Bossier City, LA – Gerardo Mora, who was the leading rider last year at Harrah’s Louisiana Downs, is now in the lead with 35 trips to the winner’s circle. He won five races on the June 27th card, sending the message that a repeat of his title is certainly on his mind.
“My meet started a little slow, but I did not think about it too much,” said Mora. “I am just focused on winning races.”
Born in Palestine, Texas, Mora, 26, has ridden in Texas and Louisiana since 2011. He rode as an apprentice at Retama Park near San Antonio, and won the riding title at Sam Houston Race Park in 2013 and 2014. He has ridden 4,877 Thoroughbreds with a record of 623 wins, 689 seconds, 629 thirds and earnings of $9.2 million.
Mora is riding for a number of horsemen at Louisiana Downs, including Danny Pish, Ralph Irwin, Jamie Pasto, Patrick Moutonand last year’s leading conditioner, Joey Foster. He credits his agent, former top Louisiana jockey, Ronald Ardoin for building his business.
“I’ve got a great agent,” added Mora. “He sees the races better than anyone and is always there to help me.”
Mora added another three wins on the Monday, July 9th card, including a victory for Liaison Halo for Pish and owner Dennis Foster.
“He was making his second start and improved off his experience in his first race,” said Mora. “He relaxed as we made the trip between horses and handled the rail very well.”
Several jockeys are riding very well this meet Mora knows the race for the title could go down to the wire. Emanuel Nieves is second in the standings with 34 wins. Joel Dominguez took command of the June 23rd card, winning six of the seven races. He has won 32 races to date. Richard Eramia, who has locked up leading rider honors already at Lone Star Park, has 25 wins to his credit at Louisiana Downs. He will be a threat once Lone Star concludes on July 15.
Louisiana Cup Day News
Harrah’s Louisiana Downs will present Louisiana Cup Day on Saturday, August 4 featuring seven stakes for Louisiana-breds.
Trainer Danny Pish may nominate Liaison Halo for the $50,000 Louisiana Cup Juvenile, a six-furlong stakes he won last year with Scott Brown’s Ace Guitar.
“He’s a definite maybe,” said Pish. “He ran a very professional effort on Monday, so we will just have to see if mentally and physically, he is ready to take the next step up.”
Mary Rampellini of the Daily Racing Form broke the news that Autumn Warrior, who ran his record to 2-for-2 in the recent Lafayette Stakes at Evangeline Downs, is under consideration for the $60,000 Prelude Stakes. Trainer Al Stall, Jr. has the mile and one-sixteenth mile main track race in mind for the son of Orb, bred and owned by Autumn Hill Farms Racing Stables, Inc. The Prelude serves as a prep for the Grade 3, $300,000 Super Derby which will be run on Sunday, September 2.
Louisiana Cup Day nominations for the following stakes close on July 21.
$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 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
Al Stall, Jr. and Danny Pish Tied for Leading Trainer
As of July 10, Al Stall, Jr. and Danny Pish are tied for the lead in the trainer standings with 13 wins each. Joe O. Duhon is second with 12 victories and Karl Broberg and Henry E. Uriegas have each saddled ten winners to share third place. Eric Nelson, Jr. and Beverly Burress follow closely with nine wins each.
Dream Walkin Farms, Inc. tops the owner standings with nine wins with End Zone Athletics, Inc. in second place with eight winners. Jorge Gomez is third with six wins, one more than Patti Turner.
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 4and 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.