Field of 11 Entered in the $60,000 Super Derby Prelude with Winner Advancing
to the Grade 3,$300,000 Super Derby on Sunday, September 2
Bossier City, LA – The fields are set for Louisiana Cup Day at Harrah’s Louisiana Downs on Saturday, August 4. First post is 3:15 pm (Central) for the all-stakes card which will feature six stakes for accredited Louisiana-breds as well as the $60,000 Super Derby Prelude.
The Prelude for 3-year-olds will be contested at the distance of a mile and one-sixteenth on the main track. The winner will receive a berth to the Grade 3, $300,000 Super Derby on Sunday, September 2, which is the richest race of the 2018 Louisiana Downs Thoroughbred racing season.
Leading the 11-horse field for the Prelude is Dream Baby Dream, a colt by Into Mischief out of the Songandaprayer mare Galetoire. He will make his 12th career start for Dream Baby Dream Racing Stable and Hall of Fame conditioner Steve Asmussen. Winless this year, he ran second in the Sunland Derby in March, then the Grade 1, Arkansas Derby and most recently, the Ohio Derby. A recent solid work at Ellis Park was encouraging for Asmussen, and the bay colt will break from post position four with Diego Saenz as the 5-2 morning-line favorite.
“He ran a great race at Sunland, but was a little overmatched in the (graded) stakes,” said Asmussen from his Saratoga base. “I hope he will turn things around on Saturday. Lee Ackerley (Dream Baby Dream Racing Stable) was one of my first owners and we continue to have a great association.”
Current Louisiana Downs leading trainer Al Stall, Jr. sends the undefeated Autumn Warrior to the stakes. Owned and bred by Robert Guidry’s Autumn Hill Farms Racing Stables Inc., the son of Orb out of the Posse mare, Kinsolving broke his maiden here on May 5 by 14 lengths and advanced directly into stakes company. He captured the $50,000 Lafayette Stakes for Louisiana-bred 3-year-olds at Evangeline Downs by an impressive margin of 6-3/4 lengths. This will be the first start around two turns, but Stall, who has won 15 races so far this meet at Louisiana Downs, feels his charge is ready.
“If you look at his races, he was just galloping,” he said. “Stretching out to two-turns is the challenge; his sire, Orb, won the Kentucky Derby, but his dam, Posse, was a sprinter. You never know, but we like what we have seen from him so far.”
Colby Hernandez has the return call on Autumn Warrior, installed as the second choice at 3-1. Stall acknowledges two special people in his corner, owner Robert Guidry and longtime assistant, Pam Fitzgerald, who capably oversees his Louisiana Downs string.
“Mr. Guidry gave me my first horse back in 1991, a filly by Mt. Livermore named Lady Cacharel,” said Stall. “Pam has been an invaluable part of our team for more years than I can count. She handles the lion’s share of our horses in Shreveport and it has been a very good meet for us.”
Rosemont Farm’s homebred Zanesville returns to Louisiana for trainer Tom Amoss. The son of Tiznow began his career in Kentucky, breaking his maiden earlier this year at Delta Downs. He shipped to Prairie Meadows and closed well for third in the $65,000 Prairie Mile on June 8.
“He came out of that race fine,” said Amoss. “He’s a late running type and will do well if they set a nice pace and he can come with his late run.”
Amoss, like Stall and Asmussen, will be at Saratoga on Saturday, but he knows Zanesville will be in good hands with jockey Gerard Melancon.
“I can’t say enough about Gerard,” added Amoss. “We have a great relationship; he knows what I want from him and always offers me valuable insight into our horses.”
Analyze This Jet, who ran fourth in the Prairie Mile, has been nominated by trainer Terry Eoff who co-owns the Kentucky-bred son of Overanalyze with Johnny Evans. He won the El Joven Stakes at Retama Park last October.
Trainer Robert Schultz will saddle Double Star for the $60,000 Prelude. Owned by Four Star Racing, the son of Star Guitar out of the Stormy Atlantic mare Bond Queen, has won four of his 12 career efforts, including two stakes earlier this year at Evangeline Downs.
The Super Derby Prelude is set as the sixth race of the card, with an approximate post time of 5:45 pm. The complete field, in post position order, with riders is: Double Star, Jose Guerrero; Speedy Fellar, Richard Eramia; G’s Turn, Thomas Pompell; Dream Baby Dream, Diego Saenz: Zanesville, Gerard Melancon; In Charge Halo, Gerardo Mora; Autumn Warrior, Colby Hernandez; McFeely, Ashley Broussard; Bode’s Maker, Joel Dominguez Analyze This Jet, Sasha Risenhoover; and Major Brown, Emanuel Nieves.
“We are very grateful to our horsemen for their tremendous support of our all-stakes card this Saturday,” said David Heitzmann, Louisiana Downs Director of Racing. “They were encouraged by the additional $10,000 for each of the accredited Louisiana-bred stakes and we thank the Louisiana Thoroughbred Breeders Association (LTBA) for the added money. We look forward to presenting an excellent Louisiana Cup Day.”
$60,000 Louisiana Cup Juvenile Fillies
The first stakes of the afternoon will feature a field of eight accredited 2-year-old Louisiana-bred fillies in the six-furlong $60,000 Louisiana Cup Juvenile Fillies.
Atchata owned by Corrine and William Heiligbrodt has been a rising star for trainer Steve Asmussen. The daughter of Apriority was bred by 4M Ranch and made her first two starts at Belmont Park before shipping to Evangeline Downs for the $75,000 D.S. “Shine” Young Futurity, winning by a margin of 6 ½ lengths. Installed at odds of 7-5, she has already won $100,000. Diego Saenz, who guided her to victory at Evangeline Downs on July 14, will ride.
“She’s a very nice filly; very quick,” stated Asmussen. “We felt this was a very good spot for her.”
Silvercents, who ran second in $100,000 TTA Sale Futurity for Terry Eoff and Johnny Evans at Lone Star Park, will make her Louisiana Downs debut under rider Sasha Risenhoover. The daughter of Goldencents has hit the board in each of her three career starts.
The field also includes Scat At Ms. Pat’s who ran third to Atchata in the D.S. Shine Young Futurity as well as Brittlyn Stable, Inc.’s homebred Iona Guitar, by Star Guitar who broke her maiden impressively here on July 7 for Stall.
$60,000 Louisiana Cup Filly & Mare Sprint
The $60,000 Louisiana Turf Cup Classic attracted seven fillies and mares competing at the distance of six furlongs.
The field includes several mares who competed in the $75,000 Louisiana Legends Mademoiselle on May 26 at Evangeline Downs, including Efforting, Dixie Brees and Frolic. Stall conditions Efforting, a 4-year-old daughter of Into Mischief for Horseplayers Racing Club, LLC.
“She runs really well fresh,” said Stall. “We liked her work last weekend; was one of the best works by any of our horses. This is the right spot for her.”
Efforting will break from the rain under Colby Hernandez as the 5-2 choice.
Recent allowance winners Honest Victory for owner/trainer Tim Dixon and I’ll Take it All, trained by Ralph Irwin, will make their first foray into stakes company.
$60,000 Louisiana Cup Distaff
An overflow field of 13 accredited Louisiana-bred fillies and mares will take to the Franks Turf Course for the $60,000 Louisiana Cup Distaff.
Bermuda Star, owned by Brittlyn Stable, Inc., will likely be one of the top contenders in the mile and one-sixteenth feature. Bred by Tom Curtis and Wayne Simpson, the daughter of Star Guitar is trained by Victor Arceneaux, and will be seeking her fifth career win on Saturday. The gray filly won the 2017 Equine Sales Oaks at Evangeline Downs, and exits a fifth place finish in the Opelousas Stakes on July 6. She will reunite with Diego Saenz at odds of 5-1.
“She ran well last year at Louisiana Downs,” said Arceneaux of her runner-up effort in the Elge Rasberrry Stakes. “We look for a good race from her Saturday.”
Another Brittlyn Stable, Inc. filly, Wild About Star is entered for Stall, and will be ridden by Colby Hernandez. Successful in turf sprints, she will stretch out to two turns in the Distaff.
Eskenformore, trained by James Hodges, has a proven turf record at Louisiana Downs. Owned by Sugarland Thoroughbreds LLC, the 5-year-old mare will be ridden by Richard Eramia.
Stakes-placed Pera for trainer Ricky Courville and Smiley Briley from the barn of Al Cates also have performed well in their turf races.
$60,000 Louisiana Cup Juvenile
The fourth feature of the afternoon is the $60,000 Louisiana Cup Juvenile for Louisiana-bred 2-year-old colts and geldings. A field of eight will compete at six furlongs on the main track.
Norman Stables LLC’s Victory Trip ran second in the D.S. Shine Futurity for trainer Lonnie Briley and will break from the far outside post as the 5-2 favorite under Ashley Broussard.
“He ran really green in that race,” stated Briley. “He ducked out and lost several lengths, but he came out of the race with no problems and has been working well. I think he’ll move forward; the good news is that he is sound, and kind of a neat, little horse.”
Asmussen and the Heiligbrodt’s team up with Beto, who finished third to Victory Trip.
Trainer Danny Pish won last year’s edition of the race with Scott Brown’s Aceguitar and will saddle Liaison Halo, who broke his maiden here on July 8 for owner Dennis E. Foster.
$60,000 Louisiana Cup Turf Classic
The $60,000 Louisiana Turf Cup Classic attracted 11 turf runners going a mile and one-sixteenth over the Franks Turf Course.
Mageez, a 5-year-old sired by Musket Man has been installed as the 3-1 morning line favorite. Owned by Double Dam Farm LLC and trained by Delmar Caldwell, Mageez has hit the board in each of his last three stakes races, running a game second to Mobile Bay in the Star Guitar at Fair Grounds. He broke his maiden at Louisiana Downs three years ago.
Trainer H. B. Johnson has two entrants, including Berniestrike, who pulled the upset in last year’s event. Bred and owned by James Boyd, the son of Wilburn out of the Unusual Heat mare Unusual Strike won at odds of 22-1. He won off an eight-month layoff last year and will be making his first stakes in six months, as his last race was the Dixie Poker Aceon March 3 at Fair Grounds.
“He ran in New Orleans and got hurt, so we had to give him some time off,” said Johnson. “I think he’ll do well again; turf is his best surface.”
The 5-year-old gelding has won four of his 19 starts, earning $169,470 to date. Johnson will also saddle Lass Channel, a 7-year-old sired by English Channel who rallied for a turf win here on June 2. Joel Dominguez will ride Lass Channel andEmanuel Nieves has the call on the defending champion, Berniestrike.
Theoryintopractice, captured the $50,000 Starter on Louisiana Legends Night at Evangeline Downs, will run for owner Courtney Barousse and trainer Corale Richards. The son of Into Mischief is undefeated on turf and makes his first start at Louisiana Downs.
Other notables include Magic Vow, who ran third in last year’s Prelude Stakes for Brittlyn Stable, Inc. and stakes-placed turf runners Paddy O’ Lionel and In The Navy.
$60,000 Louisiana Cup Sprint
The $60,000 Louisiana Cup Sprint will close out the card run as race seven. The six-furlong main track dash drew a field of 11.
Monte Man, owned by Ivery Sisters Racing, will be seeking his sixth consecutive win for trainer Ron Faucheux. His most recent victory came on May 26 at Evangeline Downs when jockey Gerard Melancon guided him to the wire of the $75,000 Louisiana Legends Sprint. It was the third consecutive stakes score for the son of Custom For Carlos, out of the Sutter’s Prospect mare, Sarah’s My Angel, bred by Val C. Murell.
“We have just had him since October and he’s undefeated so far,” said Faucheux.
Melancon has the return call and will break from post position seven as the 2-1 choice.
Divine Bean, who was gelded after the Fair Grounds meet and has come back “as a different horse” according to trainer Al Stall. He’s won his last two races for Brittlyn Stable Inc.
Another contender is Sir Genghis, a 7-year-old sired by Tale of the Cat, who will make his 46th career starts on Saturday. Trained by Kirk Harris, the dark bay gelding ran second to Monte Man in the Louisiana Legends Sprint and is the high earner in the field with $449,412.
Several Jockeys Making Their First Appearance of the Meet
In addition to the leading riders of the Louisiana Downs meet, there will be some new jockeys making the trip to Bossier City for Saturday’s card. Gerard Melancon, Ashley Broussard, Diego Saenz, Kerwin Clark and Sasha Risenhoover all have mounts on Louisiana Cup Day.
Handicapping Preview Show Set for Saturday Afternoon
Louisiana Downs track announcer John McGary and regional racing publicist Martha Claussen will team up for a pre-race handicapping preview at 2:30 pm in the Inside Rail, located on the first floor of the grandstand. They will offer analysis and their selections for each of the races on the Louisiana Cup Day card.
Scholarship Drawings Set for Louisiana Cup Day
The Louisiana Thoroughbred Breeders Association will award two (2) scholarships, each valued at $1,000 on Louisiana Cup Day.
The drawings will be between the fifth and sixth races. The races begin at 3:15 p.m. and the student must be there to register between 2:15 p.m. and 3:15 p.m.at the designated registration booth.
The requirements for the scholarship are as follows:
Must be a college student enrolled full-time for Fall 2018.
Must be in good standing with the college or university.
Must be present at the drawing location to win.
Must have university ID number or Social Security number.
The scholarship will be deposited directly into the student’s account at the college or university. The student is asked to know the name and address of the college that they are attending.
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.