Bossier City, LA – Live Thoroughbred racing at Harrah’s Louisiana Downs began on May 6 and the first major stakes program, Louisiana Cup Day, is set for Saturday, August 5.

While nominations for the annual Louisiana Cup do not close until July 22, interest is high for the seven divisional stakes for horses bred in Louisiana.  Purses totally $360,000 will be divided among the features which include four six-furlong main track stakes as well as the $50,000 Louisiana Cup Turf Classic and the $50,000 Louisiana Cup Distaff to be contested at a mile and one-sixteenth on the turf. The program also includes the $60,000 Prelude, a 1 1/16-mile race on the turf for 3-year-olds that serves as the local prep race for the Super Derby.

Trainer Efren Loza, Jr. has several horses pointed to Louisiana Cup Day. As previously reported by Mary Rampellini of the Daily Racing Form, Loza intends to run Taco in the $60,000 Prelude, with the intention of returning for the $200,000 Super Derby on September 9. The Kentucky-bred son of Gio Ponti won his first four starts, including the $50,000 Texas Heritage Stakes for 3-year-olds on February 25 at Sam Houston Race Park. He has not raced since finishing second in the $103,380 Pasadena Stakes on March 19 at Santa Anita. S

“He got a small cut on one of his legs so we had to give him some time off,” said Loza.  “He has resumed training and should be ready for the Louisiana Downs stakes.”

One other horse he has under consideration for the Prelude is St George Stables LLC’s Jilotepec, a lightly raced colt by Into Mischief, who has won two of his three career efforts.

“He has never run on the grass, but we think he would be good,” he added.

Loza will run Look Into My Eyes this Saturday in the $100,000 Louisiana Legends Mademoiselle Stakes and then back to Louisiana Downs on Louisiana Cup Day.  This will be the first start of the year for the 5-year-old daughter of City Zip who is owned by Kathleen Amaya and Raffaele Centofanti.  She has won seven of her 14 career starts, including the $50,000 Louisiana Cup Filly and Mare Sprint here last August.

Loza is based in south Florida, but has shipped several stakes runners to Texas and Louisiana in the past three years.  He is looking forward to returning to Louisiana Downs on August 5.

“Louisiana Downs has a nice turf course and we had success there last summer,” said Loza.

Post Times and Stakes Schedule

Live racing will be conducted Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday and Saturday with a 3:15 p.m. (Central) post time through September 27. The 84-day meet will include 14 stakes highlighted by two major events, Louisiana Cup Day on Saturday, August 5 and Super Derby Day on Saturday, September 9.  To see a complete list of the 2017 Thoroughbred stakes schedule, click here. 

Louisiana Downs Trainer and Jockey Standings

Through July 4, last year’s leading trainer Joey Foster continues to hold a commanding lead over his fellow conditioners with 29 wins.H. B. Johnson is second with 10 wins to date and Donald Melancon and Ronnie Ward have both saddled eight winners.


Richard Eramia continues to lead his fellow riders with 37 wins, and has been in the national spotlight with his solid form and wins as he divides his time between Louisiana Downs and Lone Star Park. Alexander Castillo has moved into second with 26 victories and Gerardo Mora follows closely with 25 wins.

Red Rose Racing tops the leaderboard in the owner standings with six wins.  Jorge Gomez and Patti Turner are tied for second place with five wins and eight owners follow closely with four victories.     

About Harrah’s Louisiana Downs

Located near Shreveport in Bossier City, Louisiana, Louisiana Downs opened in 1974 and was purchased by Caesars Entertainment in December, 2002. With annual Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse racing seasons, the track is committed to presenting the highest quality racing programs paired with its 150,000 square foot entertainment complex offering casino gambling, dining and plasma screen televisions for sports and simulcast racing.

For further information, please contact:

Trent McIntosh  |  Assistant General Manager
8000 East Texas Street | Bossier City, LA 71111
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