07/21/2010 12:29PM

Roes enjoying the ride at Louisiana Downs


BOSSIER CITY, La. – What a difference a day makes. Just ask owners Steve and Pat Roe.

Last Friday at Louisiana Downs, they were eagerly awaiting the afternoon’s second race. They had the 3-5 favorite and impressive winner of her last two races Carson’s Twinkle set to go postward in the mile and 70 yard affair for nonwinners of four races lifetime. That anticipation soon turned to anxiety when Carson’s Twinkle broke through the gate prior to the start and ran off a short distance before being apprehended by one of the outriders.

Anxiety became down right alarm when the filly threw a fit in the starting gate, sending jockey Jesse Campbell to first aid complaining of an injured wrist and necessitating a late scratch. As it turned out both Carson’s Twinkle and Campbell came out of the incident without serious injury.

Fast forward exactly 24 hours and the Roes were in the winner’s circle following A Little Tribute’s maiden victory in Saturday’s second race. Another Roe horse, Sure Fire Tempest, followed with a win in the day’s fourth race, and Invisible Force came within a neck of giving the husband and wife team a hat trick on the afternoon in the fifth. A Little Tribute is among a handful of the Roes’ stock who is trained by Alfonso Balderas, while Pat Mouton conditions most of the rest.

“The lows can be so low in this game,” Steve Roe said earlier this week. “I think that is what makes the highs so thrilling.”

The highs have outweighed the lows this season for the Roes, who find themselves tied atop the owner standings with seven victories at the halfway point of the Louisiana Downs meeting. With several wins at the state’s other racetracks, they are on track to reach a goal.

“If we can win 15 to 20 races a year, we feel like we have been successful,” Roe said. “We had a pretty good Fair Grounds meet and have done some good at Evangeline. Like anything else, we are in this to make a profit, but it is really mostly about the enjoyment we get out it and the fact that we can share this wonderful game with friends and family.”

Roe, who is in the oil field rental business, said the time is ripe to be in Louisiana and racing.

“The money in the Louisiana-bred program is good,” he said. “All the tracks have six-figure stakes regularly, which makes owning Louisiana-breds the way to go. Of our 20 or so horses we have right now, we are down to only about four that were bred outside the state.”

The Roe stable is a mix of young horses as well as some veteran claimers, but like most owners they are in pursuit of the one “big” horse.

“We claim a few horses but really like going to the yearling sales and picking out four or five who are promising,” Roe said. “Hopefully one will turn out to be the nugget that we are all looking for. The nice thing about Louisiana is that you don’t have to spend a whole lot of money to run for some nice purses.”