Louisiana Futurity (Filly Div.)
Fair Grounds, 12-31-17, 6 furlongs, $96,430
Two-Year-Old, Accredited Louisiana Bred Fillies
Star Guitar–Miss Peenyata, by Mr. Greeley
Breeder: Brittlyn Stables, Inc.
Owner: Brittlyn Stable, Inc.
Trainer: Justin Jeansonne
Jockey: Diego Saenz
Brethren–Appalachianna, by Langfuhr
Breeder: Matalona Thoroughbreds, LLC
Owner: Matalona Thoroughbreds, LLC
Trainer: Albert M. Stall, Jr.
Jockey: Shaun Bridgmohan
Concord Point–Thistle Bear, by Gators N Bears
Breeder: Tigertail Ranch
Owner: Tigertail Ranch
Trainer: Danny Pish
Jockey: Jose Valdivia, Jr.
Several Delta Downs-based horses shipped 231 miles east to New Orleans and two of them took home both divisions of the Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots’ Louisiana Futurity on Sunday, Dec. 31.
In the fillies division, which carried a purse of $96,430, Brittlyn Stable Inc.’s Iona Star broke straight to the lead coming out of the gate, never looked back and won in wire-to-wire fashion.
Guided by jockey Diego Saenz, the two-year-old daughter of Star Guitar set opening fractions of 22.78, 46.63, and 58.95 before opening up on the field at the top of the stretch to win the Louisiana Futurity by four lengths. Feisty Embrace and Cool Spring were second and throughout the six-furlong journey and took the place and show spot, respectively. Overwhelming 1-5 favorite Champagne Diva was bumped at the start and did not fire finishing a disappointing fourth.
“She had a good trip,” Saenz said. “She was in front the whole time and that’s what we wanted. She likes the long stretch. She finished well.”
Iona Star entered her victory in the Louisiana Futurity off of a maiden win at Delta Downs on Nov. 21, which she also took in wire-to-wire fashion. She is trained by Justin Jeansonne.
“She broke real sharp,” Jeansonne said. “Her biggest thing is to get out of the gates, make the lead and keep her mind focused. Diego knows her and he’s been getting on her since her first work so he knows her pretty well.”
Iona Star gave back $14.20, $4.60 and $10.40 while Feisty Embrace returned $4.20 and $8. Cool Spring, who went off at 27-1, returned $25.40 to show.
She earned $57,138 from her triumph in the Louisiana Futurity fillies’ division and increased lifetime earnings to $79,578. She won her last two in four lifetime starts.
Rounding out the field are Champagne Diva, Girls Life and Bionic Butterfly.
Minit To Stardom, the 6-5 morning-line favorite, was scratched.
Louisiana Futurity (Colt & Gelding Div.)
Fair Grounds, 12-31-17, 6 furlongs, $104,930
Two-Year-Old, Accredited Louisiana Breds
POUND FOR POUND
Redding Colliery–Buttercup’s Song, by Unbridled’s Song
Breeder: J. Adcock & B&B Bloodstock
Owner: Israel Flores Horses LLC
Trainer: Jose Grimaldo
Jockey: Miguel Mena
Star Guitar–Powerful Nation, by Turkoman
Breeder: Clear Creek Stud LLC
Owner: Valene Farms LLC
Trainer: Dallas Stewart
Jockey: Shaun Bridgmohan
Greeley Went West
El Corredor–So Well Read, by Read the Footnotes
Breeder: Tom Curtis & Wayne Simpson
Owner: Phyllis J. Hodges and Randy Schiender
Trainer: James E. Hodges
Jockey: James Graham
Four races later, Israel Flores Horses LLC’s Pound For Pound made an eight-day return to the races to hold off 4-5 favorite Givemeaminit down the Fair Grounds stretch and light up the tote board at odds of 21-1 in the colts and gelding division of the $104,930 Louisiana Futurity.
Trained by Jose Grimaldo and ridden to victory by Miguel Mena, the two-year-old son of Redding Colliery came from well off a swift pace led by Divine Bean, who threw down opening fractions of 21.84 and 45.15 before giving way in mid-stretch to Ready Prospector who led at the five-eighths mark in 58.06. Finally, Ready Prospector was passed up by Pound For Pound and Givemeaminit who battled their way to the wire but it was the former of the two who got the job done by a neck. Louisiana Champions Day Juvenile winner Greeley Went West finished third.
“Jose told me to ride him with a lot of confidence and I did,” Mena said. “We had a good trip and he was kind of green down the stretch but (Givemeaminit) came along the outside and was very game, too.”
Pound For Pound’s last start was just last Saturday, Dec. 23 where he defeated seven other Louisiana-breds in a 7½-furlong allowance event at his Delta Downs home base. In October, he broke his maiden first time out at 48-1 odds, which he followed with a third-place effort in the Louisiana Legacy Stakes behind Gladyousawme (seventh in the Louisiana Futurity), both of which were also at Delta Downs. He then shipped to the Fair Grounds for another crack at a state-bred stakes in the Louisiana Champions Day Juvenile, but could do no better than fifth behind Greeley Went West.
“The last couple of times he was kind of green but he’s getting better,” Grimaldo said. “I was happy with the way he ran and I think we have a future with this horse. I never expected this because these were such nice horses but I told the owner, ‘I think we have a chance to be in the money,’.”
Pound For Pound popped the cork on his backers’ New Year’s Eve rewarding them in payouts of $45.80, $10.60 and $6 while Givemeaminit returned $3 and $2.20. Greeley Went West returned $3.20 to show.
He earned a $60,798 share from his victory in the Louisiana Futurity which boosted his lifetime earnings to $123,798. He has won three of his five career starts.
Completing the field were Ready Prospector, Divine Bean, Da’ Big Newt, Gladyousawme, Vapor Viper and Monsieur Brown.