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March 10, 2012
Louisiana Downs offered a pair of rich Louisiana-bred stakes on Saturday with the $95,684 Mardi Grass Derby (R) and the $256,604 Mardi Grass Futurity (RG2). In the richer of the two, Miguel Rodriguez’s Cajun On Star prevailed by a nose to break his maiden. The Real Easy Okey colt dashed 300 yards in :15.534 to earn a 97 speed index with Raul Ramirez Jr. aboard.
Rodriguez also trains the winner and saddled runner-up Victoria Sweet Angel, a Jess Louisiana Blue filly owned by Jesse Rodriguez Jr. Ms Jingles, a Bigtime Favorite filly sent off at 6-5 as the fastest qualifier, came home third for owner Lauro Antonio Bazan.
Cajun On Star, who became the second stakes winner sired by the Okey Dokey Dale stallion Real Easy Okey, is one of four winners and the first stakes winner out of the Dashin Chico mare Dashin Chiquita. Cajun On Star entered the race with earnings of $1,800 from a second-place finish in the trials and picked up another $115,472 for his effort.
In the Mardi Gras Derby, Mossy Oak Tree picked up his third consecutive win and first stakes victory with a 400-yard dash in :19.906 under jockey Donald Watson. The Oak Tree Special gelding, who posted the second-fastest time in the trials, runs for Mac Sumpter and Christopher Gautreaux, with the latter also being the breeder.
Mossy Oak Tree, who is out the Mr Eye Opener mare All Eyes On Madison, picked up $43,058 for the win to push his earnings to $116,784 with five wins in 12 career starts. All Eyes On Madison has also produced stakes winners Eyes Okey and Eye For Dale, both by Okey Dokey Dale.
Russell Williams’ homebred I Special Too, a maiden filly by Heza Fast Dash, finished a game second in just her fourth career start. Country Talker, a Straight Talker gelding sent off at odds of 30-1 for owner Los Primitos, took third. Mr T Perry, the 7-5 favorite and fastest qualifier, had his four-race win streak snapped when he drifted out and lost rider J.R. Ramirez.
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