News - Racing September  27, 2023

Denalia Sweet Jess Cruises To Fastest Time In The Evangeline Downs Derby Trials

Denalia Sweet Jess, under jockey Everardo Rodriguez, posted the fastest time for the $153,360 Evangeline Downs Derby off a 2-˝ length trial win Saturday night at Evangeline Downs.

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OPELOUSAS, LA—DECEMBER 3, 2021—Saturday night at Evangeline Downs featured six trials for the $153,360 Evangeline Downs Derby. The finals will be contested on Saturday, December 30.

The fastest qualifier for the Evangeline Downs Derby was Jose Rodriguez’s Denalia Sweet Jess. Jockey Everardo Rodriguez had Denalia Sweet Jess away in good order and quickly asserted command in the fourth trial of the evening.

The Rosendo Valdez, Jr. trainee was stepping clear with every stride and finished 2-˝ lengths clear of his nearest rival. Covering the distance of 400 yards in a time of 19.653 seconds, Denalia Sweet Jess earned a speed index of 94.

Trainer Rosendo Valdez, Jr. qualified three runners for the final, including the two fastest runners, Denalia Sweet Jess and Tmf Rogue Runner.

The win by Denalia Sweet Jess was the fourth of his career from six starts and earned the runner $3,000. His lifetime bankroll now stands at $78,633.

Bred in Louisiana by Russell Mowad, Denalia Sweet Jess is a 3-year-old colt by One Sweet Jess, out of the Chicks Beduino mare Denali Chick. He was purchased at the 2019 Louisiana Quarter Horse Breeders Association Yearling Sale for $9,000.

Tmf Rogue Runner defeated fellow qualifier Blame The Fed by a head in the second trial to set the second fastest time of :19.717 seconds, a 92 speed index. It was the second win in as many starts for the son of multiple stakes sire Five Bar Cartel.

Also trained by Valdez, Jr., and ridden Rodriguez the sorrel gelding races for owner Margarito Sanchez Ibarra. Triple M Farms LLC bred Tmf Rogue Runner from the Heza Fast Dash mare Jess A Rogue. The Louisiana-bred has earned $35,540 off four win in nine career starts.

For the complete list of the Evangeline Downs Derby qualifiers with times, sires, dams, owners, breeders, trainers and jockeys CLICK HERE.

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For more information on the American Quarter Horse season at Evangeline Downs, visit the track's website at Evangeline Downs' Twitter handle is @EVDRacing and the racetrack is also accessible on Facebook at

About Evangeline Downs
Evangeline Downs Racetrack Casino and Hotel, a property of Boyd Gaming Corporation (NYSE:BYD), features exciting casino action, live horse racing and fun dining experiences. Evangeline Downs is located in Opelousas, Louisiana, off I-49 on Cresswell Lane at Exit 18.

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