Leading jockey Gerard Melancon and leading trainer Karl Broberg accepting honors
86-DAY SEASON CAME TO A CLOSE SATURDAY NIGHT
VINTON, LA. – Delta Downs closed out its 2015-16 Thoroughbred season on Saturday night with some familiar names making it to the top of the horsemen standings. Jockey Gerard Melancon claimed the title of leading jockey; Karl Broberg took home the hardware for leading trainer; and End Zone Athletics Inc. finished off the meeting at the top of the owner standings.
Melancon led all jockeys in terms of wins with 78 and total mount earnings with $1,947,925. The 48-year-old Scott, Louisiana resident scored four stakes tallies on the meet. His richest wins came in the My Trusty Cat with La Appassionata and the Louisiana Jewel aboard Giant Cruiser. Each race was worth $150,000.
Overall it was Melancon’s fourth leading jockey title at Delta Downs dating back to the 2007-2008 season when he set a track record with 146 trips to the winner’s circle and his mounts earned a record $2,815,690. During his illustrious career Melancon has won 4,481 races and will most likely reach the 4,500 win plateau at Evangeline Downs during their 2016 season which gets underway on April 6.
Following Melancon in the jockey standings this year were Ashley Broussard (66 wins), C. J. McMahon (66), Eddie Martin, Jr. (62), Emanuel Nieves (39), Chris Rosier (37), Steve Bourque (37), Kirk LeBlanc (35), Colby Hernandez (34) and Alex Cortez (25).
Broberg dominated the trainer standings from start to finish at Delta Downs while breaking the track record for most wins in a single season with 93. The Arlington, Texas resident also set a new mark for success by a leading trainer with a 33% win rate. Broberg has now won five consecutive leading trainer titles dating back to the 2011-2012 season.
The biggest wins of the season for the Broberg barn came with Leave Em Counting and Tough Jeans on Louisiana Premier Night, February 6. Leave Em Counting scored in the $50,000 Louisiana Premier Night Bon Temps Starter while Tough Jeans notched a victory in the $65,000 Louisiana Premier Night Starter.
In addition to tremendous success at Delta Downs, Broberg has also made a big impression across North America in recent years. The 45-year-old led all trainers with 325 wins in 2014 before repeating that feat last year with 420 trips to the winner’s circle.
Rounding out the top 10 trainers at Delta Downs this year were Brett Brinkman (36), Sam Breaux (34), Tom Amoss (31), Eduardo Ramirez (26), Joey Foster (23), Henry B. Johnson, Jr. (22), Scott Gelner (20), W. Bret Calhoun (19) and Keith Bourgeois (16).
End Zone Athletics Inc., which is made up of Broberg and Matt Johanson, made off with their fourth leading owner title this season as they saw 21 of their horses tally victories. The barn is made up of primarily allowance and claiming horses who tallied total earnings of $321,315.
The owner with top earnings this year was Big Chief Racing LLC (Matthew W. Bryan) who saw their charge Exaggerator invade Delta Downs on November 21 and take the season’s richest event, the $1,000,000 Delta Downs Jackpot (Gr. III). Exaggerator, who is currently vying for a spot in the Kentucky Derby starting gate on May 7, took home $600,000 for his Jackpot victory.
Rounding out the top 10 owners for the meet were Maggie Moss (17), Midwest Thoroughbreds Inc. (12), Circle H Farms (8), Dale White, Sr. (8), Brian Schweda (7), Dream Walkin Farms, Inc. (7), Randy J. Stone (7), Elite Thoroughbred Racing, LLC (6), and Red Rose Racing (6).
Delta Downs is now preparing for its 2016 American Quarter Horse season, which gets underway on Friday, April 22. The 46-day stand will run through July 9 with live racing each Wednesday through Saturday night starting at6:15 pm CT.
Delta Downs Racetrack Casino and Hotel, a property of Boyd Gaming Corporation (NYSE:BYD), features exciting casino action, live horse racing and fun dining experiences. Delta Downs is located in Vinton, Louisiana, on Delta Downs Drive. From Lake Charles take Exit 7 and from Texas, take Exit 4 off I-10.