Month: June 2021
Fair Grounds Opens Two New OTBs at Noon Today, June 30th
Mo Tom’s First Starter Wholelottamo a Winner
Mo Tom’s first starter, 2-year-old Louisiana-bred filly Wholelottamo, won a maiden special weight June 20 at Lone Star Park defeating eight other fillies, with the nearest competitor 1 1/2 lengths behind. She completed the five furlongs in :59.70 on a fast track
This was the second asking for the filly owned by Stephen Thompson’s Thompson Racing and trainer Scott Gelner after coming in third her first time out June 5 at Lone Star.
Bred in Louisiana by Cloyce Clark Jr., Wholelottamo is out of the A. P Jet mare Jet’s Tradition, the dam of 10 foals, with six to race and six to win, including stakes-placed Jet Majesty. She was purchased for $17,000 at the 2020 Equine Sales Company’s Consignor Select Yearling and 2-Year-Olds in Training Sale by Thompson.
Mo Tom, an 8-year-old son of Uncle Mo, was a winner of the Lecomte Stakes (G3) at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots, Ohio Derby at Thistledown, and Street Sense Stakes at Churchill Downs. He retired to stud duty in 2018 with total earnings of $665,356 for owner GMB Racing and trainer Tom Amoss.
Mo Tom stands at Red River Farms in Coushatta for $2,000.
Breeders Sales Company of Louisiana Yearling Sale Followed by Mixed Session October 2. Consignment Deadline July 9th
Returning Worker Exception Act Aims for H-2B Relief
By Dan Ross
New federal legislation has been introduced that, if passed, could prove a fillip for trainers struggling to find and hold on to immigrant grooms, hotwalkers and exercise riders in a labor market already squeezed thin.
The H-2B Returning Worker Exception Act of 2021, introduced Tuesday, is designed to “develop a long-term solution to permanently address” the annual H-2B visa cap.
According to the bill as currently written, it amends the definition of “returning worker” to include anyone who has entered the U.S. on an H-2B visa in any one of the three previous years.
Denise Martin, Co-Owner Of California Chrome, Dies At Age 61
Owner of Louisiana stallion Peppered Cat and active participant in the Louisiana Thoroughbred Breeders program
It is with great sadness that Martin Racing announces the passing of Denise Martin, the co-founder, and heart, of Martin Racing, a Thoroughbred and Standardbred breeding and racing organization based in Alpine, Wyo., with global equine holdings. The accomplished chemist, business leader, horse owner and mother to two died on June 14 at age 61.
With her husband and co-founder Perry serving as the public voice and operations manager for Martin Racing, Denise took on the critical role of managing all communications and behind-the-scenes business needs for the small, family-owned organization, which was founded in 2016.
The Martins were thrust into worldwide fame in 2014, when their wildly popular and charismatic colt California Chrome won the Kentucky Derby and the first of his two Eclipse Award titles as North America’s Horse of the Year. The California-bred superstar, whom the Martins co-bred and initially raced in partnership with Steve and Carolyn Coburn under the stable name Dumb Ass Partners, also won the 2016 Dubai World Cup and eight additional graded stakes races before he retired in 2017 with earnings of $14,752,650 — a North American record at the time.
California Chrome’s storybook success enabled Martin Racing to expand internationally. In addition to supporting their first homebred via stallion syndicate participation, originally in Kentucky and now in Japan, the Martins currently stand Thoroughbred stallions in California, Louisiana and Wyoming, and the Hambletonian-winning Standardbred sire Trixton in Canada.
Their homebred colt Mo Mosa won Lone Star Park’s Grade 3 Steve Sexton Mile Stakes on May 31.
“Denise greatly enjoyed interacting with racing fans, whether she communicated with them in person or through California Chrome’s official social media channels,” said Perry Martin. “She also was solely responsible for all of Martin Racing’s charitable giving endeavors.”
A trained chemist and California State University graduate, Denise was CEO of Martin Testing Labs in Sacramento, Calif., from its creation in 2000 to its sale in June 2020. She previously worked for the United States Air Force as a civilian employee at McClellan Air Force Base.
In semi-retirement, the Chicago native served her adopted Wyoming community on the North Alpine Water District Board of Directors. She also recently began taking online university courses on Astronomy, and was building a telescope to view the clear Wyoming night sky.
Denise is survived by her loving husband of 35 years, Perry, her daughter Kelly Martin, her son Perry Martin Jr., her brothers Andrew Brudniak and Richard Brudniak, her Golden Retriever Tizzy, 76 Thoroughbred horses and seven Standardbred horses.
LOYAL OWNERS KEEP TRAINER SHANE WILSON ON TOP AT LOUISIANA DOWNS
Solid Meet for the Haughton, Louisiana Horseman
Bossier City, LA –Some might think that praising the importance of owners in horseracing is a standard catchphrase, but not to trainer Shane Wilson. The current leading trainer at Louisiana Downs took a few minutes after a hot and sultry afternoon card to talk about how his owners sustained him through the challenges of 2020 and put him on top this season in the 2021 meet.
“Many horsemen struggled last year during the (COVID-19) pandemic,” explained Wilson. “Sitting out for six months was a hardship on trainers, but I’m blessed with great clients who supported us. Thankfully, we were able to keep our whole stable intact.”
Several clients, including Wayne T. Davis, Joe Hackler and David Fontenot have been with Wilsonfor over 14 years.
“I began training in 1997 and am fortunate to have some loyal owners who trust me and love to see their horses run,” he added. “From the stakes company as well as the claiming level, with the support of my owners, we continue to be competitive.”
This is the second year in a row that Wilson set up shop at the Bossier City racetrack. He does not hesitate when asked about his allegiance to Louisiana Downs.
“David Heitzmann (Louisiana Downs Director of Racing) communicated with the horsemen through the shutdown in 2020,” said Wilson. “He was the first to set a plan and give us a projected opening date.”
Louisiana Downs was able to open their 84-day meet on its regular (Kentucky Derby) opening date this year, and Wilson has been pleased with way the season has progressed.
“The track surfaces are very good, and they have made some improvements to the paddock and other areas of the complex. Having Camel and Ostrich Racing (on May 30) and these Family Sundays has brought in new fans. Promotions are part of it, but to me, they are working hard to sell horseracing as their core product.”
Wilson worked summers at Harrah’s Louisiana Downs, starting when he was 15 mucking stalls and hot walking for trainer Jack Van Berg. His brief foray to college did not last as he realized that he wanted to pursue a career in racing. He served as assistant to Sam David for seven years before going out on his own.
Aside from his racing ties, Wilson has another notable connection to Harrah’s Louisiana Downs. He met his wife, Becky, the daughter of horseman Jim O’Brien, here. The couple has two sons. Peyton is 20 years-old and his brother, Connor, 17, both help their dad out when they are not inschool.
His stable star is the multiple-stakes winning Mocito Rojo, a 7-year-old son of Mutadda. Wilson claimed the Kentucky-bred for owner Wayne T. Davis for $10,000 in a December 2016 maiden race at Delta Downs. He has amassed a record of 20 wins from 37 starts and earnings of $882,863. In 2019, Mocito Rojo won the Steve Sexton Mile Stakes (G3) at Lone Star Park and the Lukas Classic Stakes (G3) at Churchill Downs. He has won back-to-back races this meet at Louisiana Downs.
“He’s an amazing animal,” said Wilson. “I like to say he keeps winning despite his trainer.”
But the truth is Wilson has not shied away from changing things up for the intrepid runner.
“He got a little lackluster in his route races, so I shortened him to six furlongs this year (on May 18),” said Wilson.
He won that sprint in 1:09.78 and returned on June 6, taking on four rivals in a seven furlong allowance optional claimer, in which he won in 1:21.70. The speedy Kentucky-bred just missed breaking the track record of 1:21.60 set on July 4, 1984.
“I told (jockey) Jose Guerrero to really let him go,” recalled Wilson. “I felt adding a track-record setting performance might help his stud career. When Jose saw the final time, he looked at me and said, “I thought you were kidding!”
Track record aside, Wilson has true admiration for Mocito Rojo, who will hopefully surpass the million dollar earnings mark in his career.
“I have watched every one of his 37 races,” admitted Wilson. “He was so little and skinny as a 3-year-old. This $10,000 claimer has taken us places we’ve never gone!”
Wilson will send both Mocito Rojo and 3-year-old Rightandjust to the Iowa Festival of Racing Friday, July 2 and Saturday, July 3 at Prairie Meadows. Rojo is nominated to the $100,000 Iowa Sprint and Rightandjust, a colt by Awesome Again, also owned by Davis, will point to the $250,000 Iowa Derby.
Wilson turned 50 this year and came to an interesting revelation on his training objectives.
“When I was younger, it was all about winning,” he stated. “Now I enjoy the mornings when I can watch them train and really learn more about each of their personalities. Figuring out the puzzlefor each horse at different levels keeps it fun !”
Louisiana Downs Trainer, Jockey and Owner Standings
As of June 15, Shane Wilson leads his fellow conditioners with 16 wins from 52 starts. Joe Duhon, Joey Foster and Karl Broberg are tied for second place with 12 wins each. Last year’s winning trainer Steve Asmussen, follows closely with 11 victories since the meet began on Saturday, May 1.
2020 leading rider Joel Dominguez is on top of the standings with 31 wins. Emanuel Nieves, who is also having an excellent meet, is in second place with 27 trips to the winner’s circle, followed by Jose Guerrero (22) and Carlos Lozada (20).
Wayne T. Davis is the current leading owner with 12 victories from his 27 starters. Dream Walkin Farms, Inc. and End Zone Athletics, Inc. are tied for second with seven wins each and Steve Asmussen has won six races.
Family Fun Day
Louisiana Downs is proud to host Family Fun Day, a family friendly event each Sunday from Noon -5:00 pm. Admission is free and in addition to the live Thoroughbred races, fans can enjoy delicacies from the best Food Trucks in the Bossier City/Shreveport Metroplex with family games and entertainment offered throughout the afternoon. Family Fun Day will be offered each Sunday through September 19.
Louisiana Downs Race Dates and Post Times
Live racing will be conducted Saturday, Sunday, Monday and Tuesday at 2:45 pm (Central)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.
Matt Vance Named Executive VP Of Racing At Remington, Lone Star
Officials with Global Gaming Solutions recently announced Matt Vance has been named executive vice president of racing for Remington Park in Oklahoma City and Lone Star Park in Grand Prairie, Texas.
Skip Seeley, Global Gaming Solutions CEO, said Vance’s thorough knowledge of the horse industry and his passion for working collaboratively with horsemen, jockeys, racing fans and employees played an instrumental role in this decision.
“For several years, Matt has overseen racing operations at Remington Park and over the past couple years he has served in an advisory role at Lone Star Park. His leadership and commitment to horse racing helped us navigate a very trying time during the pandemic at both tracks. He led the 2020 Quarter Horse Season through uncharted territory that enabled racing to continue throughout the pandemic. He then used that experience to guide health and safety protocols and operations in Grand Prairie when its season opened.”
Seeley noted that Vance also received the 2020 Gordon Crone Special Achievement Award from the American Quarter Horse Association for his work during the pandemic.
As executive vice president for both tracks, he will oversee all mutuels/simulcasting, operations, track maintenance and racing operations.
“It is an honor to be able to live my passion for horse racing every day and to do that alongside some of the best horsemen, jockeys and fans in the sport,” said Vance. “As we build on our current successes, which include purse increases at both tracks, I look forward to working with our committed employees in both states to enhance our horsemen and patron experience.”
Vance has served as vice president of racing operations at Remington Park since 2015. He has worked in the racing industry for over 35 years, starting with Louisiana Downs in 1986 then to Remington Park from 1988-1997. He moved to other tracks for six years and eventually returned to Remington Park in 2003 for the construction of the casino, and the transition to new ownership in Global Gaming Solutions in 2010. During his tenure, Vance has played a key role on the leadership team that has helped the track soar in quality and popularity in recent years.
For more information about Remington Park, visit https://www.remingtonpark.com/. To learn more about Lone Star Park, go to https://www.lonestarpark.com/.
Trainer Karl Broberg Reaches 4,000-Win Milestone
Karl Broberg became the 13th trainer in North American history to reach 4,000 wins on Friday night when the Louisiana-bred gelding Baudette Blizzard edged Boo Be Right in a $5,000 claiming race at Prairie Meadows in Altoona, Iowa. It was the fourth of five winners on the night for Broberg, who had 11 horses entered Friday at three tracks: Prairie Meadows, Lone Star Park in Texas and Evangeline Downs in Louisiana.
Baudette Blizzard is owned by Broberg’s End Zone Athletics, which claimed the gelding in June 2020 for $20,000. He was ridden to victory by Elvin Gonzalez.
Lone Star Park Raises Overnight Purses 20%
Lone Star Park announced June 10 a 20% across-the-board overnight purse increase, effective immediately. Purses that ranged from $12,000 to $39,000 will now be worth $14,400 to $46,800.
Lone Star’s next live racing day is June 11, its first date of racing since the announced increase. Its centerpiece day of racing this weekend comes June 13 when the track hosts five stakes for either Texas-breds or progeny of Texas stallions.
The meet continues through July 11.
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