Harrah’s Louisiana Downs is one month into its 46-day meet and will present two Quarter Horse stakes on the Saturday, January 28th card.
The first stakes, the $25,000 Party Girl Stakes drew a field of eight Louisiana-bred fillies and mares. Morning-line favoritism goes to Poonies Perfect Jet, a 4-year-old Jet Black Patriot filly trained by Kenneth Roberts, Sr. Jockey Donell Blake has the call in the 350-yard sprint. Handicappers know and respect his skills riding the “hook”, but Blake is committed to riding shorter distances this year in hopes of getting a viable futurity or derby mount in one of the four Louisiana racing seasons. Roberts will also saddle another daughter of Jet Black Patriot, Jet Black Presence, who will break from the rail under Donald Watston. Rbd Jessaswingin, a 5-year-old Swingin Jess mare trained by Yoani Abreu, is stakes-placed and will be ridden from post seven by Alfonso Lujan.
Another 350-yard stakes, the $15,000 Swift Stakes, will be run as the sixth race on the Saturday afternoon card. Jess Bein The Hero, trained by Miguel Rodriguez, begins his 4-year-old campaign with rider Santiago Mendez in the irons. He exits a solid runner-up finish to multiple-stakes winner Ivan James in the Evangeline Downs Derby on December 17 at Evangeline Downs. Running Game Patriot will break from post position three under “Jimmy” Guynes. He is one of several horses trained by Texan Brian Stroud this meet at Louisiana Downs. Stroud is best known for JRC Callas First, who was named AQHA world champion in 2014 and honored this month as an AQHA Supreme Horse. The competitive field also includes Specials Jess, a 5-year-old Spit Curl Jess gelding trained by Eusevio Huitron. His best finish was a victory in the $70,000 Boyd Morris Memorial Handicap for Oklahoma-breds at Remington Park. Cesar Gomez will ride Specials Jess from post 8.
Live racing at Louisiana Downs takes place Saturday, Sunday, Monday and Tuesday at 1 pm. Current leaders include jockey Everardo Rodriguez, who has 14 wins to date and is hitting the board at a very rewarding stat of 60%. Damian Martinez is second and veteran rider Alfonso Lujan is third. Three trainers, Orlando Orozco, Martin Trejo and Carlos Saldivar are tied in the trainer standings with six wins each.
The Louisiana Downs meet continues through March 22.