Bossier City, LA – Harrah’s Louisiana Downs has announced an increase in overnight race purses for the 2018 Thoroughbred season, effective June 30.  All overnight races, up to and including $12,500, will be increased by $1,500. All other purses will be raised by $1,000.

The 84-day live racing season began on May 5 and the cards on Saturday, Monday, Tuesday and Wednesdayafternoons have been well-received on-track as well as by simulcast players throughout the country. With two major stakes days, Louisiana Cup Day on August 4 and
Super Derby Day on September 2, the purse increases will bolster the daily race cards for the meet which continues through Wednesday, September 26.

“We are pleased to announce this purse increase,” said David Heitzmann, Harrah’s Louisiana Downs Racing Secretary. “While our Grade 3, $300,000 Super Derby remains the richest race of the meet, we have a loyal core of horsemen who work hard to fill races throughout the season. We are hopeful that this increase will benefit both our horsemen and horseplayers.”

The annual Louisiana Cup Day on August 4 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 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. Purses for the Louisiana Cup Day stakes will total $360,000.  In addition to the Super Derby, six additional stakes will be contested on Sunday, September 2 with total purses for the holiday card totaling $660,000.


Big Saturday for Jockey Joel Dominguez and Agent Don Simington

Saturday, June 23 was a memorable day for both jockey Joel Dominguez and his agent, Don Simington. Dominguez won six of seven races on the card at Louisiana Downs, finishing third in the sixth race. Hector Del-Cid, who also is represented by Simington, guided Bitsy’s Half to victory, “spoiling” the sweep by Dominguez.

Dominguez began his day winning the first five races, beginning with Gardner’s Song; Phat and Fast; N.D. Free; Sunshine Tutie and Vinyl. He returned to the winner’s circle in the finale aboard Beautiful Gi Gi.

“The day set up perfectly for me,” admitted Dominguez. “I told my wife that I was named on a lot of horses that had a shot. But I never thought I could win six races!

As previously been reported in weekly notes, the 28-year-old rider ended his apprentice status on May 23.  He was confident that he would make the transition to journeyman status with the support of many trainers, including Al Stall, Jr., Joe Duhon, Dana Whited, Ronnie Ward, Ralph Irwin and Al Cates.

After losing his bug, Dominguez stated that one of his goals was to finish in the top three in the rider standings. He has won 27 races and is currently tied with Emanuel Nieves for the lead. Last year as an apprentice, Dominguez finished as the tenth-leading rider with 31 victories.

Born in Durango, Mexico, Dominguez credits his hard-working agent, Simington for his success so far as well as his record-setting Saturday.

“Don has me riding for many different barns,” he said.  “He’s doing a great job!”

Simington, hung up his tack in 2015 after winning over 3,400 races. He won five races on a card at Louisiana Downs several years ago, but had no issue with Dominguez breaking his record!


“It was an exciting day for Joel and nice day for me, winning seven races with my riders,” said Simington.


Camel and Ostrich Racing Set for July 4

Harrah’s Louisiana Downs is hosting Exotic Animal Races on Wednesday, July 4th. Fans of all ages will enjoy Ostriches and Camels racing on the main track in between live Thoroughbred races. Post time is 3:15 pm and activities for families on the Kid’s Zone apron will get underway at noon.  The popular Food Trucks will make a return appearance and The Harrah’s Club is offering an All you can eat, All day Buffet for $29.99.


Wednesday and Saturday Race Day Promotions

Louisiana Downs offers value for racing fans each Wednesday with Dollar Day. They will be able to enjoy $1 hot dogs, $1 beer at the Paddock as well as $1 programs. Saturday’s weekly promotion is the Family Four Packfeaturing four hot dogs, four sodas, a program, and a box seat for four at the affordable price of just $16.


The Total Rewards program is free for horseplayers. With the swipe of their card each Saturday, members will receive valuable incentives.  These include:

  • Play $250 or more to receive a 5X multiplier
  • Play $1,000 or more to receive a 7X multiplier
  • Play $5,000 or more to receive a 10X multiplier

Participant’s multiplier cannot exceed a total balance of more than one hundred thousand (100,000) Reward Credits during one promotional day after the multiplier is applied.


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 4 and Super Derby Day on Sunday, September 2. As previously announced one major change for the upcoming season is that the Grade 3, $300,000 Super Derby will return to the main track at a distance of a mile and one-sixteenth on Sunday, September 2.

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.

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