Nation’s Third Highest Ranked Jockey to Ride Six on Sunday, September 2
Bossier City, LA – In addition to the quality field of 3-year-olds set to compete Super Derby 39 on Sunday at Harrah’s Louisiana Downs, fans will also have the opportunity to see one of the eminent riders in North America. Florent Geroux will make his Louisiana Downs debut on Sunday with six mounts on the Super Derby card. Born in Normandy, France, Geroux was a top apprentice in France in 2005 and has steadily ascended to the highest echelon since relocating to the United States a decade ago. He is currently ranked third in earnings in the North American Equibasestandings behind the prolific brothers, Jose and Irad Ortiz.
In Sunday’s Grade 3, $300,000 Super Derby, Geroux will ride High North for owners Shortleaf Stables, Inc. and trainer Brad Cox. Bred in Kentucky, the colt by Midnight Lute won the $250,000 Iowa Derby on July 5, and was third in the Grade 3, $500,000 West Virginia Derby on August 4.
“I’ve ridden him several times; he’s a very nice horse,” said Geroux. “Maybe the only disappointing race was the Peter Pan (at Belmont last May). It might have been a little long for him, but he ran big in the Iowa Derby.”
In addition to High North, Geroux will also pilot Hachi in the $60,000 River Cities and Big Changes in the $60,000 Unbridled for Cox. He also has two mounts for trainer Scott Gelner: Taylor’s Spirit in the $60,000 Happy Ticket and Future Abundance in the $60,000 Sunday Silence and will ride Bionic Butterfly for conditioner Steve Flint in the $60,000 Elge Rasberry.
While Sunday marks his first appearance at Louisiana Downs, there is a compelling Super Derby connection this weekend for Geroux. On Saturday, he will ride 2017 Super Derby champion Mr. Misunderstood in the $750,000 Tourist Mile at Kentucky Downs. The noted turf specialist will be seeking his seventh stakes win since his victory here one year ago for trainer Brad Cox and his owner, Staton Flurry.
“For sure the Super Derby was great for Mr. Misunderstood,” said Geroux. “He’s been an amazing horse for Brad and Staton.”
Geroux won the 2016 and 2017 leading rider titles at Fair Grounds, and completed this year’s meet as the top money-earning jockey at the New Orleans racetrack.
Always popular with horseplayers, Geroux jetted to Sam Houston Race Park last January, the morning after winning the $16 Million Pegasus World Cup at Gulfstream Park aboard Gun Runner. Most riders might have preferred to remain in the jocks room and catch a quick nap, but Geroux graciously did interviews and signed autographs for racing fans.
“You have to support the fans,” he said. “They are very important to our sport and I always try to meet them when I can.”
Seven Stakes on Sunday’s Program
The 39th running of the Super Derby is set as the eleventh race of the card, with an approximate post time of 5:05 pm. The complete field, in post position order, with riders, and odds:
Autumn Warrior, Colby Hernandez; 6-1
Charlie’s Schiller, Aubrie Green; 20-1
Lone Sailor, James Graham; 7-5
McFeely, Ashley Broussard; 20-1
Bode’s Maker, Joel Dominguez; 30-1
G’s Turn, Thomas Pompell; 20-1
Limation, Diego Saenz; 12-1
High North, Florent Geroux; 5-2
Lionite, David Cabrera; 9-2
In addition to the Super Derby, six additional stakes will be contested on Sunday’s program.
$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)
$60,000 A. L. (Red) Erwin 3 YO LA-Bred One Mile (T)
$60,000 Elge Rasberry 3 YO Fillies, LA-Bred One Mile (T)
Super Derby Festivities Set for Sunday, September 2
The marquee day of the 2018 Louisiana Downs Thoroughbred meet will get underway at a special post time of 12:00 pm (Central) Several promotions and special events are planned so that both racing fans and families will have an enjoyable Labor Day Sunday.
At 10:30 am, fans are invited to participate in a Jockey Meet and Greet and Autograph Signing in the Harrah’s Louisiana Downs main entrance area. A photo of the riders will be available for $5.00 with the proceeds to benefit the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund (PDJF).
Louisiana Downs track announcer John McGary and regional racing publicist Martha Claussen will team up for a pre-race handicapping preview at 11:00 am in the Inside Rail, located on the first floor of the grandstand. They will offer detailed analysis of the Grade 3, $300,000 Super Derby as well as their selections for each of the races on the Super Derby card.
Also beginning at 11:00 am, a Children’s Area will open on the Racing Apron. Face Painting is available for an additional charge. Children can join in the fun with the Super Derby Stilt Walkers and Hula Hoop Stars! Food Trucksfrom across the region will be serving up great local bites for purchase.
Beginning at noon and continuing through the last race, fans can swipe their Total Rewards card at the racing kiosks to receive their Super Derby 39 $5 Free Bet that can be redeemed on Saturday, September 8, 2018.
Also at 12:00 pm, registration begins for the Super Derby Ladies Hat Contest. Hats will be judged in three categories: Spirit of Louisiana, Classic and Most Original. The winners will receive $100 cash.
The Food Truck Face-Off will take place after the 3rd race. Competitors will have five minutes to scarf down some of the yummiest foods available for purchase on the Racing Apron. Seven popular local celebrities and three participants from the crowd will compete to win, not only bragging rights, but $250 in cash.
After the 6th Race Harrah’s Louisiana Downs Super Derby 39 Opening Ceremony will include a Proclamation by Bossier City Mayor Lorenz Walker, posting of the colors by the Bossier Sheriff’s Young Marines and The National Anthem performed by American Idol cast member, Garrett Jacobs.
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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