Of the 172 horses that pre-entered in the two-day Breeders’ Cup set to be held November 1-2 at Santa Anita Park, only one horse was bred in the states of Louisiana, Texas or Oklahoma, and that’s Louisiana-bred Designer Legs. The graduate of the Breeders Sales Company of Louisiana yearling auction will run in the $2-million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1) for owner Valene Farms.
“The Thoroughbred industry in Louisiana has grown to become one of the state’s top industries,” said Roger Heitzmann, secretary/treasurer for the Louisiana Thoroughbred Breeders Association and Breeders Sales Company of Louisiana executive director. “Through the Association’s efforts and the implementation of the breeding incentive program, Louisiana-breds have flourished. Designer Legs’ appearance in the Breeders’ Cup is proof that our horses are competitive anywhere.”
Murray Valene, a 40-year supporter of the Louisiana bred program, purchased Designer Legs for just $10,000 at the 2012 sale.
“She was a stand out,” said Valene. “She had the ‘look’ and was a big, strong yearling.”
Designer Legs broke her maiden in her first start at Canterbury Park in Minnesota. Less than a month later she won the Prairie Gold Lassie Stakes at Prairie Meadows in Iowa.
The Graeme Hall daughter then won the Grade 2 Adirondack Stakes at Saratoga via disqualification. She entered the Grade 1 Spinaway Stakes off her win and managed a fifth-place finish, and the filly then traveled to Keeneland Race Course in Kentucky where she finished sixth in the Grade 1 Darley Alcibiades Stakes.
Designer Legs won her first two races at Canterbury and Prairie Meadows with trainer Gary Scherer before being turned over to trainer Dallas Stewart by owner Murray Valene to point for the Adirondack. She is still currently in training with Stewart.
Valene feels that Louisiana-breds have helped him build a successful program.
“Louisiana-breds can run anywhere in the U.S.,” said Valene. “They are competitive at any racetrack and the Louisiana Thoroughbred Breeders Association program is the best one out there. It’s my favorite program.”
Designer Legs is proving her owner right with her entry in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies this weekend.
“She is real,” said Valene. “She has the class and the points to get there. She will try the entire race and this is all for my dad who will be 96 in January.”