Nine Stakes to be Contested on Saturday, August 5
Bossier City, LA – Nominations for the annual Louisiana Cup Day at Harrah’s Louisiana Downs on Saturday, August 5 have closed with tremendous interest from horsemen.
The Louisiana Cup Day program will feature six divisional stakes for horses bred in Louisiana, with four six-furlong main track stakes as well as the $50,000 Louisiana Cup Turf Classic and the $50,000 Louisiana Cup Distaff on the turf. Two additional turf stakes, the $50,000 John Henry and the$50,000 Opelousas, originally scheduled at Evangeline Downs, will also be on the Louisiana Cup Day card. Purses for the all-stakes August 5 program will total $460,000.
The $60,000 Super Derby Prelude for 3-year-olds going a mile and one-sixteenth on the Franks Turf Course closed with 23 nominations. The winner of the stakes receives a berth to the $200,000 Super Derby on Saturday, September 9; the richest race of the 2017 Louisiana Downs Thoroughbred racing season. The move to the grass course marks a departure for the track’s signature Super Derby, which had its first running in 1980, and had a noted history as a graded stake contested at nine furlongs on the dirt.
Trainer Efren Loza, Jr intends to run Taco in the Prelude. The Kentucky-bred son of Gio Ponti is owned by V. A. Racing Stables LLC and Amancio Alonzo and has won four of his five turf starts. 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 Prelude.”
The nominees include several stakes winners who will be making their debut on grass.
Trainer Allen Landry conditions Magic Vow, the high-earner of the 23 nominated runners for the Prelude. The son of Private Vow out of the Broad Brush mare Whitewashed has earned $199,900 for Brittlyn Stable, Inc. This will be the first turf start for the bay gelding, but Landry believes his charge will handle the surface switch.
“He’s bred for the grass and he has shown us he can route,” said Landry. “We’ll bring “Boo Boo”(jockey Kerwin Clark) as he knows him well.”
John S. Turner’s Impressive Student is also nominated and under consideration according to trainer Morris Nicks. Sired by Student Council, Impressive Student had a good meet earlier this year at Fair Grounds, breaking his maiden on the turf on January 29, and scoring again at the allowance level on March 3. He competed at Louisiana Downs in the $100,000 Louisiana Legends, finishing sixth to Trust Factor.
“The older horses might have outclassed him, “said Nicks. “He was training well after a layoff, and we debated running him in the Legends or waiting for the Prelude. We are not 100% certain we will run on August 5, but so far, everything looks good.”
Multiple stakes winner Rumpole, bred and owned by Joe Archer of Fletcher Properties Inc., is another horse making his first start on the grass. The son of leading Texas sire, Too Much Bling won the $65,000 Jim’s Orbit at Sam Houston Race Park and followed that up with a victory in another race for Texas-bred colts, the $50,000 Groovy Stakes. Trainer Robert Young shipped him to Lone Star Park where he won the $65,000 Texas Stallion Stakes under current top Louisiana Downs rider Richard Eramia.
“I was hoping to try him on the turf at Lone Star, but could never get a race for him,” said Young. “I haven’t got a clue if he’ll like it or not, but he’s really training well.”
Loza has also nominated St George Stables LLC’s Jilotepec for the Prelude. The 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,” added Loza.
Local horsemen who have nominated runners for the Prelude include Louisiana Downs leading trainer Joey Foster with Mizztic Tale; Charles Hukill with Score’s Choice and former jockey, Beverly Burress, who conditions Charlie Ballado.
The draw for the nine features on Louisiana Cup will take place on Saturday, July 29.
Saturday, August 5 Louisiana Cup Day
$50,000 Louisiana Cup Juvenile 2 YO LA-Bred Six furlongs
$50,000 Louisiana Cup Juvenile Fillies 2 YO Fillies LA-Bred Six furlongs
$50,000 Louisiana Cup Filly & Mare Sprint 3 YO & Up F&M, LA-Bred Six furlongs
$50,000 Louisiana Cup Sprint 3 YO & Up LA-Bred Six furlongs
$50,000 John Henry 3 YO & Up 1 1/16 miles (T)
$50,000 Opelousas 3YO & Up F&M 1 Mile (T)
$50,000 Louisiana Cup Turf Classic 3 YO & Up LA-Bred 1 1/16 miles (T)
$50,000 Louisiana Distaff 3 YO & Up F & M LA-Bred 1 1/16 miles (T)
$60,000 Super Derby Prelude 3 Y0 1 1/16 miles (T)
Louisiana Downs Trainer and Jockey Standings
Through July 24, last year’s leading trainer Joey Foster continues to hold a commanding lead over his fellow conditioners with 34 wins. H. B. Johnson is second with 14 wins to date and Ronnie Ward took sole possession of third place with 11 wins. Donald Melancon and Jorge Lara have each saddled 10 winners.
Richard Eramia continues to lead his fellow riders with 47 wins, and looks also to be in contention for the Lone Star Park riding title when their meet wraps on July 30. Gerardo Mora moved into second-place in the standings with 36 wins and Alexander Castillo is third with 31 victories. Aubrie Green follows with 30 trips to the winner’s circle. She lit up the toteboard in Monday’s seventh race, scoring with Sailorman ($136), owned and trained by Henry Ray Dunn.
Patti Turner, Beverly Burress and Jamie C. Pastor are tied top of the leaderboard in the owner standings with seven wins each. Red Rose Racing, Jorge Gomez, Anthony A. Faulk and Terrell Jarrett, Jr. have all won six races in the 2017 Thoroughbred meet.
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.
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