11/15/2012 2:30PM

Evangeline Downs: Roberts sending three in Breeders Futurity


Trainer Kenneth Roberts will have numbers in his favor for the richest Quarter Horse race in Louisiana on Saturday night, when he sends out three runners in the $1 million Louisiana Quarter Horse Breeders Association Breeders Futurity at Evangeline Downs in Opelousas, La.

A field of 10 will go in the Breeders Futurity, a restricted Grade 1 and one of two million-dollar races to be run in Louisiana on Saturday. Earlier in the day, the Grade 3, $1 million Delta Downs Jackpot for Thoroughbreds will be held at Delta Downs in Vinton, La.

Roberts has Dashin Gage, Heza Fast Snow and Heza Lucky Crown for the Breeders, a 400-yard race for Louisiana-bred 2-year-olds that was nearly doubled in value this year with the support of the state’s breeders association.

Dashin Gage is the most accomplished of the Roberts runners as a winner of 4 of 6 starts including the $264,500 LQHBA Sales Futurity on Sept. 8. The race was scheduled to be run at Fair Grounds, but was held at Evangeline in the aftermath of Hurricane Isaac. Steve Gillum has the mount on Dashin Gage from post 8, and was also aboard the horse when he overcame trouble to upset the Sales Futurity at 12-1.

“The little guy quickly righted himself after stumbling a bit at the start and was in high gear almost immediately,” Gillum said. “The favorite was right to my outside the whole way, and when we made the front he kept giving me his all and would not let the other horse by. He’s a real fighter.”

Heza Fast Snow put up the best Breeders Futurity qualifying time of Roberts’s three starters when he won his 400-yard trial in 19.73 seconds Oct. 26. The final of Roberts’s starters, Heza Lucky Crown, is a maiden, but has never finished worse than third in three starts.

T Boy C emerged as the fastest qualifier for the LQHBA Breeders after 11 trial races Oct. 26. He won his in 19.63 seconds, dominating by two lengths in his first start on Lasix.

◗ Martha Claussen, who coordinates fan education for the American Quarter Horse Association, will join track announcer John McGary on his televised racing show to preview Saturday night’s card, which includes three other stakes. Claussen will also give the first 100 fans at Evangeline a free $2 wagering voucher courtesy of the Louisiana Quarter Horse Breeders Association.