Bossier City, LA – Trainer Joseph M. Foster is a force to be reckoned with at Louisiana Downs. “Joey” as he is known to fellow racetrackers, is a man of few words, but a work ethic not surpassed by many.
Well-known at the Bossier City racetrack, Foster stands alone at the top of the trainer standings for the 2017 Thoroughbred racing season, which began on May 6. He has enjoyed an enduring history at Louisiana Downs with a myriad of wins, including his first career victory by Striker J. scoring an upset at 32-1 on May 14, 1992.
Over the past 25 years, the native of Arkansas, has saddled 4,705 horses, winning 643 races with purses topping $10 million. It took Foster ten years to reach the $1 million mark in earnings, but he has done that for the past six years with runners mostly at the claiming and allowance levels. Louisiana Downs, Delta Downs, Evangeline Downs and Oaklawn Park have been Foster’s mainstay tracks, but he also has fond memories of running at Aksarben in Omaha, Nebraska.
“Aksarben was special,” said Foster. “It was run by a non-profit group and the people in Nebraska loved racing. The support to horsemen was unbelievable. They kept the place very clean; would come paint the barn area, mow the lawn and do whatever they could do to help. Legends of racing ran there and the fans were amazing.”
The highlight of the Louisiana Downs meet his year came on Louisiana Cup Day, Saturday, August 5. Illusionofreality, a 4-year-old daughter of Yankee Gentleman, notched her fourth win a row and first stakes of her career for Foster and owners Maury and Leslie Harrington.
Drawing the 13 hole in a mile and one-sixteenth turf event is not what most horsemen would ask for, but with nice rating from regular rider Alexander Castillo, Foster’s talented filly was able to hold off a late charge from Safari Calamari and become a stakes winner.
“It worked for us that day,” said Foster, said of the post. “I was really happy to win a stakes for the Harringtons. They are two of the nicest people I have ever known and have been with me for a while.”
Maury Harrington purchased Hometown Gossip, a filly by Milwaukee Brew for $7,500 at the 2011 Breeders’ Sales Company of Louisiana Yearling Sale. She earned over $200,000 for the Harringtons and Foster before she was claimed. Foster enjoys that part of racing and points to Drinking Fund as one of his most astute claims. He cites his good fortune on January 20, 2012 at Delta Downs when he claimed the Louisiana-bred filly for $5,000.
“We claimed her for $5,000 and she won over $285,000,” stated Foster.
Nationally accomplished conditioner Brad Cox won three of the nine stakes on Louisiana Cup Day, but it was also a very good showing for the local horsemen. H. B. Johnson, currently second in the standings, saddled Berniestrike, winner of the $50,000 Louisiana Cup Turf Classic and Sunny Oak wired the field in the $50,000 Louisiana Cup Filly and Mare Sprint for Louisiana horseman Edward Johnston.
“It’s always nice to win the bigger races at your home track,” added Foster. “H. B. had a good win and Eddie won with his filly too.”
Illusionofreality will train up to the $60,000 River Cities on Super Derby Day.
Foster has already surpassed his 41 winners from last year’s leading trainer title at Louisiana Downs, and looks very likely to pick up his second trophy when the meet concludes on September 27. He was third in 2015 with 39 wins, so slowly, but surely, Foster has risen up the ranks.
“We’ve been knocking on the door,” acknowledged Foster. “I’ve been down here for a lot of years, so it’s nice to see things going well.”
Special Noon Post Time for Super Derby Day
The marquee day of the 2017 Louisiana Downs Thoroughbred meet is Super Derby Day onSaturday, September 9. Officials announced that post time for the stakes-filled card will be 12:00 pm (Central). Nominations will close on August 26 for the following featured events:
$60,000 Unbridled 3 YO & Up 1 1/16 miles (T)
$60,000 River Cities 3 YO & Up F&M 1 1/16 miles (T)
$60,000 Happy Ticket 2 YO Fillies One Mile (T)
$60,000 Sunday Silence 2 YO One Mile (T)
$50,000 Tellike 3 YO & Up F&M 5 Furlongs (T)
$50,000 Need for Speed 3 YO & Up 5 Furlongs (T)
$200,000 SUPER DERBY 3 YO 1 1/16 miles (T)
Louisiana Downs Trainer and Jockey Standings
Through August 14, last year’s leading trainer Joey Foster continues to hold a commanding lead over his fellow conditioners with 44 wins. H. B. Johnson is second with 21 wins to date and Ronnie Ward is in sole possession of third place with 13 wins. Donald Melancon follows in fourth; he has each saddled 12 winners.
Richard Eramia continues to lead his fellow riders with 59 wins. Gerardo Mora won nine races last week and is in second place in the standings with 49 trips to the winner’s circle. Apprentice Aubrie Green has piloted 43 winners and Jose Guerrero follows closely with 42 wins.
Patti Turner tops the leaderboard in the owner standings with nine wins. Jamie C. Pastor moved into second-place with eight victories and Beverly Burress, Jorge Gomez, Red Rose Racing, Maury and Leslie Harrington, Phyllis Hodges, Anthony Faulk and Terrell Jarrett, Jr. each have won seven races in the 2017 Thoroughbred meet.
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