The Board of Directors of the Louisiana Thoroughbred Breeders Association, voted at their June 16th meeting to earmark $100,000 dollars to be used for Louisiana Cup Day at Louisiana Downs in hopes that a card will be put together.
Louisiana Cup Day is a day of racing designed to showcase accredited Louisiana bred thoroughbreds at Louisiana Downs. The event includes multiple Louisiana bred stakes races.
Due to the COVID 19 pandemic, and its effects on racing, Louisiana Downs cut the stakes program from its condition book this year in order to keep overnight purses at a solid level. Consequentially, Louisiana Cup Day was suspended for 2020.
Not satisfied with this turn of events, Roger Heitzmann, Executive Director of the LTBA; Ed Fenasci, Executive Director of the HBPA and David Heitzmann, director of Racing at Harrah’s Louisiana Downs, put their heads together to work on a plan to revive the Louisiana bred stakes day. “We have been working on possible ways to bring back Louisiana Cup Day,” said Roger Heitzmann. “I believe we can get there, but a lot depends on handle. We can’t count on the funds we normally receive from slots and video poker. Hopefully field size remains at a good number. Larger fields will help entice the patrons to wager on Louisiana Downs.”
“Roger presented us with a plan which we believe will work,” said Warren Harang III, President of the LTBA. “We will be creative and work outside the box to accomplish this. We will be utilizing funds that we don’t normally use for purse supplements. Helping the horsemen of Louisiana is always our mission. Adding back six black-type races helps the the breeders, the horsemen participating in the races, as well as the track itself.”
Each of Louisiana’s four racetracks has a day designated for Louisiana bred thoroughbred stakes. In addition to Louisiana Cup Day at Louisiana Downs in Bossier City, there is Louisiana Premier Night at Delta Downs in Vinton, Louisiana Legends Night at Evangeline Downs in Opelousas, as well as Louisiana Champions Day at Fair Grounds in New Orleans.
Louisiana Downs has opened the meet with good number so far. If Louisiana Cup Day is added back to the schedule, it will likely be run near the end of the meet in late September.