Several Horses Released From Fair Grounds EHV-1 Quarantine; Five Remain Positive

The Equine Disease Communication Center posted the following update on the Fair Grounds Racetrack EHV-1 outbreak on Wednesday: 

On January 23, all horses in isolation at the Fair Grounds racetrack were retested blood and nasal for EHV-1 after at least seven days of isolation. Five of 37 horses remained positive for EHV-1 non-neuropathogenic based only on nasal swab with 32 horses testing negative. Five horses that have completed quarantine were released. Trace-out horses from the receiving barn were released from restrictions following testing and or isolation. Scheduled retesting will continue on isolated horses until release requirements are fulfilled. No new symptomatic horses have been reported in any barns and increased monitoring and biosecurity remain in force.

Two Scholarships to be Awarded at Louisiana Premier Night

VINTON, La. – Louisiana Premier Night will take place on Saturday, February 11, at Delta Downs Racetrack Casino & Hotelin Vinton, La. The Louisiana Thoroughbred Breeders Association will award a total of two scholarships, each valued at $1,000, during the event. The races begin at 5:40 p.m. Students must sign up between 4:40 p.m. and 5:40 p.m. at the designated registration booth to be entered into the drawings.
The drawings will take place after the fifth race, and the student must be present to win. To qualify for the drawing, the student must be enrolled full-time in the Spring 2017 semester and must be in good standing with the college or university. The student is asked to know the address and name of the college they are attending so the scholarship can be directly deposited into their account.
            Delta Downs has hosted this event for the past six years. This year there is $850,000 dollars in total purse money. The featured championship race has a $150,000 guaranteed purse, with Fruition Racing LLC’s Stormdriver winning last year’s race. This annual event features ten races with the first race starting at 5:40 p.m.
“The Louisiana Thoroughbred Breeders Association continues to make an investment in the future of our state by investing in our students and the education process,” said Roger Heitzmann, secretary/treasurer for the Louisiana Thoroughbred Breeders Association. “This type of investment is for our future, the state, as well as the organization. Our hope is that these scholarships get the younger generations invested in LTBA so that our organization stays the top breeding incentive program in the United States.”
Louisiana Thoroughbred Breeders Association manages the best incentive program for breeding thoroughbreds in the United States. Since the organization formed, this has led to increased purses, better quality horses, and increased interest in racing and breeding horses. The thoroughbred racing and breeding industry generates over $1 billion and employs over 60,000 people in the state of Louisiana.
For more information about Louisiana Thoroughbred Breeders Association visit or call 1-800-772-1195.
Purse $150,000 Guaranteed
Four Year Olds and Upward
One Mile and One Sixteenth


Purse $50,000 Guaranteed
Fillies and Mares
Four Year Olds and Upward
Five Furlongs


Purse $50,000 Guaranteed
Four Year Olds and Upward
Five Furlongs


Purse $50,000 Guaranteed
Fillies and Mares
Four Year Olds and Upward
One Mile


Purse $50,000 Guaranteed
Four Year Olds and Upward
One Mile and One Sixteenth

Purse $100,000 Guaranteed
Fillies Three Year Olds
One Mile

Purse $100,000 Guaranteed
Three Year Olds
One Mile

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Fillies and Mares

Four Year Olds and Upward
Five Furlongs

Purse $100,000 Guaranteed
Four Year Olds and Upward
Five Furlongs

Purse $100,000 Guaranteed
Fillies and Mares

Four Year Olds and Upward
One Mile


LOUISVILLE, Ky. (Tuesday, January 24, 2017) – Churchill Downs Incorporated (NASDAQ: CHDN) (“CDI”) today named veteran gaming executive Douglas Shipley as President and General Manager of Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots (Fair Grounds) in New Orleans, LA. Shipley will oversee the management team and all Fair Grounds operations including their gaming, racing, and video poker/OTB operations.

Shipley is a veteran gaming operator with over 30 years of leadership experience with companies like Grand Casinos, Delaware North, Ameristar, Isle of Capri and Caesars Entertainment in markets including:  Minnesota, Nevada, California, New York, Florida, Missouri, Mississippi, and Maryland where he most recently served as the General Manager of Maryland Live! for the Cordish Companies.

“I am delighted to be reunited with Doug after our time spent together working in the gaming industry in Minnesota,” CDI Sr. Vice President of Gaming Operations Austin Miller said. “Doug and I share a passion for constant improvement, superior guest service and building great teams.”

“I have been following and admiring the growth and success of Churchill Downs Incorporated and couldn’t be more proud to join their team,” said Shipley. “This position is a great fit for me and I can’t wait to get to know the team and the great city of New Orleans.”


Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots, the nation’s third-oldest racetrack, has been in operation since 1872. Located in New Orleans, Fair Grounds is owned by Churchill Downs Incorporated (NASDAQ Global Select Market: CHDN); it also operates a slot-machine gaming facility and 10 off-track betting parlors throughout southeast Louisiana. Access information about Fair Grounds online at


Churchill Downs Incorporated, (CDI) (NASDAQ: CHDN), headquartered in Louisville, Ky., is an industry-leading racing, gaming and online entertainment company anchored by our iconic flagship event – The Kentucky Derby.  We are a leader in brick-and-mortar casino gaming with gaming positions in eight states, and we are the largest legal online account wagering platform for horseracing in the U.S., through our ownership of We are also one of the world’s largest producers and distributors of mobile games through Big Fish Games, Inc. Additional information about CDI can be found online at


Albarado Rides 5,000th Winner Sunday

Robby Albarado celebrates his 5000th career win at the Fair Grounds
Robby Albarado celebrates his 5000th career win at the Fair Grounds

Jockey Robby Albarado joined an elite group on Sunday at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots when earning his 5,000th career victory. The 43-year-old Lafayette, Louisiana, native became only the 33rd rider to reach the milestone when guiding Oak Tree Stables’ Scott Gelner-trained Vivacious V. V. to victory in the day’s first race.

Albarado began riding professionally at age 16 in June of 1990 and has ridden the likes of top horses Not This Time, Captain Steve, Orientate, Court Vision, Stellar Jayne, Banshee Breeze and – of course – two Horses of the Year in Mineshaft and Curlin. He is also the seventh-leading active jockey in earnings, with his mounts earning in excess of $205 million. In that category, he is 13th all-time.

“It’s amazing. I feel like it’s a combination of owners and trainers, family and friends’ support to get to this point – I didn’t do it alone,” Albarado said. “It’s fitting to get it here where I started out. I won three races the whole winter my first meet here. I stuck it out and now I’m here on 5,000 wins. It’s pretty special to do it here at Fair Grounds.”

A father of four who is married to Paige Albarado of Fair Grounds Horsemen’s Relations, Albarado has won 201 graded stakes, including 35 Grade I events. His top victories have been the Grade I Preakness Stakes and Grade I Breeders’ Cup Classic aboard Curlin in 2007, as well as the Group I Dubai World Cup aboard that that two-time Horse of the Year the following season. Additionally, Albarado has hit the board in the Grade I Kentucky Derby three times (2006, 2007 and 2013) and Grade I Belmont Stakes three times (2007, 2008 and 2014).





VINTON, LA. – Delta Downs hosted a pair of stakes races on Saturday night and the results were vastly different in each event. The result of the $100,000 Pelican Stakes was a shocker as 70-1 longshot Freakonthelead pulled a jaw-dropping upset before Wildcat Wish scored a much more formful victory in the $70,000 Fremont Stakes at odds of 5-2.

Freakonthelead was sent off as the longest shot on the tote board in the Pelican under jockey Timothy Thornton, who kept his mount close to the lead in the seven-furlong affair. The early pace was set by Bending Saint, who covered the opening quarter-mile in 24.42 seconds, the half in 49.70, and three-quarters in 1:14.41. As the field of nine reached the upper-stretch, Freakonthelead took the lead but was under pressure all the way to the finish line where he was a half-length to the good of both Underpressure and Magic Vow, who would up in a dead heat for the place position.

Freakonthelead covered the distance in the 3-year-old race for Louisiana-breds in a time of 1:27.46. The race was contested over a fast track.

The win by Freakonthelead, who is owned by Whispering Oaks Farm, LLC (Carrol Castille) and trained by Steven Flint, was the second of his career. He had just broken his maiden in his most recent start which came on December 7. The winner’s paycheck of $60,000 raised his bankroll to $103,320.

Freakonthelead is a 3-year-old chestnut runner by Run Production, out of the Always a Classic mare Always on Top. He was bred in the Bayou State by Carrol J. Castille.

Fans who took a flyer on Freakonthelead were rewarded with massive payoffs of $143 to win, $21.60 to place and $10 to show. Underpressure, the 6-5 favorite, paid $2.20 to place and $2.40 to show. Magic Vow was worth $2.60 to place and $3 to show.

The Fremont Stakes win by Wildcat Wish came with a similar trip to Freakonthelead as he pressed the early pace before taking a big lead in the stretch and reporting home with a six-length victory over race favorite Louisiana-bred, Mageez. It was Wildcat Wish’s second stakes score of the meet as he also won the Sam’s Town Stakes on Jackpot Day, November 19.

Wildcat Wish was ridden to victory by Luis Negron, who accepted the mount from trainer Efron Loza, Jr. The Florida-bred son of Wildcat Heir is owned by St. George Stable, LLC (German Larrea). Wildcat Wish has now won five of 18 lifetime starts and earned a total of $232,455.






VINTON, LA. – Delta Downs hosted a pair of stakes races on Friday night. The $100,000 Azalea Stakes was won by Brittlyn Stables Inc.’s Mr. Al’s Gal with jockey Richard Eramia in the saddle while the $70,000 Eldorado Stakes was annexed by Juan Francisco Landaeta’s Vieja Luna with jockey Roberto Morales at the controls.

Mr. Al’s Gal, who is trained by Justin Jeansonne, broke from the inside post position in a field of seven Louisiana-bred 3-year-old fillies competing at seven furlongs. The speedy runner immediately went to the lead over a track listed as sloppy following heavy rainfall that pelted the racetrack about an hour before race time. Mr. Al’s Gal was loose on the lead after carving out fractional times of 23.28 seconds for the quarter-mile, 47.73 for the half, and 1:13.63 for three-quarters.

In the second and final turn Our Millie rallied to be on even terms with the leader but could not get past her rival in the homestretch. When the wire was reached, Mr. Al’s Gal pulled 3-1/2 lengths clear of Our Millie for the decisive win. My Gal Layla finished another 3-1/4 behind in third. The final running time was 1:27.56.

The victory marked the third in four starts for Mr. Al’s Gal who also enjoyed her second consecutive stakes tally. The winner’s paycheck of $60,000 raised her lifetime bankroll to $145,280.

Bred in the Bayou State by J. Adcock & Neal McFadden, Mr. Al’s Gal is a dark bay or brown filly by Salute the Sarge out of the Spanish Steps mare Spanish Ice.

Sent to the gate at odds of thirty cents on the dollar after her 12-3/4 length win in the $100,000 Louisiana Futurity at Fair Grounds on December 31, Mr. Al’s Gal paid $2.60 to win, $2.10 to place and $2.10 to show. Our Millie was worth $3.60 to place and $2.60 to show. My Gal Layla paid $4.60 to show.

Vieja Luna’s win in the Eldorado, a one-mile event for 4-year-old and older fillies and mares, was the first stakes win of her career, and like Mr. Al’s Gal she did all her running all on the lead. She is trained by Jose Camejo and she earned $42,000 for her winning effort. The Kentucky-bred daughter of Street Hero out of the Dayjur mare Amaday has now won four of 19 starts overall and banked a total of $134,102.


Fair Grounds Quarantine Could be Lifted Jan. 21

The quarantine of Fair Grounds Race Course imposed due to an outbreak of Equine Herpes Virus-1 (EHV-1) could be lifted as early as Jan. 21, the State of Louisiana Department of Agriculture & Forestry announced in a release Wednesday. The last detected case of Equine Herpes Myeloencephalopathy (EHM)–the more progressed form of the virus–was discovered Dec. 31, 2016. Horses continue to be monitored for both EHM and EHV-1 and, if no new cases are discovered by Jan. 21, phasing out of the quarantine will begin with the 42 Fair Grounds barns in which horses never showed signs of the virus.

“We are encouraged that the disease seems to be contained,” said Agriculture and Forestry Commissioner Mike Strain, D.V.M. “These measures were taken for the health and safety of all horses in the state. We continue to work with the Fair Grounds and Racing Commission to ensure that biosecurity measures will be maintained.”

A total of 39 horses and one barn remain in isolation. Horses who have tested positive for EHV-1 will remain isolated until their tests come back negative, while horses who were exposed but never tested positive will be released on a case-by-case basis.

“After consulting with the state veterinarian, USDA Veterinary Services, LSU and outside experts on infectious diseases, we feel this is a logical plan to allow the release of unaffected horses, Strain added. “The horses that remain in isolation are most at risk. We will continue to monitor these horses until they are in the clear. However, should there be another case of EHV-1 or EHM, we will respond accordingly.”

Delta Downs Ends Quarantine

Delta Downs has ended its quarantine effective Monday, January 16, 2017. A notice sent by  LHBPA Executive Director, Edwin J. Fenasci, states:

“Delta Downs has ended our current quarantine on all horses effective Monday, January 16.

Horses should have a CVI for entry into backside dated within 48 hours prior to arrival.

After Jan. 22nd the normal 30 day issued CVI will be valid for entry.

Should any changes take place to this policy an update will be posted on the overnight.

Temperature Swings Increase Risk of Colic in Horses

Monday, January 16, 2016—As winter sets in, notable temperature swings have occurred in many areas of the country. Perhaps it’s 50 F during the day but drops to 25 F at night, or sunny and mild one day but snowing the next. Horses are notorious for colicking under these conditions, but horse owners can minimize this through simple management strategies.

It may seem obvious, but providing access to fresh, unfrozen water is essential for proper hydration and digestion. The more forage a horse consumes, the more water required to help move it through the gastrointestinal tract. This is especially important in winter when moisture-rich pasture grass is limited or absent.

Offering free-choice salt or adding a little salt or electrolytes, especially a slow-release electrolyte supplement, to a horse’s ration will encourage a horse to drink and assist in keeping a horse adequately hydrated, minimizing colic risk. Another key to helping a horse stay hydrated is to provide plenty of forage in the form of hay or pasture grasses because the presence of the fiber in the gut will stimulate the thirst response.

Additionally, microbes in the hindgut ferment the structural carbohydrates, or fiber, in hay or grass. Heat is a byproduct of fermentation, which helps keep the horse warm. For this reason, extra hay (and water, of course) should be offered when temperatures are expected to drop. Note that grain concentrates will not have quite the same hydrating or warming effect. Exceptions would be commercial feeds high in beet pulp or standalone soaked beet pulp, which will have a similar effect as forage. The use of a digestive-tract conditioner  helps minimize the risk of colic.

When temperatures drop, it’s not unusual for training regimens to diminish and for turnout time to decrease. Exercise and movement, even if just walking around a turnout area, promotes gut motility. When horses are confined for long periods due to inclement weather, the risk of colic increases. Keep horses moving and turned out as long as the footing is safe. With this in mind, for horses that live outside, shelter is critically important for protection from the elements. If a horse’s coat or blanket becomes wet, the risk for chill increases dramatically and could trigger a bout of colic. Be sure to check in on your horses, especially in inclement weather.

In summary, remember the basics. The importance of water cannot be overstated in helping a horse stay healthy and hydrated. Good-quality forage is essential for warmth and proper gut motility. When drastic temperature changes are predicted, pay extra attention to a horse’s behavior. Any subtle changes could indicate a problem. Call your veterinarian immediately if you suspect colic or any health issue.


Kentucky Equine Research (KER) is an international equine nutrition, research and consultation company serving both the horse producer and the feed industry. Its goal is to advance the industry’s knowledge of equine nutrition and exercise physiology and apply this knowledge to produce healthier, more athletic horses. For more information, see or call 888-873-1988.

Full Field Of 12 Scheduled For Derby Prep Lecomte At Fair Grounds

A promising field of 12 will go to post in New Orleans’ first Kentucky Derby prep of the year in the Grade III $200,000 Lecomte Stakes on Jan. 21. Topping a six-stakes Road to the Derby Kickoff Day Presented by Hotel Monteleone card, the mile and 70-yard event renews for the 72nd time with a wide-open field.

Three horses with graded stakes form enter the sophomore challenge with experience edges, including Klaravich Stables and William H. Lawrence’s Shareholder Value, a course and distance allowance winner on Dec. 26 for 11-time leading trainer Tom Amoss. Like last year’s Amoss-trained winner Mo Tom, Shareholder Value is a son of Uncle Mo with a serious turn of foot who looks to improve upon a loss in the Grade II Kentucky Jockey Club two back. Shaun Bridgmohan has the return call from post four.

New York-bred Pat On the Back enters for trainer Ken McPeek’s local string. Drawing in post 11, he exits a sixth in the Grade III Delta Jackpot on Nov. 19 and was a two-time state-bred stakes winner in the fall. Dylan Davis, who was aboard for those two added-money victories and all three of his career tallies, flies in for the mount.

Whispering Oaks Farm’s Tip Tap Tapizar (James Graham, post seven) looks to improve upon an eighth in said Delta Downs meet centerpiece and return to the form that saw him win the $103,000 Sapling Stakes at Monmouth Park in September and place in the a pair of graded sprint events last summer for trainer Steve Asmussen. The 13-time leading trainer also entered Winchell Thoroughbreds’ $300,000 Springboard Mile runner-up Totality (David Flores, post three) and Michael Langford’s sharp Churchill Downs maiden sprint winner Untrapped (Ricardo Santana, Jr., post five).

Two swift local sprint winners with stamina-laden pedigrees stretch out for well-respected connections in Bret Jones’ Larry Jones-trained Running Mate (Gabriel Saez, post nine) and breeder-owner-trainer Dallas Stewart’s Saint’s Fan (Brian Hernandez, Jr., post 12). The former, a son of Creative Cause, was a disappointment when second by three last out in the $50,000 Sugar Bowl Stakes as the 2-5 favorite, an effort that followed two six-furlong romps. The latter, by Tale of Ekati, enters off a victory over fellow Louisiana-breds in the $100,000 Louisiana Champions Day Juvenile on Dec. 10.

William S. Farish and Lora Jean Kilroy’s Guest Suite (Robby Albarado, post eight) romped in a Churchill Downs one-turn mile allowance in late November last out for trainer Neil Howard. With zero stamina question, the son of Quality Road broke his maiden three back going 1 1/16 miles at Keeneland and was third in the $83,000 Street Sense Stakes at a one-turn mile two back.

A pair of promising and expensive sons of Arch enter off a swift maiden heat over the Lecomte course and distance in John C. Oxley’s Mark Casse-trained Takeoff (Florent Geroux, post 10), a $550,000 OBS March 2016 purchase, wired said field in a final time nearly a second faster than Shareholder Value clocked two races prior. He finished a length ahead of Donegal Racing’s Brad Cox-trained runner-up Arklow (Jon Court, post two), a well-regarded $160,000 Keeneland September 2015 yearling who enters as a maiden.

Brad Grady’s Joe Sharp-trained impressive local maiden claiming romper Phat Man (C. J. McMahon, rail), a son of Munnings and top turf sprinter Nicole’s Dream, and Jay and Joan Janssen’s Leo Gabriel, Jr.-trained local turf maiden victor Marco Mischief (Marcelino Pedroza, post six) complete the field.