LouisianaBred: Nathan Granger

Nathan Granger #LouisianaBred


“It is vital to the horse industry. It encourages the individual horse owner to raise these animals.”


Nathan Granger has been a board member for the Louisiana Thoroughbred Breeders Association for five years. He has been involved with thoroughbred horses for 30 years and currently owns and manages 15. His G & G Farms is a breeding and racing operation.


He is a partner in Quality Companies, U.S.A and transfers his business expertise to the business of the association. His perspective and experience helps maintain the balance with budget and passion for the industry.


Nathan Granger is an entrepreneur, an Athletic Hall of Famer and a man of a deep faith that inspires him to make his little world a better place. He is known to give back to the community and businesses that he is involved with and gives back to the horse industry by serving on the LTBA board. His entrepreneurial spirit is the same one that fuels most thoroughbred horse breeding and racing businesses.


Born and raised in Erath, the father of five and husband to a woman he met in kindergarten, Dana.


While at Erath High School, Granger lettered in four sports, eventually walking on with the then University of Southwestern Louisiana football team. He played football for a year and a half, but after his playing days were over, he remained at the school to finish his bachelor’s degree in finance. He also received a master’s degree in business from USL — now the University of Louisiana at Lafayette — several years later.


Nathan’s favorite Louisiana bred is Hallowed Dreams.


“She was one of the first Louisiana breds that could have competed on the national scene.”


Accredited Louisiana Breds make Strong Showing in Fasig Tipton MidAtlantic Two-Year-Old Sale

Louisiana breds have once again shown they can bring value at every level of the thoroughbred industry. Two Accredited Louisiana-Bred two year olds brought $175,000 and $240,000 at the 2016 Fasig Tipton MidAtlantic Two-Year-Olds In Training Sale. The two day sale at Maryland State Fairgrounds in Timonium, Maryland concluded May 24th.


Hip 249, a colt by Into Mischief-Star of Glory (Unbridled) was purchased by EQB, Inc. for Zayat Stables $175,000. A half brother to stakes placed winner Let Me In consigned by Pike Racing, agent, was bred by Orange Grove Thoroughbreds. Pike Racing also sold the $1million sale topper.


Hip 581, a chestnut filly by Creative Cause-Henry’s Posse (Posse), consigned by Paul Sharp agent was purchased by PTK, LLC for $240,000. The first foal out of stakes placed winner, Henry’s Posse from the first crop of G1 Norfolk Stakes winner millionaire, Creative Cause was bred by David Meche and Perry Judice.


A total of ten accredited Louisiana breds sold through the ring for a total of $653,000. Their average of $65,300 was close to the overall sale average of $68,654.

‘Lifetime Of Work’ Produces Classic Victory For Keith Desormeaux

by  | 05.24.2016 | 

Trainer Keith Desormeaux relishes the moment of winning the 141st Preakness Stakes
Trainer Keith Desormeaux relishes the moment of winning the 141st Preakness Stakes

For more than 20 years, Keith Desormeaux labored in relative obscurity in horse racing’s trenches, far from the glory of the Pimlico infield winner’s circle that Exaggerator brought him to after Saturday’s victory in the 141st running of the Preakness.

Shortly after the trophy presentation and national television interviews were over, Desormeaux reflected on what it meant to win a Triple Crown race, “an American classic” he called it. Sitting alongside his famous younger brother Kent, the Hall of Fame jockey who rode Exaggerator to victory, he talked about feeling an “awesome confirmation of a lifetime of dedicating myself to finding and getting the best out of a horse.” He spoke of gratitude toward Matt Bryan, one of Exaggerator’s owners, the person who saw something in Keith Desormeaux that allowed him to get his first big break as a trainer.

There were some lean years for Desormeaux – decades really – after saddling his first horse in 1988, a Colorado-bred named Spy Cliff who also provided the Louisiana native with his first winner while he completed his animal science studies at Louisiana Tech University.

That was the year after Kent won an Eclipse Award as outstanding apprentice jockey, and the year before he would set a record with 597 wins in a single season, his mounts earning more than $9 million.

In 1990, Keith’s first full year as a public trainer after working in Maryland as an assistant to the respected horseman Charlie Hadry, he won two races from 44 starts, his horses earning $26,131.Kent continued to ascend as one of the sport’s top jockeys, winning Kentucky Derbies and Eclipse Awards and riding titles. Keith scratched out a living while cheering his brother on from a distance, learning his craft and hoping to one day have the opportunity to compete at that level.

“It was unadulterated pride,” Keith said of Kent’s successes. “There was no animosity and it never frustrated me to see Kent at the highest level. What he accomplished was no surprise to me. It was easy to understand. We are in two different unique skill sets: my end is more intellectual and persistent; he’s an athlete – and I’m no athlete.”

By the traditional measurements of races and money won, Keith Desormeaux’s career was, to use a horseracing term, slow to get into stride. It wasn’t until his eighth year training that the stable’s earnings hit six figures.  He fell just short of $1 million in purses won in 2000, but 10 years later his starters earned just $429,213.

Desormeaux watched as one of his former assistants, Tim Ice, won the 2009 Belmont Stakes with Summer Bird. He was starting to have second thoughts about his own career path.

“I would not be honest if I said there weren’t some times I had doubts,” he said. “That situation came up in its fullest, in 2008, when we had the great recession. Owning racehorses is a perk, something extra; it’s not the kind of business you put your retirement funds in. So when the economy busted, people didn’t spend money on horses any more. I was down to eight horses, and I was saying, ‘Man, maybe it’s time to move on.’ We buckled down, and necessity is the mother of invention, so one of my friends came up with Don’t Tell My Wife Stable. We did a lease deal, didn’t send any bills (to the partnership investors) and lived off the purse money. It was a stage where I had better become a sharp horseman.”

Desormeaux doesn’t want anyone to think he was “broke and downtrodden,” as he puts it. Money from public and private sales helped supplement his income.

“I would venture to say I was very happy during those years,” he added, “although I knew that I wouldn’t mind having a bit more financial security.

“As I look back on it now, it was great preparation for when I got the right opportunity. And when I say opportunity, I mean an investor with the resources and enthusiasm. I never had that before. Those 20 years were an education, and I’m thankful I didn’t have to abuse someone’s resources to learn. When the time came, I was ready. You’re now seeing the product of what I said: a lifetime of work. I’m doing my best not to screw up Matt Bryan’s trust.”

Desormeaux was introduced to Bryan at a sale of 2-year-olds in training at Lone Star Park in Texas. “We hit it off right away,” Desormeaux said. “Cut from the same cloth: real practical, not a lot of hot air, and we understand each other.”

His first public auction purchase for Bryan was Ive Struck a Nerve, an $82,000 OBS April 2-year-old graduate in 2012 who would win the Grade 2 Risen Star Stakes at Fair Grounds the following year. They were off and running.

Two years ago, Desormeaux found Swipe for just $5,000 at the Keeneland September yearling sale. Racing for Bryan’s Big Chief Racing and partners, the son of Birdstone became a stakes winner with earnings of more than $600,000. In four of his races, he finished second to Nyquist, the 2-year-old champion of 2015 and Kentucky Derby winner that Exaggerator beat on Saturday.

Desormeaux bought a dozen horses for Big Chief Racing in 2015 for an average price of $37,853. In 2014, 11 purchases averaged $45,182, and in 2013, 10 averaged $45,200.

“I look for three simple traits: athleticism, balance and class,” Desormeaux said. “The class is the intangible part, you need to read between the lines looking at pedigrees. There are some conformation issues you can put up with that some might see as an absolute detractor. Swipe – I don’t like to use the word swayback – but he had a long dip in his back that he totally grew out of.

“I’ve survived by learning how to identify nice horses for cheap prices.”

“We’re blessed to have Keith Desormeaux picking out these horses,” Bryan said at Saturday’s post-race press conference. “We’ll put him in the Hall of Fame if I have anything to do with it.”


“Enjoyed the ride.”

LouisianaBred: Neal McFadden   #LouisianaBred

“Enjoyed the ride.”

Neal McFadden has always been a man of few words. When you Google his name multiple statistics come up with his success in breeding and racing. You won’t find lots of stories about him because he is just that kind of guy – the one who is always working behind the scenes. The statistics do the talking for him.


Neal has been a Louisiana Thoroughbred Breeders Association member and/or Board member for 25 years. He currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Association. He has been involved with the thoroughbred business for 30 years. McFadden Farm is his breeding and racing business, but it is also Neal’s passion.


Neal’s favorite horse is one he bred, Legs O’Neal, a multiple stakes winner that sold for $3,000 in the 2001 LTBA Spring Mixed Sale.


Neal and his wife love to trail ride. They continue to serve the thoroughbred industry in Louisiana as active breeders. Their horses continue to have great success in the sales and on the racetrack.


He currently resides in Baker, Florida with his wife Mary. He was a long time resident of Carencro, Louisiana where the couple owned and operated General Veterinary Supply.



VINTON, LA. – The $1,000,000 Delta Downs Jackpot (Gr. III) has become an important stop for 2-year-olds on their way to the Triple Crown series of races each year. On Saturday afternoon Exaggerator earned the distinction of becoming the first winner of the race to capture a Triple Crown event as he stormed home in the slop at Pimlico Race Course to take the Preakness Stakes (Gr. I).

Exaggerator, who is owned by Big Chief Racing, LLC, used a masterful ride by jockey Kent Desormeaux to gain victory in the Preakness. Although it was the Hall of Famer’s fourth trip to the Preakness winner’s circle it marked the first time his brother Keith had won a Triple Crown race. It was also the first time in history that siblings had teamed up as jockey and trainer to win the historic race which was being renewed for the 141st time. The Desormeaux brothers have deep roots in Louisiana racing, having grown up in the Cajun country of Maurice. Their father, Harris, owned Acadiana Downs. Keith earned an Animal Science degree from Louisiana Tech University before deciding to become a trainer on the Maryland circuit, where younger brother Kent would become an instant success winning the Apprentice Eclipse Award in 1987 on his way to an outstanding career that now includes seven Triple Crown race victories.

Exaggerator is now under consideration for the third leg of the Triple Crown, the Belmont Stakes, which will take place at Belmont Park in New York on June 11. Should Exaggerator succeed again it would mark the first time a horse has won the last two legs of the Triple Crown after failing to win the Kentucky Derby since Afleet Alex in 2005. Exaggerator ran second in this year’s Kentucky Derby to Nyquist, who was heavily favored on Saturday afternoon but finished third.

Exaggerator’s resume not only includes a win in last year’s $1,000,000 Delta Downs Jackpot, he also won the Saratoga Special (Gr. II) as a 2-year-old and the Santa Anita Derby (Gr. I) prior to his run in the Kentucky Derby and Preakness. The son of Racing Hall of Fame member Curlin has now amassed $2.97 million in total earnings.

The success of Exaggerator brings even more attention to Delta Downs’ signature event, which will take place for the 14 th time on November 19, 2016. The $1,000,000 Delta Downs Jackpot has been a regular fixture on the Road to the Kentucky Derby series of races that Churchill Downs implemented in 2013 and will most likely retain that distinction this year. The race has been a graded event since 2006.

“Our entire staff at Delta Downs and Boyd Gaming congratulate Exaggerator and his incredible team on their win in the Preakness Stakes,” said Steve Kuypers, Vice President and General Manager of Delta Downs Racetrack Casino & Hotel. “It was a great day for Thoroughbred racing in Louisiana and we are very proud of his accomplishment.”

For more information about the $1,000,000 Delta Downs Jackpot race and all the activities surrounding the event visit the website http://www.deltadownsjackpot.com.


Equine Sales Company 2-Year-Old Sale Records Big Gains

Equine Sales Company’s 2-Year-Olds in Training and Horses of Racing Age Sale, held May 10, recorded impressive increases with double-digit gains in gross, average and median. From 92 head offered, 60 sold for gross receipts of $918,300 with an average of $14,811 and median of $11,000. The gross jumped 27.4 percent from last year’s $720,700 on 54 of 75 sold. This year’s average increased 11 percent from $13,346, and the median soared 60.6 percent from $6,850. Buybacks came in at 32.6 percent, up from 28 percent last year.

“We couldn’t be more pleased with the results of this sale,” Sales Director Foster Bridewell said. “This was our third juvenile auction, and I think it has really established a foothold in the region in that short time. It really helped having the Equine Sales Derby and Equine Sales Oaks last week at Evangeline Downs to showcase the quality of horses to come out of this auction.”

The new races for sale graduates were held for the first time this year, and horses that went through the ring in this auction will be eligible for the 2017 runnings of those $75,000 stakes.

This year’s sale topper at $57,000 was a Louisiana-bred colt by Grade 1 winner and leading Louisiana stallion D’wildcat named D’digger. The chestnut is out of the Grade 2-winning Mining mare Desert Digger, who has produced five winners including stakes winner Sirmione. D’digger worked :11 flat in the May 8 under tack show and sold to Rodney Verret from the consignment of Twin Oaks Training Center LLC, agent.

The high-selling filly is from the first crop of four-time Louisiana Horse of the Year and all-time leading Louisiana-bred earner Star Guitar. Named Shamrock Star and consigned by Benchmark Training Center Inc., agent, the Louisiana-bred sold for $45,000 to Carl Moore Management LLC after working a furlong in a co-fastest :10 1/5.

Next up on the sale calendar for Equine Sales is the Consignor Select Yearling Sale on September 7.

eqsol-16-2yoFor hip by hip results, go to equinesalesofla.com.


Denis Blake


American Racehorse (formerly Southern Racehorse)







VINTON, LA. – Boyd Gaming Corporation (NYSE: BYD) today announced that this year’s $1,000,000 Delta Downs Jackpot (gr. III) for 2-year-olds will be held at its Delta Downs Racetrack Casino & Hotel on Saturday afternoon, November 19.

This year will mark the 14th anniversary of the $1,000,000 Delta Downs Jackpot, which is contested at 1-1/16 miles on a dirt surface. The race is the second richest in the country for 2-year-olds and has become a springboard to the Kentucky Derby. Since its inception the race has produced a total of 14 starters, including eight in the last four years, for America’s most historic race at Churchill Downs.

Last year’s $1,000,000 Delta Downs Jackpot, won by Kentucky Derby runner-up Exaggerator, was part of a 34-race series that made up the fourth edition of the ‘Road to the Kentucky Derby’ point system. Exaggerator followed the footsteps of Goldencents in 2012-13 as he parlayed his win at Delta Downs into a huge score in the Santa Anita Derby (gr. I) and eventually the Kentucky Derby starting gate. Goldencents eventually retired as the richest graduate of the $1,000,000 Delta Downs Jackpot with over $3 million in earnings.

The 2015 Delta Downs Jackpot Day program featured eight stakes races and over $2.2 million in total purse money. The undercard was highlighted by the $400,000 Delta Downs Princess (gr. III) for 2-year-old fillies, which produces qualifying points to horses on their way to the Kentucky Oaks (Gr. I). Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas won the Princess in 2014 with Take Charge Brandi, who would later be honored with the Eclipse Award for champion 2-year-old filly that year.

“The Jackpot Day program has become one of the most important in the country each year,” said Steve Kuypers, Vice President and General Manager of Delta Downs Racetrack Casino & Hotel. “The event brings top notch horses, jockeys, trainers and horseplayers together for an afternoon of fierce competition and our team is ready to put on another great show this November.”

For the fourth year in a row Delta Downs will offer a guaranteed $200,000 Jackpot Day Pick 4 during its biggest day of the year. The wager will feature the $1,000,000 Delta Downs Jackpot, the $400,000 Delta Downs Princess, the $250,000 Delta Mile as well as five other rich stakes races on the program.

Delta Downs Racetrack Casino and Hotel, a property of Boyd Gaming Corporation (NYSE:BYD), features exciting fun, casino action, live horse racing and great 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.

Equine Sales Company of Louisiana 2YO In Training Sale Today

Equine Sales Co. of Louisiana’s 2-year-olds in training and horses of racing age sale in Opelousas, La.  begins at 11 a.m. CDT, today, May 10, and will be streamed live on the sale company’s website. 101 head are cataloged.

“The catalog looked very strong on paper, and I think that was proven on the track with some excellent workouts,” said sales director Foster Bridewell.

All sale graduates are eligible for the Equine Sales Derby and Equine Sales Oaks, to be run next spring at Evangeline Downs for $75,000 purses.

The inaugural runnings of these races were held May 6-7: Jerry Namy’s Couche Couche took the Derby and Chance Yelverton’s Lil Allie Dancer, the Oaks.