$15,000 Harrah’s Dash Highlights Opening Day Card
Bossier City, LA – The 2019 Quarter Horse racing season at Harrah’s Louisiana Downs will commence on Saturday, January 5. The 46-day meet runs through March 20 with live action set for Saturday, Sunday, Monday and Tuesday with a 1:00 p.m. (Central) post time.
Jockey Luis Vivanco Finishes out the Year as the Top Jockey in the Country by Wins
Jockey Luis Vivanco returns to Louisiana Downs off a record year that began here last January. Riding full-time on the Louisiana circuit proved to be a perfect fit for the 36-year-old who was born in Veracruz, Mexico and began riding in the United States in 2007. He won 127 races to finish the year as the top North American Quarter Horse jockey in wins and will likely be a finalist for 2018 AQHA Champion Jockey, along with Raul Ramirez, Jr.; Ricky Ramirez and Cody Jensen.
With support of many horsemen he had ridden for in Texas and the established Louisiana connections of agent Cynthia Menard, Vivanco began 2018 at Harrah’s Louisiana Downs, finishing ranked fifth with 12 wins and a respectable 48% in the money statistic.
Vivanco rode several horses for trainer Miguel Rodriguez at Louisiana Downs, running second in the $294,942 Mardi Gras Futurity (RG2) aboard TDZ Louisiana Toast.
“He’s very dedicated and down to earth,” stated Rodriguez. “Luis is willing to do whatever is asked. It’s no surprise to me that he is having the success in Louisiana. He’s very hard working; a family man and nice person.”
Vivanco faced an ultra-competitive jockey colony at Delta Downs with hopes of finishing in the top ten in the standings. He surpassed that goal significantly, challenging perennial leader John Hamilton to the wire, finishing the 46-day meet with a record of 40 wins from 216 starters, just four behind Hamilton.
Next came Fair Grounds, where Vivanco won 11 races in the ten-day season, again, finishing one win behind Hamilton.
However, he soared to his highest level at Evangeline Downs, winning the LQHBA Louisiana Million aboard Larry Boudreaux’s Mpshinning. He concluded the meet with 35 victories and tied Hamilton for leading rider honors.
“Luis is very professional,” explained trainer Josue Huitron, trainer of Mpshinning. “He works hard for us in the morning and always tries his best to win each race. We work well together.”
Vivanco and his wife, Elizabeth, have two children, Lorena, 6, and four-year-old Jesus. Home is in San Antonio, which requires a lot of time on the road as he commutes back and forth to Louisiana. His love for his wife and children provide the incentive on those long hours behind the wheel.
“It is hard on my family, but I never thought at the beginning of the year that I would find this kind of success here in Louisiana,” said Vivanco. “It’s been a dream come true and I am very grateful.”
It was also an exceptional year for Huitron, who won the Lassie and Lee Berwick Futurities at Delta Downs in addition to the LQHBA Louisiana Million at Evangeline Downs. The 26-year-old horseman has 35 horses at Louisiana Downs.
Stake Winner Globito Tops Full Field in the $15,000 Harrah’s Dash
A field of ten quality sprinters will compete in Saturday’s $15,000 Harrah’s Dash, the first stakes of the live racing season.
Isabel Huitron’s Globito is the 9-5 morning line choice in the 250-yard feature. Trained by Josue Huitron, the 4-year-old son of Pappasito has won 8 of his 12 career efforts, including a victory in the $20,000 Evangeline Downs Dash on October 5. His most recent win came at Zia Park on December 19 when he set a new track record for the distance of 100 yards, crossing the wire in a blazing :6.446 seconds. The Texas-bred drew the rail post and will be ridden by Luis Vivanco.
“He always breaks well; that’s why he runs so well at short distances, said Huitron. “The post doesn’t make a difference; he runs hard and has beaten some very good horses.”
The high-earner in the field is Three Bar Cartel who has banked $227,910 in his 12 starts for owner Ruben Garcia Montemayor. The 4-year-old, sired by Capo de Capi, won the 2017 Dash For Cash Futurity at Lone Star Park and had a strong 3-year-old season, capturing the Retama Park Derby and running third in the Evangeline Downs Derby on December 15. Jockey Jesse Lee Levario has the call for trainer Josue Ponce, and will break from post position eight.
Kas Tempting, runner-up in the 2018 Sam Houston Derby for owner Garza Laurel Partnership LLC and trainer Bobby Martinez, is another notable entrant. Sired by Tempting Dash, the 4-year-old Texas-bred will be ridden by Damian Martinez. Rogelio Marquez Jr.’s The Golden Bowl drew the far outside post and will be guided by Antonio Alberto. The 7-year-old son of Mr Eye Opener was victorious in the 2016 Develop a Plan Stakes (G3) and had several stakes placings in 2018. Oklahoma-bred One Sweet Merlot will shorten to 250-yards for the first time for owners David Jones and Mark C. Cowen. Trainer James Lackey will saddle the multiple-stakes winner and give a let up to rider Cesar Esqueda.
Here is the field for the Harrah’s Dash, in post position order including jockey assignments and morning-line odds:
- Globito (Luis Vivanco), 9-5
- One Sweet Merlot (Cesar Esqueda), 10-1
- Kas Tempting (Damian Martinez), 10-1
- Tdz Fast Dasher (Noe Castaneda), 10-1
- Dm La Jolla (Rolando Cabrera), 8-1
- Fast N Famous Eagle (Everardo Rodriguez), 12-1
- Perrys Dynasty (Eddi Martinez), 20-1
- Three Bar Cartel (Jesse Levario), 5-1
- Lil Bro Streak (Luciano Duenez), 15-1
- The Golden Bowl (Antonio Alberto), 9-2
The Harrah’s Dash will be run as race six with an approximate post time of 3:00 pm.
Louisiana Downs 2019 Quarter Horse Stakes Schedule
The Louisiana Downs live Quarter Horse racing season includes 12 stakes highlighted by the first official championship for 2-year-olds, the $100,000-added Mardi Gras Futurity.
January 5 $15,000 Harrah’s Dash 4 YO & Up 250 yards
January 12 $15,000 Marathon Stakes 4 YO & Up 870 yards
January 19 $25,000 Billy Montgomery 3 YO LA-Bred 350 yards
January 26 $15,000 Swift Stakes 4 YO & Up 350 yards
January 26 $25,000 Party Girl Stakes 4 YO & Up F&M LA-Bred 350 yards
February 2 $25,000 Magnolia Stakes 3 YO & Up LA-Bred 870 yards
February 9 $15,000-added LAD Maiden Stake 3,4 &5 YO LA-Bred 350 yards
February 16 $25,000 Mr Jess Perry 4 YO & Up LA-Bred 330 yards
March 16 $100,000-added Mardi Gras Futurity 2 YO LA-Bred 300 yards
March 16 $50,000-added Mardi Gras Derby 3 YO LA-Bred 400 yards
March 16 $15,000 Leverne Perry Memorial 3 YO & Up 400 yards
March 20 $75,000-added Harrah’s Futurity 2 YO 300 yards
To see a complete list of race dates and post times, click here.
About Harrah’s Louisiana Downs
Located near Shreveport in Bossier City, Louisiana, Louisiana Downs opened in 1974 and was purchased by Caesars Entertainment in December, 2002. With annual Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse racing seasons, the track is committed to presenting the highest quality racing programs paired with its 150,000 square foot entertainment complex offering casino gambling, dining and plasma screen televisions for s