The Louisiana Downs 2016 meet that opens this Saturday, May 7. The 84-date season at the Bossier City oval will run through Sept. 24.
The highlight of the season will the Super Derby, its richest race, on a card of five stakes, to be run on Sept. 10. The program, worth a total of $700,000, will again include a pair of one-mile turf stakes for 2-year-olds, the $75,000 Sunday Silence and the $75,000 Happy Ticket. The Super Derby will be run over 1 1/8 miles, and the purse remains $400,000. In a change, the Super Derby will be contested as a Grade 3 race this year after holding Grade 2 status last season, when it was won by Mobile Bay.
Louisiana Downs will group seven stakes together Aug. 6 for the annual Louisiana Cup. There will be six divisional stakes for horses bred in Louisiana, led by the $75,000 Louisiana Cup Turf Classic and the $75,000 Louisiana Cup Distaff. The program also includes the $100,000 Prelude, a 1 1/16-mile race for 3-year-olds that serves as the local prep for the Super Derby. Purses for the races will total $450,000.
Louisiana Downs will race Wednesdays through Saturdays at this meet, with special Monday cards May 30, July 4, and Sept. 5.