Updated on 05/27/2011 7:56PM

Remington: New shoes help Louisiana Senator rise to top

Dustin Orona Photography
Louisiana Senator, winning the Leo on March 26, is much improved since he was purchased in January for $48,000.

A new set of shoes have helped Louisiana Senator burst to the top of the Quarter Horse charts this year. To retain his No. 1 ranking among the nation’s older horses, he will have to defeat an elite field Saturday night in the Grade 1, $250,000 Remington Park Championship.

The 440-yard invitational is part of program of seven stakes that includes the Grade 1, $1,029,950 Heritage Place Futurity. The races make for the richest card of the Remington meet that will close on Monday.

Louisiana Senator’s competition includes a pair of world champions, Stolis Winner, who is the all-time richest Quarter Horse, and Freaky, who will be making his first start outside of Los Alamitos. Together, the race’s 12 starters have combined to earn $7.1 million.

“It’s a stellar field,” said Heath Reed, who co-owns and trains Louisiana Senator. “They’re bringing horses in from all over the country. I’ve heard people say it’s the race of the decade and I’ve heard people say it’s going to be the greatest race in history. We’re excited and we’re ready to run.”

Reed and his partners, Terry Wootan and Joe David Yates, purchased the 5-year-old Louisiana Senator in January. Reed said he was a $48,000 buy at the Heritage Place auction in Oklahoma City. The purchase came years after Reed was the underbidder on the yearling Louisiana Senator, a horse he liked because his family raised Louisiana Senator’s dam, Corona Perfection.

“As soon as we bought him we took his shoes off,” said Reed, explaining that the walls of the horse’s hooves were thin. “We started putting glue-on shoes on him, and when we pulled the nail-on shoes and put those glue-on shoes on him, that horse really went to bouncing.

“He’s run in them every time.”

Louisiana Senator has won both of his starts for Reed, by clear margins at Remington. His first score for his new connections came in the Grade 2 Eastex, by a length on March 6. He proceeded to take the Grade 1 Leo by 1 3/4 lengths in his last start March 26.

“He’s on top of his game,” said Reed, who credited both the horse’s talent for the success as well as the work of blacksmith Tony Andrews.

G.R. Carter Jr. has the mount.

Freaky will have something of a new look in his first start since finishing sixth in the Grade 2 Winter Championship at Los Alamitos on Feb. 19. Previously trained by Adan Farias, Freaky will be making his first start for Concepcion Balderrama, who has been brought on as a private trainer for the horse’s longtime owner, Armando Aguirre.

Balderrama, who according to records has not started a horse in North America since 2006, has been training outside the country, said Inez Valdez, a spokesperson for Aguirre. Valdez noted that in the past Balderrama has won Grade 1 races with such horses as Mongoose Jet Eye and Hawkish.

In the Winter Championship last out, Freaky sustained a laceration to his left hind leg that required six stitches, said Valdez. He said after the horse recovered, he resumed training at farm in California. Freaky began vanning to Oklahoma last week, and after taking a day’s rest in Amarillo arrived May 21.

“He was at a training facility,” Valdez said. “He was working on the farm, getting ready for this big race.

“He’s put on 200 pounds. He’s sharp. He’s ready to go.”

Valdez said those who wish to view photos of Freaky taken this week can go to the Facebook page of Cuates Valdez.

Mighty B Valiant in Heritage

Mighty B Valiant, who is the nation’s top-ranked 2-year-old, will attempt to become the first horse to win both the Remington Park Futurity and the Heritage when he breaks from post 9 in the 10-horse Heritage. Carter has the mount for trainer Raymond Vargas.

The major stakes action on the card starts in the ninth with the Grade 2 Heritage Place Quarter Horse Derby.

Jls Mr Bigtime tops Delta Derby

Jls Mr Bigtime, who last year finished second by a nose as the favorite in last year’s Grade 1, $2 million All American Quarter Horse Futurity at Ruidoso Downs, is the one to beat Saturday night in the $134,105 Delta Downs Derby, a 400-yard race for 3-year-olds bred in Louisiana.