Top Four Finishers in the $60,000 Super Derby Prelude Advance
to the Grade 3,$300,000 Super Derby on Saturday, September 7
Bossier City, LA – The fields are set for Louisiana Cup Day at Harrah’s Louisiana Downs on Saturday, August 3. 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. Leading the seven-horse field for the Prelude is Roy W. Cobb’s homebred Mr Money Bags who began his year with three consecutive wins, including back-to-back stakes scores at Sam Houston Race Park.
The son of Silver City out of the Miss Photogenic mare was Triple Crown nominated by his connections, trainer Mike Neatherlin and Cobb, who teamed up with multiple graded stakes colt Kip Deville over a decade ago. The Oklahoma-bred won the 2007 Breeders’ Cup Mile, earning over $3.3 million in his career.
Following his front-running scores in the Texas Stallion Stakes and Groovy Stakes at Sam Houston, Neatherlin shipped Mr Money Bags to Prairie Meadows, where he ran sixth in the $250,000 Iowa Derby.
“This horse likes to run on the front end and wins most of his races that way,” said Neatherlin. “In the Iowa Derby, he stumbled out of the gate and got into trouble from there.”
Mr Money Bags will be ridden by Texas-based jockey Ernesto Valdez-Jiminez on Saturday, breaking from post position three as the 8-5 morning line choice.
“Ernesto really fits the horse and our draw is pretty much perfect,” added Neatherlin.
Rotation, a colt by Tapit, bred and owned by Winchell Thoroughbreds LLC, will make ship in for conditioner Steve Asmussen. Stakes placed at Sunland Park, Rotation broke his maiden on May 4 at Churchill Downs and exits a $75,000 allowance there on June 1. Richard Eramia has the call and will break from the far outside post for the Hall of Fame trainer, who won last year’s Super Derby with Limation.
Blessed Again, the lone filly in the stakes, is the second-highest earner in the field, with four starts at Oaklawn Park before competing in two stakes for owner Glynn A. Puryear, Jr. Trained by John Henry Prather, Jr., the daughter of Paynter exits an eighth-place finish in the Grade 3 Indiana Oaks last month at Indiana Downs. She will be ridden by Joel Dominguez, who is currently the second leading rider at Louisiana Downs.
As reported by Mary Rampellini of the Daily Racing Form, Leader of Men, a half-brother to Hoppertunity, will make his stakes debut in the Prelude. Owned by Walpole Racing LLC, Leader of Men, the gelded son of War Front has won his last three races. Each of the victories have come at Louisiana Downs, beginning with his maiden-breaking score on May 6. Bred in Kentucky, Leader of Men is trained by Jodie Hodges and will be ridden by Hector Del-Cid.
“He was a May foal and basically, he’s just a big kid,” said Hodges. “His brain is finally catching up with his body, but has done everything we’ve asked of him. He’s ready!”
The Super Derby Prelude, the sixth race of the card, runs at 5:35 pm (CT). The complete field, in post position order, with riders is: Leader of Men, Hector Del-Cid; Blessed Again, Joel Dominguez; Mr Money Bags, Ernesto Valdez-Jiminez; Trevilion, Diego Saenz; Fredonian, Carlos Lozada; Paynt Battle, Thomas Pompell and Rotation, Richard Eramia.
The winner as well as the second, third and fourth-place finishers, will receive a fees-paid berth to the Grade 3, $300,000 Super Derby on Saturday, September 7, which is the richest race of the 2019 Louisiana Downs racing season.
Pickens Leads the Field in the $50,000 Louisiana Cup Juvenile
The first feature of the afternoon is the $50,000 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.
Pickens, a colt by Goldencents, will make his third career start for owners William and Corinne Heiligbrodt. Following a troubled debut at Churchill Downs on June 21, he broke his maiden impressively three weeks later at Evangeline Downs, drawing off by over six lengths. Trained by Asmussen, Richard Eramia will guide the 9-5 choice from post position four.
Trainer Beverly Burress will saddle Luckenbacher, a gelded son of Mr. Besilu who broke his maiden at Evangeline Downs on June 8 before shipping to Lone Star Park for last month’s Texas Stallion Stakes. He closed well for third under jockey Diego Saenz, who has the return call.
Defending Champion Monte Man Returns in the $50,000 Louisiana Sprint
Monte Man, the pride and joy of Ivery Sisters Racing, returns to Louisiana Downs on Saturday to defend his title in the $50,000 Louisiana Sprint.
Claimed for $25,000, the 6-year-old son of Custom For Carlos is closing in on the half-million mark in earnings for trainer Ron Faucheux. Honored as Louisiana Bred Horse of the Year in 2018, the bay gelding will be seeking his 13thcareer win on Louisiana Cup Day.
Regular pilot Gerard Melancon will guide the 4-5 morning line favorite from post position two.
“He’s doing great,” reported Faucheux following his bullet work on July 24. “He’s not the best work horse, but even Gerard was impressed with how he did last week.”
Faucheux, who has conditioned respected stakes champion including Sunbean and Gantry, relishes having Monte Man in his barn.
“You never know if you will get another horse like him,” he stated. “He loves his job and coming into this race, he’s never been better!”
His top competition in the six furlong main track event includes State Treasurer, owned by Royalty Thoroughbreds LLC and Rodney L. Verret’s Laughingsaintssong. State Treasurer, a 5-year-old son of Munnings has won his last two allowance races here and will be ridden by Eramia for trainer Steve Asmussen. Rider Colby Hernandez has the mount on Laughingsaintssong, who will make his Louisiana Downs debut for conditioner Allen Landry.
Bermuda Star and Is Too Renew Their Rivalry in the $50,000 Louisiana Cup Distaff
Ten accredited Louisiana-bred fillies and mares will take to the Franks Turf Course for the $50,000 Louisiana Cup Distaff.
Bermuda Star, owned by Brittlyn Stable, Inc., won the 2018 edition of the race with a powerful finish up the rail under jockey Diego Saenz. The 5-year-old mare by Star Guitar was bred by Tom Curtis and Wayne Simpson and is trained by Victor Arceneaux. She has won seven of her 22 career starts and earnings of $291,080. Her last win came in the Louisiana Legends Turf Distaff on May 25 at Evangeline Downs. She will reunite with Saenz, who will break from the rail post.
She will renew her rivalry with Is Too, a 4-year-old daughter of Midshipman, who defeated her in the Opelousas Stakes at Evangeline Downs on July 12. Owned by Barrone Farms LLC, Is Too has been a solid stakes competitor this year for trainer Edward Johnston. She ran fourth to Bermuda Star in the Louisiana Legends, but turned the tables with a gate-to-wire score in their last meeting. Colby Hernandez has the return call aboard the chestnut filly.
Eskenformore, trained by James Hodges, has a proven turf record at Louisiana Downs and was last year’s runner-up. Owned and bred by Sugarland Thoroughbreds LLC, the 6-year-old mare will be ridden by current Louisiana Downs leading jockey Carlos Lozada.
A Field of Twelve to Compete in the $50,000 Louisiana Cup Juvenile Fillies
A very competitive field of 12 accredited 2-year-old Louisiana-bred fillies will vie in the six-furlong $50,000 Louisiana Cup Juvenile Fillies.
Tuffology, a daughter of Astrology, owned by Janet Marden, has been installed as the 7-2 morning line favorite. She won at first asking here on July 15, scoring by over three lengths under jockey Joel Dominguez. Trained by Michael Stewart, she will make just her second career start on Saturday afternoon. First U Make Aroux is also a debut winner for conditioner Justin Jeansonne. Owned by Cheryl and Dennis Dendy, the filly by Due Date scored on July 17 at Evangeline Downs. She will be ridden by Hall of Fame jockey Edgar Prado as the second choice of 4-1.
Sarah’s Passion, winner of the filly’s division of the $75,000 D.S. “Shine” Young Futurity on July 5 at Evangeline Downs, will make her second start for trainer Ricky Courville. Bred and owned by Perform Stables Inc., she is sired by Songandaprayer and will reunite with Colby Hernandez at odds of 9-2.
“That was a big win for her, and she was a little tired afterwards,” said Courville. “But she’s doing really well; had a nice work Saturday at Copper Crown..”
Courville has a barn full of 2-year-old fillies and will also run Leslie Schiff’s Schiffs Corner, another filly by Songandaprayer.
“Sarah’s Passion has natural speed,” he added. “My only concern is that she’s never gotten dirt in her face and might not like that. “I’ll just leave the trip up to Colby.”
In the Navy to Defend His Title in the $50,000 Louisiana Cup Turf Classic
The $50,000 Louisiana Turf Cup Classic attracted nine runners going a mile and one-sixteenth over the Franks Turf Course.
In the Navy, owned by Kendel D. Standlee, returns to defend his title for trainer Scott Gelner. The 5-year-old son of Midshipman will be ridden by Diego Saenz as the 2-1 morning line favorite. He won the Mr Sulu Stakes at Fair Grounds last November and will be in pursuit of his first win of 2019 on Saturday.
“He’s just a great turf horse,” said Gelner. “I am proud of the fact that he has won on each of the Louisiana turf courses.
Theoryintopractice, who ran third to In the Navy in the $75,000 Louisiana Legends Turf at Evangeline Downs, is the 5-2 second choice for owner Courtney Barousse and trainer Steve Asmussen. The son of Into Mischief has won five of his nine turf races and will be ridden by Richard Eramia.
Eden Grey’s Kitten, is the high earner in the field and will make his 40th career start. The son of Kitten’s Joy is now trained by Steve Flint and will break from the rail under Gerard Melancon.
$50,000 Louisiana Cup Filly and Mare Sprint
The $50,000 Louisiana Filly and Mare Sprint will close out Louisiana Cup Day with a field of ten distaffers competing at the distance of six furlongs.
Galaxy Thirtysix, winner of the Louisiana Legends Night Distaff Starter at Evangeline Downs is the 7-2 morning line favorite. The 5-year-old Greeley’s Galaxy mare also prevailed in the $60,000 Premier Night Ladies Starter Stakes at Delta Downs on February 9 for owner Arian Haxhillari. Trainer Ron Faucheux will give a leg up to Edgar Prado.
The field includes stakes winners Yes Gorgeous, owned and trained by Scott Gelner and defending champion P Boo, who has won over $200,000 in her career, but looking for her first win of 2019.
Hall of Fame Jockey Edgar Prado To Ride on Cup Day
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. Edgar S. Prado has six mounts on Saturday
Born in Peru, Prado, 52, is one of the elite North American jockeys to have surpassed the 7,000 mark in wins. His illustrious list of graded stakes victories is topped by the 2006 Kentucky Derby with Barbaro. Prado was inducted into the National Museum Racing Hall of Fame in 2008.
Gerard Melancon, Ashley Broussard, Colby Hernandez and Diego Saenz also have mounts on Louisiana Cup Day.
Shantel Lanerie Breast Cancer Fundraiser To Take Place on Louisiana Cup Day
Harrah’s Louisiana Downs will conduct a fundraiser on Saturday, August 3 in support of the Shantel Lanerie Cancer Breast Foundation. The beloved Louisiana native and wife of jockey Corey Lanerie was diagnosed with Stage 1 breast cancer in January, 2018 and passed away just six months later. She is survived by her parents, husband and daughter, Brittlyn.
Rick Mocklin, who was Lanerie’s agent for ten years and his wife, Jeanette, were close friends of Shantel. Mocklin serves as founder and president of the Shantel Lanerie Breast Cancer Foundation. It was founded with a mission of educating, empowering and encouraging women to become pro-active in early detection, and if diagnosed, surviving breast cancer. Acknowledging that breast cancer impacts the entire family, the Foundation designates funds raised through donations and fundraisers to assist with basic needs of breast cancer patients through every stage of diagnosis and treatment.
Mocklin is grateful to Louisiana Downs for their interest in assisting with fundraising efforts on Louisiana Cup Day. A table will be set up in the grandstand with monogrammed apparel from the foundation, including t-shirts, caps, bumper stickers and pink handkerchiefs. Jockeys will be on hand to autograph the items, with all proceeds to benefit the foundation.
“Breast cancer can be devastating for so many people,” explained Mocklin. “To lose Shantel when she was just 42 years-old was heartbreaking for her family and many friends. The foundation has already helped 30 women diagnosed with breast cancer and we want to keep raising funds to support those in need.”
Handicapping Preview Show Set for Saturday, August 3
Louisiana Downs track announcer John McGary and regional racing publicist Martha Claussen will team up for a pre-race handicapping preview at 2:00 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. The seminar is free and open to all racing fans.
LTBA Scholarship Drawings Set for Louisiana Cup Day
The Louisiana Thoroughbred Breeders Association will award two (2) scholarships, each valued at $1,000, on Saturday, August 3.
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.
For more information, visit louisianabred.com or call (504) 947-4676.
Super Derby Festival 40 Charity Golf Tournament Set for August 29
The Super Derby Festival 40 will be held on Thursday, August 29, at Northwood Hills Golf Club in Shreveport, Louisiana.
The event will benefit Chaplain Jimmy Sistrunk and The Backside Benevolence Fund, which provides assistance to the Louisiana racing community and backstretch workers. It serves as one of the special events saluting the annual Grade 3, $300,000 Super Derby, the marquee race of the Louisiana Downs Thoroughbred season, which takes place on Saturday, September 7.
Sign in for the event’s Four Person Scramble kicks off at 10:00 a.m. with tee off at 10:30 a.m. The fee is $80 per personor $320 for a four-person team. The fee includes green fees, golf cart, lunch, and Super Derby t-shirt/cap.
Attendees can register in person in the Louisiana Downs Racing office, or by mail. Checks should be payable to The Backside Benevolence Fund and mailed to: Jennifer Sokol, Harrah’s Louisiana Downs, 8000 East Texas Street, Bossier City, Louisiana, 71111.
The deadline for registration is August 22. Hole sponsorships for $100, including a sign, are available, but must be purchased by August 16. For further information, please contact Sokol at (318) 741-2512.
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 25. The 84-day meet features 14 stakes highlighted by two major events, Louisiana Cup Day on Saturday, August 3 and Super Derby Day on Saturday, September 7.
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.