Opening Day Features the Simulcast of the 147th Kentucky Derby


Bossier City, LA – The 2021 Thoroughbred racing season at Louisiana Downs commences on Saturday, May 1. Opening day will include seven live races beginning at 2:45 pm (Central) and the simulcast of the 147th Kentucky Derby from Churchill Downs.


Louisiana Downs will honor its local heroes on Saturday with Bossier City First Responders/Law EnforcementAppreciation Day. Presentations will be made to several groups who have served and protected the Bossier City/Shreveport Metroplex throughout the year. In addition to enjoying live racing and the entire card from Churchill Downs, fans can enjoy the day from the suite level or on trackside apron with culinary delights from the most popular food trucks in Shreveport-Bossier City.


“We are pleased with the support of our horsemen and horseplayers and look forward to a very competitive 2021 live racing season,” said David Heitzmann, Director of Racing.


2020 Leading Rider Joel Dominguez Ready for Opening Day

Jockey Joel Dominguez captured the first leading rider title of his career last September at Louisiana Downs. The native of Durango, Mexico began in 2017 as an apprentice, and has progressed solidly over the last five years. Dominguez completed the 2020 Louisiana Downs meet with a record of 71 wins, 59 seconds, 50 thirds and $903,325 in purses.


Last year, he rode first call for Hall of Famer Steve Asmussen, who he galloped for in Kentucky when he first came to the United States.


“To ride for  Steve has given me a great deal of confidence,” explained Dominguez. “I am grateful for his support and that of other trainers, including Eduardo Ramirez, Keith Bourgeois and Ronnie Ward, who have faith in me.”


Dominguez, 31, just wrapped up a successful meet at Delta Downs, finishing third in the standings (to Tim Thornton) with 64 wins and purses of $1.5 million.


“I try to do my best on each horse,” he said. “But I cannot take all the credit. It all begins in the barn with so many people involved in preparing horses for the races.”


Dominguez’ agent is former jockey, Don Simington who will also represent Sebastian Saez, 22, younger brother of top nationally acclaimed jockey Luis Saez.


To repeat as leading rider is a goal for Dominguez, but he is humble in what it will take.


“I know there are things I need to improve,” he stated. “I watch replays and appreciate the trainers that give me good pointers. Giving 100% on each horse I ride is what I try to do.”


Dominguez extended his gratitude to his wife Janet, and sons, Andy and Joel Jr. for understanding the long hours and hard work that his profession demands.


“I watch my sons playing soccer; but no baseball or basketball on TV,” he said. “To win the title at Louisiana Downs once again is very important to me and I will work hard for it!”


Jockey John Jacinto Returns to Action on Saturday’s Card

One other very interesting jockey note is the return of John Jacinto, who will pilot Homeview for trainer Larry Taylor in Saturday’s seventh race. Born in Lima, Peru, Jacinto came to the United States in 1999, making his debut at Calder Race Course. He had success in Texas and at Louisiana Downs and Fair Grounds in New Orleans. Jacinto earned several leading rider titles and had won 1,936 races, including a Grade 1 victory aboard Dawn of War.


In May, 2016, he was injured in a racing spill, suffering a Distal Humerus fracture in his left arm with several setbacks and infections. An additional surgery in January of 2020 was successful and by June of last year, the bone had regenerated,and he finally was fully healed. Jacinto opened his own landscaping company, but still had the desire to return to the saddle. In February he began working horses at Louisiana Downs.


“I had to lose some weight because I got kind of chunky,” said Jacinto. “Now I am back in shape and excited about riding in my first race for my good friend (and former jockey) Larry Taylor. I am going to start slowly; just one or two mounts a day. Before my last surgery, I thought I was done; now I am ready to take one more chance!”


Top Horsemen Returning to Louisiana Downs

Steve Asmussen, who topped his fellow conditioners last season with 41 wins, looks to be a force, once again this meet.Karl Broberg, Joey Foster, Shane Wilson,  H. B. Johnson, Ronnie Ward,  Philip Dison, Judy Beavin, Alfonso Balderas and H. B. Johnson all return with runners on the opening day card.


Broberg was the leading conditioner at the recently concluded 2021 live racing season at Delta Downs, finishing with a whopping 91 victories over Scott Gelner (30); Juan Larrosa (29) and Isai Gonzalez (28).


Broberg was the leading conditioner at the recently concluded 2021 live racing season at Delta Downs, finishing with a whopping 91 victories over Scott Gelner (30); Juan Larrosa (29) and Isai Gonzalez (28).



Louisiana Downs Race Dates and Post Times

Live racing will be conducted Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday and Saturday with a 2:45 p.m. (Central) post time from May 1 -May 29.  Beginning Sunday, May 30, the schedule will shift to Saturday, Sunday, Monday and Tuesday until the conclusion of the 2021 live season on Tuesday, September 21. For more information on the 84-day racing season and special events, visit https://www.caesars.com/harrahs-louisiana-downs/racing.


About 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.

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