Jockey Jose Guerrero Off to a Fast Start in the 2023 Thoroughbred Meet


Bossier City, LA – Louisiana Downs will present Exotic Animal Races on Monday, May 29. The family friendly event continues to delight fans of all ages, combined with live Thoroughbred racing and simulcast racing from tracks across the country.

Special family-friendly activities for the Memorial Day holiday get underway on the trackside apron at 12:00 noon (Central). There will be Face Painting, a Bounce House, live music and some of the top Food trucks in the Shreveport/Bossier City metroplex. Louisiana Downs is committed to serving the community and invites fans to visit the Lifeshare Blood Drive Mobile Unit, which will be onsite throughout the Memorial Day afternoon.

Ann Switalski Photography

Post time for the first of eight live Thoroughbred races is 2:05 pm (Central). First up, will be the  “Camel Derby” which will run on the main track after race 2 (approximately 3:00 pm). A fully grown adult camel can exceed six feet in height and weigh up to 1,000 pounds. The fans line up at the rail to root for their favorite camel as they load up and break from the starting gate!

The ”Zebra Derby” will take place after the fifth  race on the Monday program (approximately 4:10 pm). They are smaller than our Thoroughbreds, but can run up to speeds of 65 mph, so our fans will have to cheer for our brave jockeys to hang on tight!

Ann Switalski Photography

The final exotic animal race of the afternoon will be the “Ostrich Derby” which will run after the sixth race (approximately 5:20 pm). Ostriches usually weigh an average of 200 pounds, but some males can tip the scales at 340 pounds. Known for their long neck and legs, ostriches also have extremely distinctive eyes, the largest of any land vertebrate. They are very fast and run without a saddle, so the riders have to rely on balance as they surge to the finish line!

For more information on the Memorial Day activities, live racing and other upcoming special events, visit ladowns.com.

Jockey Jose Guerrero in the Lead After Winning 80 Races Last Year at  Louisiana Downs

Jose Guerrero. Ann Switalski Photography

The 2023 Louisiana Downs Thoroughbred meet enters its fourth week this Saturday. It has been an excellent start for jockey Jose Guerrero who has been on top of the standings since the meet began on May 6.

The 29-year-old has come a long way since he rode his first winner in 2016. With brief stints in Texas and Arkansas, the native of Mexico has found his home in Louisiana. Last year, leading trainer Shane Wilson gave Guerrero the first call on the majority of his horses and explained what he saw in the talented rider.

“I took notice of him three years ago and told my owners that Jose was going to be the guy,” stated Wilson. “He was riding these 40 and 50-1 shots and out finishing much better horses. Always a hard worker, Jose was always first to arrive in the morning and would still be around when the  track closed.”

“Shane has given me so much confidence,” said Guerrero. “He saw something in me, and we have developed a strong working relationship. After I work horses, we watch replays and talk about what each horse does well and what I can do to win more races. Shane has taught me a lot.”

Steve Melancon is Guerrero’s agent and has booked him successfully with a number of trainers in addition to Wilson., including Patti Turner, Tim Dixon and Judy Beavin.

Last year, Guerrero won 80 races, finishing second to Carlos Lozada, who made 84 trips to the winner’s circle. Heading into Saturday, he has ridden 11 winners, leading Emanuel Nieves by one. Angel Suarez, who is riding for the first time at Louisiana Downs, is commanding attention as he has already won nine races. Joel Dominguez is also riding well this season.

Guerrero is a fulfilled young man away from the racetrack married to Jacqueline Edison and enjoying time with their one-year-old son, Matteo.

“He’s getting big and is very strong,” Guerrero said of his son. “Matteo has a lot of energy; probably got it from me!”

There is no urgency in predicting the riding title for the 2023 Louisiana Downs meet.

“This has been a great meet,” he added. “I feel more confident, and my only goal after last season was to try to do better this year. There is always pressure to stay on top, but I am trying to stay calm. ”

Louisiana Downs 2023 Thoroughbred Season

The 2023 Thoroughbred racing season at Louisiana Downs kicked off on Saturday, May 6. Notable events for the 61-day live racing season include Louisiana Cup Day on Saturday, August 12 and the return of the $200,000 Super Derby on Saturday, September 2.  Live racing continues through September 12; visit Louisiana Downs Racing for more information on post times and upcoming racing dates.

About Louisiana Downs

Located near Shreveport in Bossier City, Louisiana, Louisiana Downs opened in 1974 and is owned by Rubico Acquisition Corporation. 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 sports and simulcast racing.

Please follow and like us: