The Grade 3, $300,000 Super Derby Anchors the Sunday, September 2nd Card
Bossier City, LA – While the Grade 3, $300,000 Super Derby is the lone graded stake Sunday, September 2 at Harrah’s Louisiana Downs, the card will also feature six compelling undercard turf features on its 13-race program. The marquee day of the 2018 Louisiana Downs Thoroughbred meet will get underway at a special post time of 12:00 pm (Central).
As announced Monday, August 27, Lone Sailor who finished eighth in this year’s Run for the Roses for owner Gayle Benson’s GMB Racing, leads a field of nine in the Super Derby. Trained by Tom Amoss, the bay colt has faced the nation’s top three-year-olds, including Triple Crown winner Justify in both the Kentucky Derby and 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. Lone Sailor has competed in eight graded stakes to date and is the high earner in the Super Derby field with $579,237 banked in twelve starts. Jockey James Graham has the mount aboard the 7-5 morning-line choice.
His top rivals include Autumn Warrior, who earned his berth into the Super Derby as the winner of the $60,000 Super Derby Prelude here on August 4 for trainer Al Stall, Jr; Iowa Derby winner High North from the barn of Brad Cox and Lionite, who will ship in for Hall of Fame conditioner Steve Asmussen.
The 39th running of the Super Derby will run as the eleventh race of the afternoon, with an approximate post time of 5:02 pm (Central).
Taylor’s Spirit Gets Top Billing in the $60,000 Happy Ticket
The first feature of the day, the 33rd running of the $60,000 Happy Ticket, drew a field of seven fillies at a mile on the Franks Turf Course. Norman Stables, LLC’s Taylor’s Spirit will try to remain undefeated while making her turf debut for trainer Scott Gelner. The filly by Algorithms broke her maiden at first asking on July 8 at Prairie Meadows, returning 12 days later to win the $65,000 Prairie Gold Lassie Stakes. In addition to the surface switch, this will be her first time routing, but Gelner has confidence in his filly.
“She’s a good mover, so I think she will handle the distance,” said Gelner. “In her stakes win at Prairie Meadows, she was headed from the get go, but dug in for the win.”
Jockey Florent Geroux has the call and faces six rivals including Noble Love owned by Love Partnership Interests, LP. The daughter of Noble Mission (GB) ships in off a maiden special weight turf victory at Ellis Park for trainer Bret Calhoun. Three fillies with recent turf wins include Brittlyn Stable, Inc.’s Flatoutandfoxy, Navy Regatta owned by Patricia and Kevin Fontenot and Miss Perdito Key, who scored here on July 24 for her owners, Fletcher B. Clement and Michael Alexander, Jr.
The Happy Ticket will run as the second race on the Super Derby program.
Cabo’s Rumor Makes His Turf Debut in the $60,000 Sunday Silence
The fourth race of the afternoon is the $60,000 Sunday Silence with eight juveniles competing at one mile on the Franks Turf Course. This is the 15th edition of the race named in honor of the prolific champion who won the 1989 Super Derby, Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes.
It will mark the turf debut for several of the colts and geldings in the field, including Cabo’s Rumor, winner of the $60,000 Louisiana Cup Juvenile here on August 4. Owned by Northpointe Thoroughbreds, the son of Amanecer de Oro closed gamely down the stretch under top Louisiana Downs jockey Emanuel Nieves for his first stakes score. The bay colt will make his first start on turf, but trainer Steven Duke, thinks he will handle the surface switch.
“He’s been training very well and we gave him a work on the turf (on August 25),” said Duke. “Both his mom and dad won on the grass. This stakes is a mile, but he’s pretty fit and we’ve always believed he could go longer.”
Cabo’s Rumor will face several 2-year-olds who recently broke their maiden. Future Abundance, a son of Overanalyze won at first asking on August 11 at Prairie Meadows for owner Greg Brous. The Iowa-bred gelding is trained by Gelner and will be ridden by Geroux. Golden Tooth Ranch LP’s Fredonian scored a three-length victory in his debut here on August 13. Sired by The Factor, he is trained by Jason Meaux, who will give a leg up to Eguard Tejera.Breaking from the far outside is Big Bobby Brown, a son of Shanghai Bobby, who scored by two lengths under Aubrie Green at Louisiana Downs on August 1 for owners Robert Joseph and Dana Salome.
Overflow Field of Fillies and Mares Entered in the $60,000 River Cities
A full field of fillies and mares will compete in the 33rd running of the $60,000 River Cities at the distance of a mile and one-sixteenth on the turf.
Hachi (CHI), a 5-year-old stakes-placed mare will make her Louisiana Downs debut under jockey Florent Geroux as the 7-5 morning-line choice. Brad Cox trains the Chilean import for breeder and owner Don Alberto Stable. Cox won last year’s edition of the race with Quinta Verde (IRE), who began her career in Europe and picked up her first stakes in the River Cities.
Trainer Mike Maker sends in Calumet Farms’ Susie Bee, a 6-year-old mare by noted turf sire, English Channel. She has won seven turf races and is the high earner in the field with $382,423. Colby Hernandez will ride the Kentucky-bred, who notched her most recent black-type win on April 28 in the $75,000 Powder Break Stakes at Gulfstream Park.
“I hope she likes the Louisiana Downs turf as much as the Gulfstream Park turf course,” said Maker. “She is a game mare and always gives it her all.”
The field also includes the winner and runner-up from the $60,000 Louisiana Cup Distaff, run here on August 4. Bermuda Star, owned by Brittlyn Stable, Inc., sat off a swift early pace before closing gamely under rider Diego Saenz for her third career turf victory. The daughter of Star Guitar is trained by Victor Arceneaux and will break from the rail. Eskenformore, trained by James Hodges, ran second for owner Sugarland Thoroughbreds LLC. Jockey Gerardo Mora will ride the 5-year-old mare by Eskendereya, who will be making her 11th lifetime start.
The River Cities will run as the ninth race of the afternoon with an estimated post time of 3:59 pm.
Big Changes Leads the Field in the $60,000 Unbridled
Trainer Brad Cox sends Big Changes in the 40th running of the $60,000 Unbridled. The Florida-bred son of Shipman owned by Steve Landers Racing,LLC is in pursuit of his fourth consecutive stakes race in the mile and one-sixteenth turf feature. He won the $50,000 John Henry at Evangeline Downs and followed that with a three-length victory in the West Virginia House of Delegates Speaker’s Cup Stakes at Mountaineer Park on August 4. The chestnut gelding was the favorite in last year’s Unbridled, running second to Net Gain, Big Changes will be ridden by jockey Florent Geroux, as the even-money choice on the morning line.
Silent Citizen, a 3-year-old colt sire by Hat Trick (JPN), will make his Louisiana Downs debut for trainer Efren Loza, Jr. Owned by W. Mike Anderson, the dark bay colt has won four of his seven career efforts, including the $50,000 Stanton Stakes on June 13 at Delaware Park.
Mocito Rojo, who ran fourth to Big Changes in the John Henry Stakes on July 7, is trained by Shane Wilson. The 4-year-old colt owned by Wayne T. Davis, will be ridden by Filemon Rodriguez. Louisiana-bred Magic Vow returns to Louisiana Downs for owner Brittlyn Stable, Inc. and conditioner Allen Landry. The 4-year-old son of Private Vow ran second in the $60,000 Louisiana Cup Turf Classic here on August 4. Kerwin Clark has the return call.
Ten Louisiana-Bred Fillies Take to the Turf in the $60,000 Elge Rasberry
The 24th running of the $60,000 Elge Rasberry drew a field of ten Louisiana-bred 3-year-old fillies. Yes Gorgeous, owned and trained by Scott Gelner, has been installed as the 5-2 choice in the one-mile turf feature.
The filly by Mass Media will be making her 17th start, and other than her first two career efforts, has never missed a check. This will be her first race at Louisiana Downs.
“She is a blessing from God for me and my family,” stated Gelner. “Granted, she has been a bridesmaid nine times, but she always gives 100% every time she runs. She is a very sweet filly and (jockey) Diego (Saenz) knows her well.”
Scrivener Stables’ Savvy Shipman, began her career at Fair Grounds and has made four starts at Indiana Grand this year. Trainer Mike Maker conditions the daughter of Midshipman, who will be ridden by Colby Hernandez. Another capable filly is Bionic Butterfly, trained by Steve Flint, who has been a solid allowance level performer at Evangeline Downs for Whispering Oaks Farm, LLC. Florent Geroux will ride the daughter of Custom for Carlos in the Elge Rasberry.
Drewcitable Leads the Field in the $60,000 A. L. (Red) Erwin
Louisiana-bred 3-year-old colts and geldings will take to the Franks Turf Course in the $60,000 A. L. (Red) Erwin. Norman Stable LLC’s Drewcitable will be seeking his fourth win in five starts for trainer Lonnie Briley. The son of Artie Schiller will break from post position eight as the 5-2 morning line favorite.
“He’s coming into this well, but it’s been six weeks since his last race,” said Briley. “We entered him in a one-mile race at Evangeline that did not fill. This race came up pretty tough, but I like our chances.”
Regular rider Diego Saenz has the call and Briley also commended his owner, Robbie Norman.
“Robby is a super good guy,” added Briley. “It’s a pleasure to train for him!”
Trainer Mike Maker sends in Battle At Sea, a son of Into Mischief for Three Diamonds Farm. This will be the fifth stakes of the year for the bay colt, who will be ridden by Colby Hernandez.
2017 Sunday Silence winner Budro Talking is also entered for owner Jerry Durant and trainer Mike Neatherlin. The gelded son of Tale of Ekati will be ridden by Chris Rosier.
Jockey Autograph Signing to Benefit PDJF Set for Sunday, September 2
As part of Sunday’s Super Derby festivities, fans are invited to participate in a Jockey Meet and Greet and Autograph Signing in the Harrah’s Louisiana Downs main entrance area at 10:30 am. A photo of the riders will be available for $5.00 with the proceeds to benefit the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund (PDJF).
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.