10/16/2003 11:00PM

Vals Fortune shooting for $500,000 breeders' bonus


Vals Fortune, a Quarter Horse who has won his last eight starts, can earn a $500,000 bonus Sunday by winning the Grade 1, $232,242 Louisiana Quarter Horse Breeders' Association Futurity at Louisiana Downs in Bossier City, La.

Vals Fortune won the first leg of the bonus series, the Grade 2 Mardi Gras Futurity at Fair Grounds on March 20. Four months later he captured the second leg, the Grade 1 LQHBA Sales Futurity, at Louisiana Downs on Aug. 17.

In his most recent start, he won a trial for the final leg by a neck in his first start at 400 yards.

Vals Fortune will break from post 10 for the finale. He ran his biggest race from that post when he set a track record for 350 yards in the Sales Futurity. Gilbert Ortiz has the mount for owner Terry Abrams Jr. and trainer Heath Taylor.

The LQHBA has offered the bonus for four years, but no horse has ever won it. An insurance policy is in place to cover the organization should a horse succeed.

As for bonus distribution, the owner of the horse who wins the bonus earns $350,000, while the person who owned the mare when the winning horse was foaled gets $100,000. The remaining $50,000 goes to the person who owned the winning horse's stallion when he was bred.