Louisiana Rangler Takes Delta 550

Jess Louisiana Blue gelding sets stakes record, and Catch A Heart wins Alabama Bred Futurity.

May 20, 2012

The highlight of Saturday’s Delta Downs card came in one of the featured races of the evening as Kim McKenzie’s Louisiana Rangler set a stakes record in the Delta 550 Championship Stakes (R) for state-breds. Piloted by Bobby Ransom for conditioner Louis Lee, the Louisiana-bred gelding by Jess Louisiana Blue prevailed by a half-length and clocked the distance in :26.587 to earn a 107 speed index.

Bred by Gerald Libersat out of the Rocket Wrangler mare Rangler Print, Louisiana Rangler is now a two-time stakes winner after also winning the Louisiana Champions Day Classic (RG2) last year. In his only other start this year, he finished second in the Mr Jess Perry Louisiana Downs Stakes (RG3). He has won five of 11 career starts with earnings of $137,058.

Sunset Racing Stable’s Lousiana Panther, a gelding by Panther Mountain, finished a solid second with Blue Louisiana Jolla, by Jess Louisiana Blue, in third for owners Elroy Potts Jr. and Watson Land and Cattle.

Earlier on the card, Roberta Weeks’ Catch A Heart rallied to capture the Alabama Bred Futurity (R) by a nose. With John Hamilton aboard for trainer Doug Weeks, the gelding stopped the timer in :16.980 for 330 yards.

Bred by Karl H. Smith, who also owns the gelding’s sire Quick To Flare Up, Catch A Heart finished second in his racing debut in the trials. After two starts his earnings now stand at $34,500. Catch A Heart is the third stakes winner sired by Grade 3 winner Quick To Flare Up, a son of Royal Quick Dash.

Bobby Joe Nixon’s The Punkin, a filly by Spit Curl Jess, had an early lead and crossed the wire second. Walter Chaney’s homebred Mr Eye Opener gelding Alabama Eye Man, the fastest qualifier, took third.

The Louisiana Bred Graduation Stakes for older maidens went to JLS Game Boy, who got up to win by a neck in :17.400 for 350 yards. Raul Ramirez Jr. rode for trainer Darrel Soileau and breeder/owner JLS Speed Horse Ranch Inc.

A 3-year-old gelding by Game Patriot, JLS Game Boy broke his maiden with a 1 ¼-length victory in the trials on April 28. He made three starts as a 2-year-old with his best effort being a second-place run against maiden foes. He earned $42,597 for this win to push his career total to $55,397.

The Oak Tree Special gelding Lil Jess Oak got up for second with Redhot Patriot Jet, another gelding by Game Patriot, in third.