March Calendar of Events from the LTBA

 Louisiana Thoroughbred Breeders Association would like to share the following list of dates of interest to Louisiana horsemen and women.

Brought to you by Whispering Oaks Farm,  and  Louisiana Thoroughbred Breeders Association. Click images to link to more information

March 1

  • Mardi Gras. LTBA office will be closed.
  • Mardi Gras Stakes, New Orleans Fair Grounds

March 2

  • Ash Wednesday

March 5

  • Black Gold Stakes
  • Edward J. Johnston Memorial S, Fair Grounds
  • Red Camellia S, Fair Grounds
  • Delta Downs Closing Day of 2021-2022 Thoroughbred Race Meet

March 12

  • Allen Lacombe Memorial S, Fair Grounds

March 13

  • Daylight Savings Time starts – change clocks ahead one hour

March 15

  • Deadline for Louisiana Horse Spring foal photos

March 17

  • St. Patricks Day

March 15-16

  • Ocala Breeders’ Sale, March Two-Year-Olds In Training Sale

March 20

  • March Equinox, Spring Begins

March 26

  • Louisiana Derby Day, New Orleans Fair Grounds: Tom Benson Memorial S., Costa Rising S., Crescent City Derby, Crescent City Oaks, G2 Muniz Memorial H., G2 New Orleans H., G2 Fair Grounds Oaks, G2 Louisiana Derby

March 27

  • Star Guitar S., Fair Grounds
  • Shantel Lanerie Memorial S., Fair Grounds
  • Page Cortez S., Fair Grounds

Would you like to sponsor a newsletter? Reach @ 2,500 readers.Please contact Linda 985-386-0360, or Roger 504-947-4676, for cost and availability.

Do you have a date pertaining to Louisiana-breds that you would like included in an upcoming calendar? Please contact Linda 985-386-0360, or Roger 504-947-4676, roger@louisianabred.comfor consideration.


Any questions or need more info call

Roger A. Heitzmann III, Secretary/Treasurer

Louisiana Thoroughbred Breeders Association





Vodka Gimlet wins the Big Drama S. at Delta Downs. Coady Photography.


VINTON, LA. – Delta Downs hosted the $75,000 Big Drama Stakes for 3-year-olds on Saturday afternoon and it was Ellen Epstein’s Vodka Gimlet who got the win under jockey Thomas Pompell. It was the second straight stakes victory for the Allen Landry trainee as he also won the $100,000 Louisiana Premier Day Prince at Delta Downs just 21 days earlier.


In the early stages of the Big Drama it was a speed duel between Brian’s Iron Mike and Feisty Fist, who clicked off early fractions of 23.57 seconds for the quarter mile and 47.47 for the half. The pair began to feel pressure from the closers as they entered the second turn of the seven-furlong affair as Totalizer came to the attack three wide wile Vodka Gimlet was bottled up behind rivals.


As the field entered the top of the homestretch after traveling three-quarters in 1:14.61, Vodka Gimlet angled out from behind horses and took aim at Lightning Struck and Totalizer who were dueling inside the sixteenth pole. In the final strides Vodka Gimlet was able to overhaul his rivals and record the win by a neck over Lightning Struck while Totalizer settled for third, another ¾ of a length behind the top pair.


Vodka Gimlet stopped the clock in 1:28.59 over a track what was listed as fast all day.


Vodka Gimlet has now won three races lifetime from seven overall starts. His $45,000 paycheck on Saturday upped his career bankroll to $147,645.


Bred in Louisiana by 5 B Farm, Inc, Vodka Gimlet is a 3-year-old bay gelding by Goldencents, out of the Out of Place mare Shy Baby.


Sent to the gate at odds of 8-5, Vodka Gimlet paid $5.40 to win, $3.20 to place and $2.20 to show. Lightning Struck returned $10.80 to place and $5.20 to show. Totalizer was worth $3.40 to show.


Delta Downs will conclude its 2021-22 Thoroughbred season next Wednesday through Saturday. Post time each day is scheduled for 12:55 pm.


Delta Downs will wrap up its next-to-last race week on Saturday with another nine-race program starting at 12:55 pm. The featured race is the $75,000 Big Drama Stakes for 3-year-olds competing at seven furlongs.

For more information about the current season visit the track’s website at 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. Fro




Wholelottamo wins the Take Charge Brandi Stakes at Delta Downs. Coady Photography.


VINTON, LA. – Delta Downs hosted the $75,000 Take Charge Brandi Stakes on Friday afternoon and it turned out to be a very special race for Thompson Racing LLC’s Wholelottamo, who gave trainer Jayde Gelner the first stakes win of his career. Jayde is the son of longtime Delta Downs trainer Scott Gelner and the grandson of late trainer John Charles Gelner.


Under jockey Thomas Pompell, Wholelottamo stalked an early pace set by Roll Baby and Miss Jana, who covered the opening quarter mile of the seven-furlong affair in 23.38 seconds. As the field approached the second turn it was Miss Jana who drew clear by two lengths while going a half mile in 48.66 seconds. At that point Wholelottamo began to rally and the pair reached the top of the homestretch side by side.


Through the final strides the outcome was still in doubt as Miss Jana dug in at the rail while Wholelottamo stayed right by her tenacious rival until the finish, when she got a narrow lead and prevailed by just a head. Wholelottamo covered the distance over a muddy racetrack in a time of 1:29.89.


The win by Wholelottamo was the third of her career and the second in stakes company. Her previous stakes tally came in the Louisiana Cup Juvenile at Louisiana last August when she was saddled by Scott Gelner. Friday’s paycheck of $45,000 raised Wholelottamo’s bankroll to $148,845 through eight overall starts.


Bred in Louisiana by Cloyce C. Clark, Jr., Wholelottamo is a 3-year-old filly by Mo Tom, out of the A. P. Jet mare Jet’s Tradition.


Sent to the gate as the 3-2 wagering favorite, Wholelottamo paid $5 to win, $2.80 to place and $2.40 to show. Miss Jana was worth $4.80 and $3.80. Taylors Babe returned $10.20 to show.


Delta Downs will wrap up its next-to-last race week on Saturday with another nine-race program starting at 12:55 pm. The featured race is the $75,000 Big Drama Stakes for 3-year-olds competing at seven furlongs.

For more information about the current season visit the track’s website at 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.


Louisiana Futurity Nominations on the Rise

The Louisiana Thoroughbred Breeders Association (LTBA) is pleased to announce that nominations have increased significantly for the 2024 Louisiana Futurity for two-year-old accredited Louisiana breds. Nominations begin when a mare is in foal, with additional eligibility payments made as the foal reaches racing age. 

The 2022 foals out of 633 mares have been nominated to the 2024 Louisiana Futurity, up substantially from the previous year when the 2021 foals out of 543 mares were nominated to the 2023 Louisiana Futurity. 

With Louisiana purses on the rise, LTBA is expecting competitive fields and a higher demand for accredited Louisiana breds.


Solid Meet for the Son of Top Louisiana Jockey Gerard Melancon


HOUSTON, TX- In the business world, there are countless stories about family-owned businesses transitioning between generations. In the racing industry, training mantles have been passed down between parent and child with tremendous success. But obstacles are plentiful when the son of an elite jockey chooses to pursue that same career path.


Father and son jockeys, Gerard and jansen Melancon. Coady Photography.

Thoroughbred jockey Jansen Melancon is a prime example. The 33-year-old rider is the son of one of the top riders in the country, Gerard Melancon. Known affectionately as Gee-Money, Gerard has won 5,048 career races and with his outgoing personality and bevy of top trainers in his hip pocket, seems destined to ride for many more years.


His son, Jansen, shipped his tack to Sam Houston Race Park in January and is currently tenth in the standings. He returns to action this week off a notable showing last weekend. He guided Gold Declaration to a driving runner-up finish at odds of 34-1 for trainer Terry Eoff on Friday, February 18. On the Texas Preview card, he scored an adroit stakes win aboard Chief Brady in the $75,000 Jim’s Orbit. Melancon, riding for horseman Dallas Keen, found an opening on the rail and confidently navigated the 3-year-old to the wire.  It’s difficult for members of the Sam Houston jockey colony to command attention with veterans Stewart Elliott and Ry Eikleberry winning races for top horsemen Steve Asmussen and Karl Broberg. But last weekend, racing fans in Houston and across the country, saw the talent of Jansen Melancon.

Jansen began riding in 2008 and has won 761 races from over 7,300 starts and purses of $14.2 million. Becoming a professional jockey was all he ever dreamed about, and he always had the support of his father.

“He never discouraged me, ever,” stated Jansen. “He always wanted me to be happy.”

But for many years, being the son of Gerard Melancon, created imposing obstacles. Annette Melancon, wife of Gerard, and mother to sons Jonas and Jansen, remembers it well.

“People would tell Jansen that he had big shoes to fill or call him ‘little G’ referencing the well-known tag of “Gee Money,” she recalled. “It was difficult for him.”

Jansen had a tough time with it, but soldiered on as he made the rounds, picking up mounts for a number of horsemen.

“When I first got going, Joey Foster was one of the trainers who stuck his neck out for me,” he said. “Throughout my career, I’ve never ridden first call for a barn; I’ve always had mounts for many horsemen, and I appreciate each of them.”

Jansen faced challenges for many years; there were wins, but he was far from an overnight success. Alcohol played too much of a role in his life and he chose to face his addiction.

“I have been sober for two years now and have never felt better,” he explained.

Jansen always had the support from his parents and his wife, Brooke. They live just a subdivision away from them in Scott, Louisiana, with their 6-year-old son, Emmitt.

Gerard Melancon watches pretty much all of Jansen’s races and was thrilled with his three-bagger here on January 15.

“That was a great night for Jansen,” said his proud dad. “He’s always had a hard time riding under me in Louisiana. Hopefully he will pick up some owners and trainers because he has so much talent and he just needs opportunities!”

Jansen is in agreement with Gerard on that front.

“A lot of the trainers knew me as a kid,” said Jansen. “The comparisons to my dad were ongoing, but  riding in a different circuit, I am Jansen, not G’s son.”

On Saturday, February 19, Gerard won the finale at Delta Downs aboard Frank the Mayor for trainer Keith Charles. That evening, he and Annette settled into their recliners to watch Jansen ride the Texas Preview Night card at Sam Houston Race Park. Jansen piloted Chief Brady in the $75,000 Jim’s Orbit, who had won his debut in January for trainer Dallas Keen. He was stepping up against in stakes company, but Jansen settled the 3-year-old colt on the backstretch before finding room on the rail. The son of Bradester responded gamely and drew off to a three-length victory at odds, rewarding his fans with a $13.20 win payout.

“He’s never had dirt in his face, but took it well,”  said Jansen. “He was moving nicely and dragging me along; I saw the rail open and took the opportunity.”


Keen had no hesitation is giving Melancon the return call.


“Jansen is a talented rider,” stated Keen. “He shows up in the mornings and listens when I tell him about what the horses like and do not like. He won by six lengths on Chief Brady in his debut and made an impressive move up the rail in the Jim’s Orbit.”


In addition to impressing Keen and racing fans last Saturday, Melancon drew rave reviews from his parents.

“Gerard was whooping and hollering watching Jansen win that stakes,” said Annette. “It was exciting; we were very proud of him!”

Jansen has ridden against his father many times in Louisiana and is destined for repeat duels in the future. His  approach is that they are just two jockeys trying to cross the finish line first.

“When I am in the starting gate, it doesn’t matter who I am riding against,” said Jansen. “It’s just me and the horse trying to win the race.”

He will ride at Sam Houston Race Park until the 2022 Thoroughbred season wraps on Saturday, April 9.  Jansen and his agent, Bubba Wood have several options open about his next stop.

“I feel I have never worked a day in my life,” he explained. “It’s still fun. There’s no freer feeling than being on the back of the horse.”

About Sam Houston Race Park

Sam Houston Race Park is Houston’s premier racing and entertainment facility, located just 15 miles from downtown Houston. Owned by Penn National Gaming. Inc., the racetrack, which opened in 1994, offers a variety of attractions including a Suite Level featuring luxurious suites overlooking the racetrack, The Pavilion Centre, and award-winning dining options at the Winner’s Circle Restaurant and the Jockey Club. For more information on upcoming live racing, shows, events and tickets, please visit


LTBA to hold 2022 Breeders Sales Company of Louisiana Yearling Sale, October 1st

LTBA to hold 2022 Breeders Sales Company of Louisiana Yearling Sale, October 1st

The Louisiana Thoroughbred Breeders Association announced today, February 18, 2022, that they will be hosting a Yearling Sale followed by a mixed session under the banner of Breeders Sales Company of Louisiana on October 1st.

The sale will be held at the Equine Sales of Louisiana Facility in Opelousas, La. and be limited by the number of stalls at the facility being 228.

After not conducting a sale since 2015 the LTBA stepped up last year to host a sale when Equine Sales of Louisiana opted not to have a yearling sale in 2021. Last year’s sale averaged just over $13,000 with a median of $8,000.

With the introduction of Sports Betting and the coming of Historical Horse Racing Machines it is anticipated that purses for Accredited Louisiana Breds will increase dramatically.

The entry deadline is July 6th. Entry forms will be available in late May and be available to be downloaded from the Louisiana Thoroughbred Breeders Association web site of

Ask Your Veterinarian: Putting Broodmares Under Lights

by Paulick Report Staff


Veterinarians at Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital answer your questions about sales and healthcare of Thoroughbred auction yearlings, weanlings, 2-year-olds and breeding stock.

Question: When it comes to putting broodmares under lights for cycling are overhead lights or mask lights better? And why does it work?

Dr. Peter Sheerin, Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital: In many breeds, Jan. 1 is considered the birthdate for all horses in the breed, no matter when they are born. This can put late-born foals at a disadvantage when competing or at yearling sales. Because of this, many breeders want their mares to foal as early as possible.

The horse is considered a long day breeder, meaning they are cycling when the days are longer. Mares left at natural conditions in the Northern Hemisphere will typically start cycling late March to early April. Mares further north will start cycling later than mares closer to the equator. Researchers determined that by artificially increasing the day length and the amount of light that mares were exposed to, one could get mares to cycle earlier. Mares did not begin to cycle for 60 to 75 days after the beginning of exposure to longer days. So, for a breeding season that starts Feb. 15, one would start lights Dec. 1 at the latest.


Read Paulick Report Article

Oklahoma Commission Adopts Category 1 Interference Philosophy

The Oklahoma Horse Racing Commission (OHRC) became the first in North America to pass a rule which emulates the globally-recognized Category 1 interference philosophy after agreeing to amend its rules at its meeting on Thursday, February 17 in Oklahoma City.

“This is a tremendous first step for North American racing jurisdictions to begin the process of harmonizing rules governing interference and improving the overall experience for racing’s primary customers – the bettors,” said Patrick Cummings, Executive Director of the Thoroughbred Idea Foundation.

“What we have in North America is a patchwork quilt of various rules which often place total equity above consistency and logic in determining which infractions warrant a demotion. It is always toughest to be the first, so I commend the OHRC for taking that step and I anticipate several others will follow in the near future.”

The amended rule changes the consideration of stewards when determining interference. The exact wording of the amended rule is below:

“If the Stewards determine a Horse or its rider has caused an interference and finished in front of the Horse it interfered with, and if not for the interference the Horse would have finished behind the horse it interfered with, the interfering Horse shall be placed immediately behind the Horse with which it interfered. If the interference is a result of dangerous riding, the Stewards shall place the interfering horse in last place.”

Should interference be the result of dangerous riding, the OHRC’s rule empowers stewards to demote the interfering horse to last, regardless of where the sufferer of the interference finished. This addition to the rule, within the scope of the international Category 1 philosophy, was adopted to discourage jockeys from employing a “win-at-any-cost” approach.

“Dangerous riding’ means a rider causes a serious infraction by: (A) purposely interference with another horse or rider; or (B) riding in a way which is far below that of a competent and careful rider and where it would be obvious to a competent and careful rider that riding in that way would likely endanger the safety of another horse or rider.”

The rule amendment was proposed in November 2021 and after a public comment period, was passed unanimously by the Commission’s Rules Committee. Racing in the state occurs across three tracks – Fair Meadows, Remington Park and Will Rogers Downs.

Under the state’s procedure, amended rules are usually implemented in September after review by the legislature and signature by the Governor.

The Thoroughbred Idea Foundation has advocated for North American jurisdictions to consider shifting to the Category 1 philosophy since publication of its November 2018 white paper “Changing The Rules.”

“In some states a relatively harmless bump a mile from the finish could lead to the demotion of a 15-length winner because the Stewards believed a horse that finished ninth could have been eighth. Racing’s betting customers and owners have suffered from the injustices imposed by such rules and the inconsistent application of them for years,” said Cummings.

“Oklahoma is leading the way towards a better future for racing participants and customers by becoming the first jurisdiction to adopt a rule that embraces the Category 1 philosophy. We fully expect their lead will be followed by others in the months and years to come.”

The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO), regulators of racing in the Canadian province, conducted a stakeholder consultation period on adopting Category 1 rules in early 2020, but the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic put a halt to any action and it has yet to be revisited.

The Jockey Club Rescinds Mare Cap Rule

The Jockey Club announced today that it is rescinding the following italicized language in Rule 14C of The Jockey Club’s Principal Rules and Requirements of the American Studbook that addresses limitations to the total number of mares bred per stallion:

The total number of broodmares bred per individual stallion whose year of birth is 2020 or thereafter shall not exceed 140 per calendar year in the United States, Canada, and Puerto Rico. The Jockey Club shall limit the number of Stallion Service Certificates for such stallions to a maximum of 140 per calendar year.

A similar rule was first proposed in September 2019 before being adopted in its current form by the board of stewards in May 2020, following extensive public comment.

“The Jockey Club board of stewards is rescinding this rule as it is concerned that the reaction to the rule may divide the industry at a time when there are many important issues that need to be addressed with unity,” said Stuart S. Janney III, chairman of The Jockey Club. “We are taking this action for the greater good of the entire industry.

“The Jockey Club remains committed to the sustainability and welfare of the breed and will continue to invest in programs and research that will bolster and support the industry in the years to come.”

The Jockey Club will continue to maintain the Principal Rules and Requirements of the American Studbook in keeping with its mission to ensure the health of the Thoroughbred breed.

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 is the sole funding source for America’s Best Racing, the broad-based fan development initiative for Thoroughbred racing. You can follow America’s Best Racing at Additional information is available at