Louisiana Downs Announces Meet Leaders
BOSSIER CITY, LA—MARCH 16, 2020—In response to growing concerns and state mandates regarding COVID-19, Harrah's Louisiana Downs announced that the remaining two days of the 2020 Quarter Horse meet have been canceled (see related story).
The 44-day season closed following Monday's card and included the presentation of the End of the Meet awards to the leading owner, trainer and jockey.
J & J Stables LLC was honored as leading owner of the meet. It's been a very good season for co-owners Juan J. Bazaldua and Jesus E. Del Bosque, who banded together in 2017 with a mutual interest in breeding and racing.
Both are successful businessmen; Bazaldua founded Pollo Regio, which began as a food truck concept in Mexico and now has multiple locations throughout Texas. Del Bosque's field is roofing; he owns Axl Metal Roofing, LLC.
In 2017, they incorporated J & J Stables LLC. Their farm is located in Keithville, Louisiana, in Caddo Parish, south of Shreveport. They won nine races this meet, including three stakes victories by Fantasicazoom Jr, and a victory in the Swift Stakes by Ss Classyjess.
Four owners: Geral Dewitt, Jose Ortiz, Juan Antonio Carillo, Sr and Barbara Hieden Seber tied for second in the standings with seven wins each.
The partners have entrusted the training of their horses to Jose Carrizales. He is just 23-years-old but had a solid meet at Harrah's Louisiana Downs, earning the first leading trainer title of his career. He concluded the meet with 23 wins from 102 starts and purses of $172,862. Carrizales was the conditioner of J & J Stables LLC's One Sweet Filly, who qualified for the $315,166 Mardi Gras Futurity (RG2), finishing fifth in the final on March 14.
"These owners are good men and have been very supportive," said Carrizales. "They have a farm and breed most of their horses. I get to work with them from the start, which I enjoy. Ricardo has done an excellent job for our barn; he is very experienced, and we work well together."
Vann Haywood saddled 14 winners to finish second in the trainer standings and Lanny Keith, who won the title in 2019, was third with 13 wins.
Ricardo Hernandez, Jr. won the leading rider title with 33 wins, 29 seconds and 20 third-place finishes. His mounts earned $301,234 and he finished in the money at a 44% clip this season. He rode first call for Carrizales throughout the meet and guided Fantasticazoom Jr. for J & J Stables LLC to five victories this meet, included three stakes wins The veteran jockey finished fourth in the jockey standings here last year.
Finishing second behind Hernandez was David Alvarez with 29 wins, following by John Hamilton, who made 26 trips to the winner's circle.
"We thank our horsemen and fans for their support this season and wish that we had been able to fully complete our 2020 Quarter Horse meet," said David Heitzmann, director of racing. "This was an unprecedented event in our world and very difficult time for the entire racing industry. We wish the best to all of our horsemen as the year progresses."
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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 sports and simulcast racing.