Updated on 09/16/2011 6:54AM

Louisiana-breds' two days to shine


Louisiana-bred Quarter Horses make their annual trip to New Orleans and the Fair Grounds this week for a pair of Grade 2 stakes, the Mardi Gras Futurity and the Mardi Gras Derby.

The $91,834 Mardi Gras Futurity will be held on Thursday over 330 yards and the $40,586 Mardi Gras Derby is on Friday at 400 yards.

The newly turned 2-year-olds in the Mardi Gras Futurity made their career debuts during the two days of trials, held on Feb. 11-12. The five fastest qualifiers from each day qualified for the finals.

Leading the first day of trials was Vals Streak, a winner by 1 1/4 lengths with a 17.366-second time for the 330 yards.

Topping the second day's qualifiers was Little Texas Cyclone, who won by 1 3/4 lengths with a 17.333-second time for the 330 yards.

Dashing Obsession and Burrs Warrior, a pair of stakes winners last year at Lone Star Park, won the two trials to the Mardi Gras Derby.

Dashing Obsession, owned by W.A. Darling and trained by Richard Louis Smith, was a dominating 1 1/4-length trial winner as the 3-2 favorite. Last year, she won the Joe Turner Stakes at Lone Star.

Burrs Warrior, owned by Jeffery Griffin and trained by Kenneth Roberts, raced to a half-length trial win as the 2-5 choice. He won the Hipodromo de las Americas Stakes at Lone Star.

Kool, Corona Kool

Corona Kool, the 2001 champion older mare, will be looking to secure an invitation to the Champions of Champions in the Grade 1, $200,000 Los Alamitos Winter Championship on Saturday night.

The Winter Championship winner receives a berth in the Grade 1, $500,000 Champion of Champions on Dec. 14 at Los Alamitos.

Corona Kool, owned by Lucas Racing and trained by Donna McArthur, would have been one of the favorites in last year's Champion of Champions, but was scratched after she jumped in the gate and fell before the start of the race. She sustained minor scratches.

Corona Kool showed her fitness when she returned to action in the Winter Championship trials on Feb. 16 with a neck win and the fastest qualifying mark, 19.705 seconds for the 400 yards.

McArthur will also saddle Tiny First Effort, last year's champion 3-year-old filly and winner of her Winter Championship trial.

Also racing in the Winter Championship are 2000 champion 3-year-old gelding Chicks First Policy and 1998 champion 2-year-old gelding Hes My Dasher.

Kendall Jackson: Quest for Maturity

Fastest qualifier Kendall Jackson continues his quest for a $100,000 bonus when he starts in the Grade 3, $56,975 West Texas Maturity at Sunland Park on Saturday afternoon.

Kendall Jackson, owned by MJ Farms and trained by Michael Joiner, won the Sunland Express Handicap and he will earn the $100,000 if he also wins the West Texas Maturity and the $100,000-added MBNA America New Mexico Challenge Championship on April 7.

Kendall Jackson set the fastest qualifying time of 19.713 seconds for the 400 yards while winning a trial that had six horses qualify for the finals, including Grade 2 El Primero Del Ano Derby winner Heza Motor Scooter.

Los Alamitos-based trainer Donna McArthur sent Heza Motor Scooter to her husband, James McArthur, at Sunland Park for the West Texas Maturity so Heza Motor Scooter would not face stablemates Corona Kool and Tiny First Effort in the Los Alamitos Winter Championship.

Heza Motor Scooter, a preseason contender for 2002 champion aged stallion honors, won three stakes at Los Alamitos last year.