A rematch featuring the superfecta of last month’s Grade 1 Woody Stephens will highlight another high-caliber contest, with Louisiana-bred No Parole looking to propel his 3 ¾-length victory into more glory in Saturday’s Grade 1, $300,000 H. Allen Jerkens Memorial presented by Runhappy on Whitney Day at Saratoga Race Course.
The 36th running of the H. Allen Jerkens, a seven-furlong main track sprint for 3-year-olds, is one of five stakes overall on the 12-race card and part of three Grade 1s, joining the $500,000 Personal Ensign presented by NYRA Bets for fillies and mares 4-years-old and up, and the $750,000 Whitney for 4-year-olds and up going 1 1/18 miles. The Personal Ensign is a “Win and You’re In” qualifier to the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Distaff in November at Keeneland, while the Whitney will offer the winner an all-fees paid berth to the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Classic.
Carded as Race 10, the H. Allen Jerkens will have a post time of 6:18 p.m. Eastern. First post is 1:10 p.m. Eastern. Saratoga Live will present full coverage beginning at 1 p.m. Eastern on FOX Sports and MSG Networks.
Total stakes purse money for 2020 is $2.88 million, an $820,000 reduction from 2019.
Remington Park, set to begin a 67-date Thoroughbred season Aug. 21, released a stakes schedule July 29 that features 32 races and a reduced purse structure due to COVID-19.
Total purse money for the stakes schedule is $2.88 million, a reduction of $820,000 from 2019. The lower structure is due to two months of inactivity from mid-March to late-May when Remington Park halted simulcast racing and casino gaming for health and safety measures because of the pandemic.
Tests must be performed on attendees within five days of the sale.
In a July 29 announcement targeted toward those planning to attend the upcoming Keeneland September Yearling Sale, Keeneland president-elect Shannon Arvin informed patrons and horsemen that any party entering the grounds will be required to present proof of a negative COVID-19 test.
Further requirements state that the negative test must be performed within five days of arriving at the sale, which starts Sept. 13 and runs through Sept. 26. For any sales participant who does not have access to testing ahead of the auction, Keeneland has made arrangements for onsite testing to be available.
Tony Patterson will join Lone Star Park as the new Racing Secretary for both the Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse meets.Patterson will assume his new role Aug. 3, at the tail-end of the Thoroughbred meet which wraps up Aug. 12. Lone Star Park’s Fall Quarter Horse meet begins Sept. 4.
“I am excited to welcome Tony Patterson as the new Lone Star Park Racing Secretary,” said Lone Star Park’s Vice President of Operations, Kent Slabotsky. “His experience, knowledge and enthusiasm make him a perfect addition to our Management team.”
Patterson brings with him 36 years of experience in the horse racing industry. He began his career at Remington Park in 1988 as the Assistant Racing Secretary/Stakes Coordinator, eventually becoming Director of Racing/Racing Secretary at the Oklahoma City track. He has held positions at Sam Houston Race Park, Harrah’s Louisiana Downs and most recently as the Executive Director of the Louisiana Quarter Horse Breeders Association.
“I am looking forward to taking on the role of racing secretary at Lone Star Park and thank Kent Slabotsky, Matt Vance and Tim Williams for entrusting me with this position,” said Patterson. “There are some incredible horsemen that support racing in Texas. I feel certain that we will present a very exciting Quarter Horse meet in the months to come.”
The Jockey Club reminds stallion managers to submit their Reports of Mares Bred (RMBs) for the 2020 breeding season by August 1.
“To ensure that the breeding statistics we release in the fall are as accurate as possible, we request that RMBs be submitted by August 1,” said Matt Iuliano, executive vice president and executive director of The Jockey Club. “In addition to the utility of covering information in mare produce records and catalog-style pedigrees available through equineline, the number of mares reported bred each year is an important economic indicator of the health of the Thoroughbred breeding industry.”
Stallion managers who submit completed RMBs by August 1 are among the first to receive their Stallion Service Certificates, which facilitates the timely registration of 2021 foals.
A recent study by Sarah Shaffer, Dr. Susan Stover and colleagues at the J.D. Wheat Orthopedic Laboratory at the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine sought to characterize bone abnormalities that precede proximal sesamoid bone (PSB) fractures and determine if pre-existing abnormalities are associated with these fractures. The group retrospectively studied cases from California Thoroughbred racehorses that died from PSB fractures, and controls that died for other reasons.
The most common fatal injury in racehorses in the United States, PSB fractures account for 45-50 percent of such injuries in Thoroughbreds, and 37-40 percent in racing Quarter Horses. The PSBs are two comparatively small bones located in the fetlock that act as part of the suspensory apparatus. Fractures in these bones are likely due to the accumulation of repeated, stress-related processes. This is supported by evidence that racehorses in intensive training are at higher risk for PSB fractures, but the exact causes are not well understood.
Other repetitive overuse injuries in horses are known to be bilateral in nature, meaning that they are similar on both sides of the horse, with the more severely affected limb usually incurring the fracture. With this in mind, the study looked at both the fractured PSB and the intact PSB from the opposing limb of the same horse for all of the cases. The researchers hypothesized that horses with PSB fractures would also show evidence of stress in the PSB of the opposite limb and that the bone that sustained the break would show more severe changes than the intact bone.
The results showed that 90 percent of fractured PSBs from the cases had visible discoloration on the surface of the fracture, most commonly (70 percent of the time) in a characteristic crescent pattern. Directly below the cartilage, evidence of bone loss was noted in 70 percent of cases. This bone loss was located in the same region as the discolorations. Fractured PSBs had lower bone volume fraction and tissue mineral density within the lesion sites than comparable locations in opposing limbs and controls. These regions were contiguous with the fracture lines. Evidence of microdamage was also observed in fractured PSBs.
Overall, changes identified in the bones were more numerous in case horses than control horses and more severe in the fractured limbs than the opposing limbs in cases. Sampling from areas of bone distant from the lesions noted no significant differences in bones from case and control horses other than the presence of a lesion.
This data supports the role of microdamage and tissue remodeling in the formation of lesions in PSBs. It is important to note that all of the horses in this study were California racehorses, so it is currently unknown if the results will apply equally to racehorses in other areas. Future studies with larger sample sizes may provide further information.
Understanding the mechanism of PSB fracture is necessary in order to determine risk factors and prevent fractures. Combining this information with advanced technology, such as the recent introduction of positron emission tomography (PET scan) may facilitate identification of horses at risk for PSB fracture and inform management alterations to avoid injury.
* This work was supported with funding from the Grayson Jockey Club Research Foundation, Inc., the UC Davis Center for Equine Health, the Maury Hull Fellowship, and the Louis R. Rowan Fellowship.
Bossier City, LA – Jockey Joel Dominguez is still smiling as he reflects on winning four races on Saturday’s seven-race card at Harrah’s Louisiana Downs.
His successful afternoon began in race two with Don Guillermo ($8) for trainer James “Sweet” Hodges and three for Hall of Fame conditioner Steve Asmussen; All Bizness ($3); American Dream ($5) and Curlin Beauty ($11.80). Curlin Beauty, a 4-year-old daughter of Curlin, drew off to an eight-length score in her third career effort, but it was American Dream is a filly by Triple Crown champion American Pharoah that really impressed her rider.
“She’s still learning, but what a powerful filly,” stated Dominguez.
The 30-year-old Dominguez was born in Durango, Mexico, but never rode as a child. He was very athletic, playing soccer and was a standout boxer in his weight class. His experience in the saddle began in Kentucky, galloping for both Asmussen and veteran Kentucky-based conditioner, Neil Howard.
“Riding for Steve this meet means a great deal to me,” stated Dominguez. “When I was in Kentucky, I worked hard and tried to learn everything. As I progressed, Steve began to trust me galloping some of his top horses; I remember the first time I worked Rachel Alexandra. That was very special and gave me so much confidence!”
This is the fourth year Dominguez has been based at Harrah’s Louisiana Downs. He began in 2017 as an apprentice, winning 31 races that year and returning in 2018, losing his bug on May 22, but transitioning smoothly to the journeyman ranks. Maybe more than smoothly as he won six races on the June 23, 2018 card at Louisiana Downs. But winning four races in this very challenging 2020 live racing season was an even bigger accomplishment.
“It hasn’t been easy,” he responded when asked about the impact of COVID-19. “When we were in quarantine, I just tried to get things done at the house and spend time with my family (wife Janet and two sons). I was missing getting on horses.”
The resumption of live racing on June 6 was a big relief to Dominguez and he has been winning plenty of races for this season for Asmussen. Misty Drinkwater is serving as assistant again this year and she appreciates what Dominguez brings to the Asmussen barn.
“He’s hard working and very professional, “she said. “We get along very well and he has been a big part of our team here.”
Dominguez is represented by former jockey, Don Simington and the two have a strong bond.
“Don gives me great advice and feedback,” explained Dominguez. “I admire that he is the first one to arrive in the morning and the last to leave. Trainers know him well and he works hard to book me on good horses.”
Dominguez won 91 races here last year, finishing second in the standings to Carlos Lozada who made 96 trips to the winner’s circle. He appreciates that the racing officials at Harrah’s Louisiana Downs have worked hard to maintain the recommended protocols for COVID-19.
“I ride with a mask and shield protector,” he said. “Everyone here is trying to make it safe for us, so each of the riders are making adjustments and doing what we need to do.”
Charity Golf Tournament Set for Thursday, August 20
Harrah’s Louisiana Downs will host a Charity Golf Tournament at Northwood Hills Golf Club in Shreveport, Louisiana on Thursday, August 20.
The event will benefit Chaplain Jimmy Sistrunk and The Backside Benevolence Fund, which provides valuable assistance to the Louisiana racing community and backstretch workers.
The 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 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 13. For further information, please contact Jennifer Sokol at (318) 741-2512.
Louisiana Downs Trainer, Jockey and Owner Standings
Through July 25, Karl Broberg tops the trainer standings with 23 wins since the meet began on June 6. Steve Asmussen is second with 18 victories. Last year’s leading conditioner Joey Foster is tied with Shane Wilson for third; both have 13 winners. Joe O. Duhon and Ronnie P. Ward are tied with nine wins each.
Joel Dominguez, aided by his four-bagger on Saturday, has taken the lead in the jockey standings with 30 wins. Jack Gilligan, who rides first-call for Broberg, is second with 26 trips to the winner’s circle. Last year’s leading jockey Carlos Lozada has ridden 22 winners to date and Jose Guerrero rounds out the top four with 19 victories.
Steve Asmussen has moved into the lead in the owner standings with seven wins from 18 starts. End Zone Athletics Inc. has moved into the lead in the owner standings with 12 wins from 23 starts. End Zone Athletics, Inc and Wayne T. Davis are tied for second with nine wins and horses owned by Ronnie P. Ward have won six races to date.
Post Times and Racing Dates
The 2020 Thoroughbred racing season at Harrah’s Louisiana Downs got underway on Saturday, June 6. The 64-day meet will run Saturday, Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday through September 23. Post time is 3:05 pm (Central).
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
Constan “Connie” Anthony Tassistro passed away on July 17, 2020 at Jefferson HealthCare Center, at the age of 89 years.
Connie was born in New Orleans on September 16, 1930, graduated from St. Aloysius High School, and served in the United States Army. He had a successful career as an owner and trainer of thoroughbred race horses at the New Orleans Fair Grounds Race Track and other race tracks all over America. Connie gave Joseph Talamo, III, apprentice champion jockey in American Thoroughbred horse racing, his start.
Connie is survived by his niece, Suzette Tassistro McGoey, his nephew, John Tassistro, and other loving relatives, race track friends, and neighbors. Honorary Pall Bearers are: John Tassistro, Gerard Ramos, Joe Talamo Jr., Dallas Stewart, Stewart Dimak, Ronnie Bertucci, and Eddie Delahoussaye.
Relatives, neighbors, and friends are invited to attend the visitation services at Greenwood Funeral Home, 5200 Canal Blvd., New Orleans, LA 70124 on Saturday, July 25, 2020 at 10:00 a.m. A Funeral Mass will be held at Noon. Interment will follow at Greenwood Cemetery. Family, neighbors, and friends invite you to share your thoughts, fond memories, and condolences online, at www.greenwoodfh.com.