News - Racing December  5, 2023

Lil Longmire Takes $177,045 Grade 3 Firecracker Derby At Delta Downs

Lil Longmire, under jockey Gilbert Ortiz, winning the Grade 3 $177,045 Firecracker Derby at Delta Downs Friday.

Coady Photography

VINTON, LA–JULY 8, 2022–Delta Downs hosted a pair of graded stakes events on Friday night headed by the $177,045 Firecracker Derby (G3) for 3-year-olds as well as the $32,400 Develop a Plan Stakes (G3) (see related story) for 3-year-olds and up.

The Firecracker Derby was won by Ben Peterson’s Lil Longmire under jockey Gilbert Ortiz, who had a riding double on the program. The winner is trained by Heath Taylor.

Breaking from the outside post in a field of 10, Lil Longmire rallied late in the 400-yard showdown and defeated Swags by 1-1/2 lengths for the victory. Rf Fearless Jet came up the rail to finish third, another nose behind the runner up.

Lil Longmire covered the distance in a time of :19.823 seconds, which earned her a speed index of 91.

Lil Longmire came into the Firecracker Derby final as the seventh fastest qualifier but proved best while winning the sixth race of her 10-race career. She snared another $88,522 for the victory and now boasts a career bankroll of $204,553.

The winning connections of Lil Longmire accept the Firecracker Derby stakes trophy Friday night at Delta Downs. © Coady Photography

Bred in Utah by Spencer Peterson, Lil Longmire is a 3-year-old bay filly by leading second-crop sire A Revenant, out of the Carters Cartel mare Dee Zired.

Runner-up Swags races for owner Luciano Gutierrez, IV and is trained by Erika Huitron. Javier Garcia had the riding call aboard the Kiss My Hocks colt form the Separatist mare Check The Account.  Haskell Evans bred SwHayags in Oklahoma. He picked up $30,098 to increase his earnings to $64,340.

Vann Haywood conditions third-place finisher Rf Fearless Jet for owner-breeder Rogers Farms. Randy Edison rode the Jet Black Patriot Louisiana-bred from the Corona Cartel mare Fearona. Rf Fearless Jess picked up $17,703 for the effort to nearly double his earnings total to $37,924.

Ultimo Alex, Apollitical Crystal, Just Call Me Jess, No Secret Knockout, Heza Coco Pata, Patriot Fireworks and Cottonpickintrain completed the field.

Sent to the gate at odds of 6-5, Lil Longmire paid $4.60 to win, $3.20 to place and $2.60 to show. Swags was worth $11.80 to place and $4.40 to show. Rf Fearless Jet returned $13.20 to show.

Delta Downs will close out its race week on Saturday night with another nine-race program. The featured event will be the $305,865 Firecracker Futurity (G2). First post time is set for 6:15 pm. (CDT).

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

About Delta Downs
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.

Delta Downs will conduct its ninth week of Quarter Horse racing next Wednesday through Saturday. First post time each evening will be at 6:15 pm. The week will include the Vals Fortune/Teddy Abrams Memorial Stakes race on Wednesday, trials for this year’s Delta Downs Derby on Thursday, and trails for the season’s richest race, the Lee Berwick Futurity, on Friday and Saturday nights.

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


Courtesy Ses