Special Post Time of 12:00 pm Set for Sunday, September 2
Bossier City, LA – Nominations have closed for Super Derby Day at Harrah’s Louisiana Downs, which will take place on 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).
The Super Derby program will feature seven stakes, highlighted by the Grade 3, $300,000 Super Derby, for 3-year-olds going a mile and one-sixteenth on the main track. The Super Derby closed with 30 nominations, and included four Thoroughbreds who had competed in the Grade 1, $2 million Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs.
Trainer Tom Amoss has nominated Lone Sailor, who finished eighth in this year’s Run for the Roses for owner G M B Racing. The colt by Majestic Warrior faced Triple Crown winner Justify again in the Preakness Stakes. Lone Sailor ran second by a nose in the Grade 3, Ohio Derby and most recently finished a respectable third in the Grade 1, Haskell Invitational at Monmouth Park.
John Oxley’s Flameaway, who also ran in the Kentucky Derby would certainly receive considerable attention from horseplayers should trainer Mark Casse decide to send him to Louisiana Downs. The colt by Scat Daddy has earned over $834,000 in his 12 career efforts. He ran second in the Grade 2, $600,000 Jim Dandy at Saratoga in his most recent start.
Trainer Dale Romans has nominated eight runners for the Super Derby, including two Kentucky Derby participants: Promises Fulfilled and Free Drop Billy. Promises Fulfilled, a son of Shackleford owned by Robert J. Baron, triumphed in the Grade 2, Fountain of Youth at Gulfstream Park and was a three-length winner in the Grade 3, Amsterdam on July 28 at Saratoga.
Albaugh Family Stables, LLC’s Free Drop Billy has competed in nine graded stakes to date. Sired by Union Rags, the chestnut colt made his last start in the Grade 1, Belmont Stakes in June.
Trainer Brad Cox, who won the 2017 Super Derby, which was contested on the Franks Turf Course, with Flurry Racing Stable’s Mr. Misunderstood, has nominated High North, for owners Shortleaf Stables, Inc. 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. Mr. Misunderstood, who won the Prelude and Super Derby last year, has racked up seven stakes wins for Cox and owner Staton Flurry since last August at Louisiana Downs. One of the country’s most accomplished turf specialists, the 4-year-old son of Archarcharch will make his next start on September 1 in the $750,000 Tourist Mile at Kentucky Downs.
Indiana Derby champion Axelrod owned by Slam Dunk Racing, is another notable nominee. The victory at Indiana Grand on July 14 was the first Grade 3 for the Florida-bred son of Warrior’s Reward.
Another talented 3-year-old who earned his berth into the Super Derby on August 4 is Autumn Warrior, winner of the $60,000 Super Derby Prelude at Harrah’s Louisiana Downs. Bred and owned by Robert Guidry’s Autumn Hill Farms Racing Stable Inc., the son of Orb, is undefeated in three starts, including his first route race for trainer Al Stall Jr. Overcoming a troubled trip in the Prelude, he advanced from seventh to win in a thrilling photo finish under rider Colby Hernandez. The dark bay colt has remained at Louisiana Downs under the watchful eye of Stall’s assistant, Pam Fitzgerald.
“He’s doing well,” she reported. “He had a real easy breeze last Saturday and will work again this Saturday. Although he can be a handful, we get along well. We were proud of his effort in the Prelude; he handled the difficult trip very well and couldn’t have gotten more experience from his first time stretching out.”
Other Prelude top four finishers, G’s Turn owned by Tom Galvin of Dallas, Texas is nominated and will likely enter, according to trainer Patricia West.. Amoss also trains Zanesville, a son of Tiznow, who ran third in the Prelude for Rosemont Farm LLC. Also, Oakwood Stable Inc’s McFeely, who completed the superfecta in the Prelude, is on target for the Super Derby The colt by Scat Daddy is conditioned by John Ney.
The Super Derby, which had its first running in 1980 has a rich history. The illustrious list of past champions includes four Kentucky Derby winners, four Preakness Stakes winners, five Belmont Stakes winners and seven Travers Stakes winners. Six previous Super Derby entrants have won the prestigious Breeders’ Cup Classic and three Super Derby winners, Tiznow, Sunday Silence and Alysheba have been voted the Eclipse Award as Horse of the Year, the industry’s highest award.
The draw for Super Derby Day will take place on Monday, August 27. The featured stakes are:
$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)
$300,000 SUPER DERBY (G3)
3 YO 1 1/16 miles
$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)
Louisiana Downs Trainer and Jockey Standings
Through August 20, Karl Broberg is the leading trainer with 19 wins. Al Stall, Jr, is next with 17 victories. Last year’s leading conditioner Joey Foster has saddled 15 winners and Jorge Lara, Danny Pish and Joe O. Duhon are tied with 14 wins each.
Emanuel Nieves continues to lead his fellow riders with 62 wins, and is hoping to clinch his first leading rider title when their meet wraps on September 27. Joel Dominguez is in second-place in the standings with 52 wins and Gerardo Mora, last year’s top jockey, is third with 49 victories. Richard Eramia follows with 38 trips to the winner’s circle, but has departed to ride at Remington Park. Hector Del-Cid rounds out the top five riders with 35 wins.
End Zone Athletics, Inc. tops the owner standings with 12 wins. Dream Walkin Farms, Inc. follows closely with 11 first-place finishes. Patti Turner has nine wins and Indian Creek Thoroughbred Farms, LLC has won eight races in the 2018 Thoroughbred meet.
Super Derby Handicapping Seminar Set for Sunday, September 2
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.
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.