Delta quarter horse season underway

String King

The 2015 quarter horse season is officially underway at nearby Delta Downs in Vinton, La. The 46-day program began April 22 and will go through Saturday, July 11. The live racing schedule is Wednesday-Saturday with a first race post time of 6:15 p.m.

The card Thursday, April 23, will feature the $25,000 Delta Dash for older horses running a short distance of 250 yards.

The field, including post position, morning line odds, jockey and trainer, is 1 – Voncitas Game (6/1, Gilbert Ortiz, Edwin Ladner), 2 – Imkeepingscore (8/1, Joe Badilla Jr., Carlos Salvidar), 3 – Catchafasttrain (30/1, John Hamilton, Rodolfo Sanchez) 4 – Mr Smokey Stover (12/1, Raul Ramirez Jr., Carlos Saldivar), 5 – Cartel Arrangement (5/2, Martin Rubalcava, Carlos Salvidar), 6 – Mon Ti Dash (9/5, Alfonso Lujan, Bobby Martinez), 7 – Jes Ownt To (10/1, Danny Lavergne, Adrian Huitron), and 8 – Rosouti (4/1, David Alvarez, Martin Trejo).

The favorite is Mon Ti Dash, a 4-year-old California bred who last ran fifth in the Grade 1, $1.9 million All American Derby in August 2014 at Ruidoso Downs in New Mexico.

Long layoffs aren’t as much of a big deal in quarter horse racing as in thoroughbreds because the distances are so short. If you are looking for an upset, try playing the 8 – Rosouti.

Friday, April 24, the first trials of the season will take place as more than 100 runners in 13 races try to earn a spot in the Louisiana Laddie Futurity where 2-year-old Louisiana bred fillies compete at 330 yards. The 10 fastest times will advance to the finals, which will be held Friday, May 15.

A few horses to keep an eye on for Friday come in Race 1 with the 4 – Openmeanothercorona; Race 2 with the 1 – JB Red Scorpion and the 9 – Ms Stoli; Race 3 with the 5 – It’s a Storm Warning; Race 4 with 7 – Carry On Game; Race 5 with 6 – Jet Fast Perry, 8 – Jet Black Rogue and 9 – Hail With Stoli; Race 6 with 1 – La Jolla Fantasy, 4 – First Class Game and 6 – Chloes Fortune; Race 7 with 7 – My Louisiana Game and 9 – Mia Gouti; Race 8 with 3 – Coronas Mate; Race 9 with 3 – One Tough Fox, 6 – Jessa Louisiana Zoom, 8 – Miss Stoli Fast, who was purchased for $120,000, and 10 – Telarosa; Race 10 with 2 – Sheza Fast Mom, 4 – EZ Fortune and 10 – Jetz a Streakin; Race 11 with 4 – TK Way Best, 5 – Miss Bad Kitty B, 6 – Game Lucy, 7 – Punctuality, 9 – Dagouti; Race 12 with 5 – Cowgirl Game; and Race 13 with 3 – Tellem Shes Game and 10 – LD Stoli Valentine.

Saturday, 14 trials will be held for the Louisiana Laddie Futurity with finals being contested on Saturday, May 16.

Evangeline Downs

Over at Delta Downs’ sister track in Opelousas, which is north of Lafayette, the first stakes race of the thoroughbred season will come Friday, April 24, with the $60,000 Matron Stakes for older open bred fillies and mares going 1 mile on the turf.

The 7/2 morning line favorite is 8 – Treaty Oak with leading rider Colby Hernandez riding for trainer Al Stall. The Kentucky bred filly is 3-15 lifetime but all three wins have been on the turf with no stakes, but she has raced at Keeneland, Churchill and Saratoga.

The horse who should have been the favorite is the 12 – Tensas Harbor, who is a multiple stakes winner with earnings over $479,000 for trainer Keith Desormeaux. The Louisiana bred runner comes back to Evangeline after winning the $60,000 Red Camela Stakes at the Fair Grounds.

Saturday, April 25, the $60,000 John Henry Stakes will be contested on the turf at 1 1/16 miles. The favorite will be Grade 3, $125,000 Colonel E.R. Bradley Handicap winner String King.