News - Racing October  24, 2021

Mr Spud Takes Exciting Edition Of The Firecracker Futurity At Delta Downs

Mr Spud (inside), under jockey Everardo Rodriguez, defeating Rc Relentless in the $296,745 Firecracker Futurity(G2) Tuesday evening at Delta Downs.

© Coady Photography

VINTON, LA—JULY 20, 2021—Delta Downs hosted the richest open-bred stakes race of its American Quarter Horse season on Tuesday as Christopher A. Villatoro’s Mr Spud scored a thrilling win in the $296,745 Firecracker Futurity (G2). Mr Spud was ridden to victory by the track’s leading rider so far at the meet, Everardo Rodriguez.

Mr Spud, who came in the Firecracker Futurity as the sixth fastest qualifier, broke sharply from his inside post position and quickly went to the lead in the 350-yard affair for 2-year-olds.

The Rosendo Valdez, Jr. trainee appeared to be on his way to an easy win before Rc Relentless Grace appeared on the scene in the final 100 yards.

The effort by Rc Relentless Grace was valiant but it came up a neck short as the filly had to settle for second. The fastest qualifier for the race, Sunkissed Jess, wound up third, another half length behind the top pair.

The winning connections of Mr Spud accept the Firecracker Futurity(G2) stakes trophy Tuesday afternoon at Delta Downs. © Coady Photography
Mr Spud covered the distance of the Firecracker Futurity in a time of 17.646 seconds while running over a fast track. That time produced a speed index of 88.

Scoring his fourth win from just five career starts, Mr Spud has now earned a total of $174,821 after taking home $148,372 for his heroics in the Firecracker Futurity.

Bred in Texas by Randy King, Mr Spud is a bay gelding by champion sire The Louisiana Cartel, out of the Special Red Warrior mare Ace Winema. He was purchased for $7,200 by his current connections at the 2020 Heritage Place Mixed Sale.

Runner-up Rc Relentless Grace earned $50,447 for her second-place effort. Juan Diaz, Jr. conditions the daughter of a leading third-crop sire Hes Relentless for owner THKHE Racing LLC. Winless in five starts this season, the Texas-bred filly has finished on the board four times, including third in the Sam Houston Juvenile, and has earned $67,451.

Vista Equine Colorado, Inc. bred Rc Relentless Grace from the First Down Dash mare Le Mishka. Victor Urieta, Jr. was riding.

Sunkissed Jess, a Utah bred daughter of champion and a leading third-crop sire Kiss My Hocks, finished half-a-length back to earn $29,674 for owner Ruse Ranch LLC. Erika Huitron trains the $32,000 Heritage Place Yearling Sale graduate out of Jess A Swingin by Shazoom. It was the first loss in three starts this year for the Darian Burt bred 2-year-old. Ridden by Nestor Duran, Sunkissed Jess has earned $42,274.

Dispatched at odds of 3-1 by the race fans, Mr Spud paid $8.40 to win, $5.40 to place and $3.20 to show. Rc Relentless Grass was worth $9.60 to place and $5.20 to show. Sunkissed Jess returned $2.80 to show.

Just Call Me Jess, A Revenant Beau, Big Daddys Bac, Lucky Dice, Eyeonlouisianadash, Lethal Code and Koalition completed the field.

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Delta Downs’ race week will continue with live programs on Wednesday and Thursday this week. First post time each day is at 3 pm CT.

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