The LTBA office remains closed this morning, Friday, October 30, 2020. The office is still without power or telephones due to Hurricane Zeta. We plan to re-open as soon as possible. Please check back.
– HURRICANES LAURA AND DELTA HAD MAJOR IMPACT ON THE VINTON RACETRACK –
VINTON, LA. – Delta Downs’ 2020-21 Thoroughbred season will see plenty of changes after a pair of powerful storms caused heavy damage to the racetrack during the offseason.
Hurricane Laura, which struck the Vinton, Louisiana area on August 27 as a Category 4 storm with winds of nearly 150 miles per hour, caused extensive damage to the facility before Hurricane Delta struck nearly the same area as a Category 2 storm on October 9.
Due to the lengthy repairs necessary, Delta Downs’ season has been pushed back from its original starting date of October 6 and will now begin on Tuesday, November 24. The 84-day meeting will run through April 16 and feature live racing each Monday through Thursday following opening week. Post times for this season will be at 12:55 pm Central Time each day since the lighting system was damaged beyond repair and nighttime racing was made impossible.
Delta Downs’ stakes schedule for the upcoming season has also been altered this year. Overall, the track will offer 22 added-money races worth a total of $1.745 million.
The stakes activity will begin on opening week with a pair of $60,000 races, the Lookout and the B Connected Stakes, on Tuesday and Wednesday, November 24 and 25. The track will be closed on Thanksgiving Day, Thursday, November 26 before the week wraps up on Friday and Saturday with a pair of $100,000 events, the Treasure Chest and the Delta Mile.
The richest race day of the year will happen on Wednesday, February 10 when the track hosts the 18th edition of Louisiana Premier Day. The star-studded program will include 10 stakes races for Louisiana-bred horses and a total of $805,000 in total purse money. The featured race on Louisiana Premier Day will be the $125,000 Louisiana Premier Day Championship for older horses traveling 1 1/16 miles.
For more information about the upcoming season, including the entire stakes schedule, visit the track’s website atwww.deltadownsracing.com. Fans can also get information about the track through Facebook by visiting the page ‘Delta Downs Racing’. The track’s Twitter handle is @deltaracing.
Delta Downs Racetrack Casino and Hotel, a property of Boyd Gaming Corporation (NYSE:BYD), features exciting casino action, live horse racing and fun dining experiences. Delta Downs is located in Vinton, Louisiana, on Delta Downs Drive. From Lake Charles, take Exit 7 and from Texas, take Exit 4.
The LTBA office remains closed this morning, Thursday, October 29, 2020. The office currently is without power or telephones due to Hurricane Zeta. We plan to re-open as soon as we have both. Please check back.
With Hurricane Zeta approaching the Louisiana coast, for the safety of our staff, the LTBA office is closed today, October 28. Prayers for safety for everyone who might be affected.
Championships are set to take place Nov. 6 – 7 at Keeneland under strict COVID-19 protocols.
LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 24, 2020) – Today Breeders’ Cup Limited announced a detailed set of health and safety protocols put in place to mitigate the risks associated with COVID-19 for the limited staff, participants and essential personnel who will be on site at the 2020 Breeders’ Cup World Championships at Keeneland Race Course.
This plan was developed in consultation with Keeneland, local and state government officials, and public health experts, including Dr. Richard Greenberg – Professor of Medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases, at the University of Kentucky School of Medicine. The plan closely follows the guidance established by the Healthy at Work requirements for venues and event spaces, bars and restaurants established by the Commonwealth of Kentucky.
Last month, Breeders’ Cup announced that the event will be run without spectators to protect the health and safety of employees, racing participants, those caring for the horses and the broader Lexington community. To this end, 2020 World Championships attendance will be limited to racing participants and essential personnel only. “The health and safety of our participants, employees, athletes, associates and the broader Lexington community are our top priorities,” said Breeders’ Cup President and CEO Drew Fleming. “We are proud to be in a position to conduct the 2020 World Championships in a safe manner and allow the top horses from around the world to come together and compete for $31 million in purses and awards over two days of best-in-class racing. It’s a testament to the hard work put in by our entire team and many others, as well as the resiliency of the broader Thoroughbred industry.”
“The important health and safety measures and capacity restrictions that Breeders’ Cup and Keeneland have put in place for this year’s event, including testing, face coverings, physical distancing and medical screening requirements, will go a long way in protecting the wellbeing of the limited number of attendees,” said Dr. Greenberg.
Highlights of Breeders’ Cup’s health and safety protocols for the 2020 World Championships include:
• Breeders’ Cup will provide complimentary testing onsite at Keeneland for participants, media, vendors and staff. All those who will be on site are encouraged to take advantage of this testing.
• All staff, trainers and personnel accessing the Rice Road stable area will be required to present a negative test prior to entering the stable area.
• Daily health checks will be conducted at Keeneland entry points. These medical screenings include a medical questionnaire and a contactless temperature check. Only those who have successfully completed these medical screenings will be permitted to enter the grounds.
• Everyone entering the facility will be required to wear a cloth face covering or protective mask and may only remove to actively eat or drink.
• Hand sanitizer dispensers, touchless whenever possible, will be placed at key entrances and contact areas.
• Building Services staff will clean and sanitize frequently touched surfaces using EPA registered disinfectants on a regular basis. High touch point areas, including all seating, tabletops, other tabletop items, door handles, handrails, elevator buttons, phones, pens, and keypads will be cleaned on a constant rotation.
• In-person events surrounding the World Championships have been greatly scaled back and cancelled in most cases.
• The Keeneland Grandstand encompasses over 47,000 square feet of space, allowing for ample physically distancing for the limited number of people who will be on site. Participants will be required to practice proper distancing and stay six feet apart from other parties; this will be strictly enforced.
• All seating will be assigned – all seats and tables will be predetermined and physically distanced.
• Out-of-state or International jockeys must be in Lexington by Wednesday, Nov. 4 to receive COVID-19 test onsite by 7:00 p.m. ET. Jockeys have also been encouraged to get their influenza vaccinations prior to coming to Lexington.
• All out-of-state or international jockeys must also have RT-PCR COVID-19 nasopharyngeal test conducted in the racing jurisdiction they are presently riding in taken within 72 hours before arrival in Kentucky and the test must show a negative result.
• In-state jockeys will have a COVID-19 test completed on Wednesday, Nov. 4 and must have a negative result in order to ride during the Championships.
• Breeders’ Cup will maintain records to allow for contact tracing via a “Virtual Badge” app.
• All those who are feeling sick are encouraged to stay home.
• Access to the stable area, paddock, winner’s circle and all indoor spaces will be restricted to authorized credentials.
• Dining options will be limited to plated and individually wrapped food items and beverages.
• Participants will be encouraged to wager through Breeders’ Cup’s official online wageringprovider, TVG, or other online providers, rather than betting in person.
• Signage and visual markers will be placed throughout the facility stressing mandatory masks/face coverings, hand washing and physical distancing.
• These protocols will be stringently enforced on site.
Breeders’ Cup and Keeneland remain flexible and are continuing to monitor the evolving situation in coordination with authorities to determine whether additional measures will be needed in order to hold the event in a safe and secure manner.
The 2020 Breeders’ Cup World Championships is set to take place Nov. 6 – 7 and will air live on NBC and NBCSN.
by Natalie Voss | 10.23.2020
The Louisiana Department of Agriculture is proceeding with cases against two people associated with a well-known kill pen operation in the state. Hearings for Jacob Thompson and Tara Sanders were postponed from an October meeting of the state’s Board of Animal Health until its next regularly scheduled meeting on Dec. 3.
Earlier this year, the Department asked a judge to issue a temporary restraining order against Gary Thompson and Jacob Thompson, both of Vernon Parish, to stop them from buying and selling livestock. The order was also designed to prevent anyone from acting as a livestock dealer on the Thompsons’ behalf. According to the state’s complaint, both Thompsons had acted in the capacity of livestock dealers — buying horses and cattle and selling them within 30 days of purchase — while they did not hold dealer licenses in Louisiana.
Charges from mid-September state Jacob Thompson is alleged to have committed ten violations of state regulations requiring agents and dealers to be licensed by the Board of Animal Health and ten violations of a different regulation requiring dealers to file a surety instrument with the state in order to operate.
The Jockey Club today (10-23-20) released Report of Mares Bred (RMB) statistics for the 2020 breeding season. Based on RMBs received through October 18, 2020, The Jockey Club reports that 1,067 stallions covered 27,970 mares in North America during 2020.
The Jockey Club estimates an additional 2,500 to 3,500 mares will be reported as bred during the 2020 breeding season.
RMB statistics for all reported stallions in 2020 are available through the Fact Book section of The Jockey Club’s website at jockeyclub.com.
Kentucky traditionally leads North America in Thoroughbred breeding activity. During 2020, Kentucky’s 200 reported stallions covered 16,391 mares, or 58.6% of all of the mares reported bred in North America. The number of mares bred to Kentucky stallions decreased 4.3% percent compared with the 17,123 reported at this time last year.
Of the top 10 states and provinces by number of mares reported bred in 2020, stallions in Louisiana, Maryland, Pennsylvania, and New Mexico covered more mares in 2020 than in 2019, as reported at this time last year. The following table shows the top 10 states and provinces ranked by number of mares reported bred in 2020:
|State/Province||2019 Stallions||2020 Stallions||Pct. Change||2019 Mares Bred||2020 Mares Bred||Pct. Change|
Note: Each incident in which a mare was bred to more than one stallion and appeared on multiple RMBs is counted separately. As such, mares bred totals listed in the table above may differ slightly from counts of distinct mares bred.
In addition, Report of Mares Bred information on stallions that bred mares in North America is available through report 36P or a subscription service at equineline.com/ReportOfMaresBred.
The Jockey Club, founded in 1894 and dedicated to the improvement of Thoroughbred breeding and racing, is the breed registry for North American Thoroughbreds. In fulfillment of its mission, The Jockey Club, directly or through subsidiaries, provides support and leadership on a wide range of important industry initiatives, and it serves the information and technology needs of owners, breeders, media, fans and farms. It founded America’s Best Racing (americasbestracing.net), the broad-based fan development initiative for Thoroughbred racing, and in partnership with the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association, operates OwnerView (ownerview.com), the ownership resource. Additional information is available at jockeyclub.com.
On the recommendation of its Racing Committee, the American Association of Equine Practitioners board of directors voted this week to support the Horseracing Integrity & Safety Act (H.R. 1754/S. 4547). The legislation’s chief goal is to create uniform safety and medication standards in all U.S. racing jurisdictions.
“Uniformity of rules is essential to protecting the safety of the racehorse and ensuring the integrity of the sport,” said AAEP President Dr. David Frisbie.
The AAEP’s position of support is principally based on the qualifications of the individuals chosen to serve on the HISA Nominating Committee, including equine industry leaders Dr. Jerry Black and Dr. Nancy Cox, who will select the members of the board of directors and the standing committees of the Horseracing Integrity & Safety Act Authority. However, for the horse to be best served, the AAEP will continue to advocate for additional veterinary representation on the HISA board and committees beyond the single position currently designated for each.
“In the previous version of the bill, the AAEP was a strong proponent for the governance structure to include individuals with the requisite expertise needed to capably address anti-doping and therapeutic medication regulation,” said Dr. Jeff Berk, AAEP immediate past president and Racing Committee chair. “The composition of the Authority Nominating Committee gives us confidence that the needed scientific expertise for these important positions will be considered, but we believe the breadth of knowledge needed to successfully protect equine athletes requires additional individuals.”
Regarding the race-day administration of furosemide (Lasix), the AAEP’s position continues as one of support, as the medication remains the most efficacious treatment for exercise-induced pulmonary hemorrhage (EIPH) in the horse.
However, in 2019, a coalition of 20 racetracks, including hosts of Triple Crown races, along with numerous racing jurisdictions committed to restricting administration of furosemide on race day, independent of federal legislation.
“We are pleased to see in the revised legislation that the Authority will convene an advisory panel comprised of horse racing anti-doping and medication control experts to study race-day furosemide, including its impact on equine health and the integrity of competition,” added Dr. Scott Hay, AAEP president-elect and a racetrack practitioner. “Investigating effective management strategies for EIPH which do not require race-day medication administration has been a central goal of the AAEP’s Prescription for Racing Reform developed five years ago.”
The American Association of Equine Practitioners, headquartered in Lexington, Ky., was founded in 1954 as a non-profit organization dedicated to the health and welfare of the horse. Currently, AAEP reaches more than 5 million horse owners through its over 9,000 members worldwide and is actively involved in ethics issues, practice management, research and continuing education in the equine veterinary profession and horse industry.
“Road to the Derby” Series Highlighted on Fair Grounds’
76-Day, 2020-21 Thoroughbred Racing Schedule
2020-21 STAKES SCHEDULE worth $7.13 MILLION
NEW ORLEANS (October 8, 2020) – Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots has announced that 51 stakes worth a combined $7.055 million will be offered during the upcoming 76-day 2020-21 Thoroughbred racing season, which is set to begin Thanksgiving Day, Thursday, November 26.
“We are proud to once again continue our growth and support of the Thoroughbred racing industry with our purse allocations and this diverse and dynamic stakes schedule” said Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots president Doug Shipley. “We look forward to our 149th racing season and the continuation of bringing many of the best horsemen and jockeys from around the world to enjoy the high caliber racing at Fair Grounds in New Orleans.”
The “Louisiana Derby Day” card on March 20 will feature eight stakes worth a total of $2.425 million, including the 108th running of the Grade II $1 million Twinspires.com Louisiana Derby for 3-year-olds.
Previously run over nine furlongs on dirt, the distance of Louisiana Derby was extended to 1 3/16ths miles last season. The third and final local prep on the Road to the Grade I $3 million Kentucky Derby Presented by Woodford Reserve, the race is worth 100-40-20-10 points to the top four finishers. Run at 1 1/16 miles, the 53rd running of the Grade II $400,000 Twinspires.com Fair Grounds Oaks for 3-year-old fillies offers the same number of points en route to the Grade I $1.25 million Longines Kentucky Oaks.
“Lengthening the distances of all three of our Road to the Derby races proved to be quite popular with the horsemen,” said Fair Grounds racing secretary Scott Jones. “The Lecomte drew 14 entries, the Risen Star had 23 entries and was split into two divisions, and the Louisiana Derby had an overflow field. Our progressive schedule of 3-year-old races for both the boys and girls gives horsemen a great opportunity to develop their horses and compete for excellent purses.”
A pair of nine furlong, high-impact stakes for older horses are also scheduled on the Louisiana Derby Day program – the Grade II $400,000 New Orleans Classic and the Grade II $300,000 Muniz Memorial Stakes, to be run over the Stall-Wilson Turf Course. In addition, four undercard stakes are slated for the lucrative card, including the $100,000 Tom Benson Memorial for older fillies and mares at 1 1/16 miles on grass and a trio of Louisiana-bred events – the $75,000 Costa Rising Stakes, a 5½-furlong turf sprint, the $75,000 Crescent City Derby for 3-year-old males at 1 1/16 miles and the $75,000 Crescent City Oaks for females at 1 mile and 70 yards.
On January 16, the “Road to the Derby Kickoff Day presented by Hotel Monteleone” features a pair of key 3-year-old events — the Grade III $200,000 Lecomte Stakes, which was extended from a mile to 1 1/16 miles last season, and the $150,000 Silverbulletday Stakes for fillies at 1 mile and 70 yards. The top four finishers in each race receive 10-4-2-1 points on the Road to the Kentucky Derby and Oaks respectively.
Four stakes for older horses will also be presented on the January 16 program, including the $125,000 Louisiana Stakes, which was elevated to Grade III status and received a $25,000 purse increase, at 1 1/16 miles, the $125,000 Colonel E.R. Bradley Stakes at 1 1/16 miles over the Stall-Wilson Turf Course, the $100,000 Duncan F. Kenner Stakes at 5 1/2 furlongs on the turf and the $100,000 Marie G. Krantz Memorial Stakes for fillies and mares at 1 1/16 miles on grass.
On February 13, “Louisiana Derby Preview Day presented by Lamarque Ford-Lincoln” features a pair of key 3-year-old stakes — the Grade II $400,000 Risen Star Stakes presented by Lamarque Ford-Lincoln, which was extended from 1 1/16 to 1 1/8 miles last season, and the Grade II $300,000 Rachel Alexandra Stakes presented by Fasig-Tipton, for fillies to be contested over 1 1/16 miles. The top four finishers receive 50-20-10-5 points on the Road to the Kentucky Derby and Oaks respectively.
The Rachel Alexandra has produced the last two of the last three Kentucky Oaks winners in Monomoy Girl and Serengeti Empress and 2014 victress Untapable also took down the Run for the Lilies. Our 2020 third place finisher Swiss Skydiver has gone on to win five graded stakes, including the Alabama (G1) in advance of a runner-up finish in in the Oaks, and the Preakness (G1) against the boys. With such a stellar history of recent participants, Fair Grounds remains hopeful the Rachel Alexandra will soon achieve Grade I status is deserves.
Four stakes for older horses will also be presented on the February 13 program — the Grade III $200,000 Mineshaft Stakes at 1 1/16 miles, the Grade III $150,000 Fair Grounds Stakes for at nine furlongs on turf, the $100,000 Colonel Power Stakes at 5½ furlongs on turf and the $100,000 Albert M. Stall Memorial Stakes for fillies and mares at 1 1/16 miles on turf.
The December 19 “Santa Super Saturday presented by Coca-Cola” card offers a six-pack of $75,000 stakes. Four of the races are for older horses — the Tenacious Stakes at 1 1/16ths miles, the Richard R. Scherer Memorial Stakes at 5 ½ furlongs on turf, the Blushing K.D. for fillies and mares at 1 1/16 miles on turf, and the Buddy Diliberto Stakes at 1 1/16 miles on turf. The other two are six furlong events for juveniles – the Sugar Bowl Stakes for the boys and the Letellier Memorial Stakes for the girls.
Louisiana Champions Day presented by Acadian Ambulance will be held on December 14. With the races run over various divisions and distances on both dirt and turf, the program features ten stakes restricted to Louisiana-breds. Each Louisiana Champions Day stakes is worth $100,000 with the exception of the Louisiana Champions Day Classic, which carries a $150,000 purse.
The purse for the opening day Thanksgiving Classic for older male sprinters has been increased $25,000 to $125,000. The $60,000 Shantel Lanerie, to be run on March 21, has been repurposed as a route race for older Louisiana-bred fillies and mares.
The 76-day, 2020-2021 Fair Grounds racing season runs through Sunday, March 28. Regular post time will be 1 p.m. CT. The exceptions are Louisiana Derby Preview Day (February 13 at noon CT) and Louisiana Derby Day (March 20 at 11 a.m. CT).
A bylaw change eliminated requiring breeding back to Louisiana-based stallions.
The Louisiana Thoroughbred Breeders Association’s board of directors made two bylaws changes last week it hopes will make the state’s breeding incentive program more attractive to breeders outside its borders and bolster the population of accredited Louisiana-bred foals.
One change allows resident Louisiana mares to be bred to a stallion outside the state for consecutive years and still permits the resulting foals to become accredited Louisiana-breds. Previously, breeders could send a mare to an out-of-state stallion, but that foal could not be an accredited Louisiana-bred unless the mare was bred back to a Louisiana-based stallion.
Under the new rule, breeders may have access to better stallions, but the resulting foals by out-of-state stallions will be eligible to receive half of any breeder’s award incentive money. A Louisiana-bred foal by a Louisiana-registered stallion is eligible to receive full breeder’s awards, which are 20% of total purses earned for horses that finish 1-2-3 in any race in Louisiana or 1-2-3 in any stakes race outside Louisiana (purse capped at $200,000).
The other change applies to nonresident mares being bred to Louisiana stallions. They now only need to remain in Louisiana for 90 days or at least until Aug. 1 and then can be returned to an out-of-state breeder’s farm until they get close to foaling. Prior to the rule change, a mare would have had to stay in Louisiana and deliver her Louisiana-sired foal for it to be eligible as a Louisiana-bred.