracker Futurity (G2) going as the eighth event on the nine-race card. It is the richest open-bred race of the season.

For more information about the season visit the track’s website at

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Delta Downs’ final three weeks of live American Quarter Horse Racing will begin on Monday. The track will conduct programs on a Monday through Thursday schedule for the next two weeks. The final week of racing will see live cards on Monday through Wednesday, July 26 – 28 before closing night, Saturday, July 31. First post time each day is at 3 pm CD.

For more information about the season visit the track’s website at

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Delta Downs Racetrack Casino and Hotel, a property of Boyd Gaming Corporation (NYSE:BYD), features exciting casino action, live horse racing and fun dining experiences. Delta Downs is located in Vinton, Louisiana, on Delta Downs Drive. From Lake Charles, take Exit 7 and from Texas, take Exit 4.

Courtesy Ses