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DELTA DOWNS PREPARES FOR 2020-21 THOROUGHBRED SEASON; HISTORIC STORMS FORCE CHANGES IN DAILY SCHEDULE, POST TIMES AND STAKES ACTIVITY

– 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.

 

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Fair Grounds Announces 2020-21 Racing and Stakes Schedule

“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).

Condition Book #1 

Pocket Calendar & Stakes Schedule 

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Louisiana-Bred Program Changes Bylaws to Grow Foal Crop

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.

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LIVE THOROUGHBRED RACING RETURNS TO SAM HOUSTON RACE PARK ON FRIDAY, JANUARY 8, 2021

Request For 46-Day Thoroughbred Meet Granted at Tuesday’s Texas Racing Commission Meeting

 

HOUSTON, TX – Sam Houston Race Park will kick off its 2021 live racing season on Friday, January 8 with an expanded 46-day Thoroughbred meet.  Live racing will be conducted on the traditional Friday and Saturday evenings, with Thursday late afternoon racing added to the calendar throughout the season.  Wednesday afternoon racing will return for seven weeks beginning February 10.  The Thoroughbred meet will conclude on Saturday,

April 3 

 

Purses will be substantial with a total of $11.4 million offered throughout the season. Horsemen will have the opportunity to run for overnight purses of approximately $248,000 per day with notable levels as follows:

  • Maiden races will be offered at $36,000
  • Allowance races will start at $37,000

The 2021 Thoroughbred Stakes schedule will offer approximately $2,200,000 in purses. A complete stakes schedule will be released in early October, but officials have confirmed that the Houston Racing Festival will take place on Sunday, January 31 with an afternoon post time. Both the Houston Ladies Classic (G3) and the John B. Connally Turf (G3) continue to attract nationally prominent trainers and serve as a springboard for each champion to garner multiple graded stakes throughout the year.

 

“We had an exceptional meet in 2020 until the COVID-19 pandemic forced its early cancelation,” said Dwight Berube, Sam Houston Race Park’s General Manager. “Our goal throughout this year was to move forward and offer our loyal horsemen and women even better opportunities for 2021. We are very excited about the upcoming racing season!”

 

Sam Houston Race Park also received approval for their annual Quarter Horse racing season. The 23-day meet will begin on FridayApril 23 and continue through Saturday, June 12.

 

Frank Hopf, Senior Director of Racing Operations and James Leatherman, Racing Secretary announced that stall applications for the upcoming meet are due by Wednesday, November 6.  The Sam Houston Race Park barn area will open on Saturday, November 28 with training hours set to commence on Tuesday, December 1.  The first condition book will be available in mid-October and further information about the season can be accessed at www.shrp.com.

 

About Sam Houston Race Park

Sam Houston Race Park is Houston’s premier racing and entertainment facility, located just 15 miles from downtown Houston. SHRP offers a variety of attractions including luxury suites overlooking the racetrack, The Pavilion Centre, and award-winning dining options in the Winner’s Circle Restaurant and Jockey Club.  For more information on upcoming events and tickets, please visit www.shrp.com.

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Multiple G1SW Imperial Hint to Stand at Clear Creek Stud

Imperial Hint wins the G1 Vanderbilt Stakes. Susie Raisher photo.

Clear Creek Stud is proud to announce their new stallion for 2021 in Imperial Hint (Imperialism-Royal Hint)

The son of Grade II winner Imperialism, Imperial Hint earned in excess of $2,200,000 while winning eleven Graded Stakes including four Grade I Stakes.

He twice won both the Alfred G. Vanderbilt (GI) at Saratoga Race Course and the Vosburgh (GI) at Belmont Park. In the 2019 edition of the Alfred G. Vanderbilt he set a New Track Record running six furlongs in 1:07.92, getting the half mile in 44.21, while beating Eclipse Award Winning Male Sprinter, Mitole.

Also in his list of accomplishments is the True North Stakes (GII) and the Smile Sprint Stakes (GIII). In the Donald LeVine Memorial Stakes at Parx Racing he ran six furlongs in 1:07.55 with the half mile clocked in 43.81.

Imperial Hint recorded triple digit Beyer figures eleven times in his career with a high of 114.

Imperial Hint will be syndicated with shares available that will grant shareholders seven breedings in his first four years at stud plus bonus seasons after that. Shareholders participate in both stallion awards and stud fees from excess seasons sold.

Imperial Hint will stand the 2021 breeding season at Clear Creek Stud for a fee of $2,500 payable September 1st. To book a mare or receive information on buying a share contact Clear Creek Stud at 985-796-5563 or go to their web page at www.clearcreekstud.com.

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New Jersey to Ban Riding Crop Use Except for Safety

The regulation, the strictest in North America, was opposed by the Jockeys’ Guild.

A regulation passed Sept. 16 by the New Jersey Racing Commission will prohibit jockeys and exercise riders in the state from using the riding crop “except when necessary to control the horse for the safety of the horse or rider” beginning next year.

The ruling makes it the strictest in North America following earlier decisions by some regulatory bodies that have limited the number of strikes a horse can receive from a jockey. According to Daily Racing Form, the riding-crop restriction will take effect when Monmouth Park opens in 2021. The track customarily begins its race meet in May.

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American Racehorse Magazine to Resume Printing with Stallion Register Issue

American Racehorse magazine will resume publishing later this year starting with the Stallion Register issue in December. Just like in past years, the Stallion Register will be mailed to every member of the Texas Thoroughbred Association, as well as many other state breeder associations in the Southwest and Midwest. The advertising deadline is October 12!
For more information, contact Denis Blake at info@americanracehorse.com or 512-695-4541
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OAKLAWN PLANNING 57-DAY MEET WITH FOUR $1 MILLION STAKES IN 2021

Pending approval from the Arkansas Racing Commission, Oaklawn plans to conduct its regular 57-day meet highlighted by four $1 million stakes races – $1 million Rebel Stakes (G2), $1 million Arkansas Derby (G1), $1 million Oaklawn Handicap (G2) and $1 million Apple Blossom Handicap (G1) – and the richest purse structure in its 117-year history. The 2021 season, which will be accentuated by the opening of a multi-purpose event center and a luxury 200-room hotel overlooking the track, is scheduled to run Friday, Jan. 22 – Saturday, May 1.

In addition, 21 stakes will have their purses raised by at least $25,000, most notably are $150,000 increases to both the Essex Handicap on March 13 and Oaklawn Mile on April 10, which will be worth $500,000 and $400,000, respectively. The purse of the Razorback Handicap (G3) on Saturday, Feb. 13 will be raised by $100,000 to $600,000. All stakes, including ones for state-breds, will be at least $150,000 each.

“We would not be able to once again offer record purses next year if it weren’t for the tremendous support we’ve received from the Arkansas Racing Commission, the horsemen, and our fans in 2020,” Oaklawn President Louis Cella said. “We are excited to continue building on our ‘New Level of Excellence,’ which will include our new hotel, event center, state-of-the-art spa, and additional restaurants, which are all on schedule to open late 2020/early 2021.”

Oaklawn’s rich 3-year-old program for horses with Kentucky Derby aspirations will begin opening day, Jan. 22, with the $150,000 Smarty Jones Stakes and will culminate closing day, May 1, with the $300,000 Oaklawn Invitational. In between are the $750,000 Southwest Stakes (G3) on Feb. 15, Presidents’ Day Monday, the $1 million Rebel Stakes (G2) on March 13, and the $1 million Arkansas Derby (G1) on April 10.

Oaklawn’s five signature races that comprise the traditional Racing Festival of the South will be run over three Saturdays starting with the $600,000 Fantasy Stakes (G3) for 3-year-old fillies on Kentucky Oaks (G1) trail on April 3.

The $1 million Arkansas Derby (G1), a major stepping stone to the Kentucky Derby, will be run on April 10 along with three other stakes. Oaklawn’s series for older horses culminates on April 17 with the $1 million Oaklawn Handicap (G2) and the $1 million Apple Blossom (G1) for fillies and mares.

“Once finalized, the full purse program will be released soon,” added Oaklawn General Manager Wayne Smith. “We anticipate it will exceed $700,000 a day.”

Oaklawn’s 2021 stakes schedule features a total of 33 races worth $11,000,000. Racing will be conducted Friday–Sunday for the first two weeks of the meet and then shift to a Thursday–Sunday schedule starting in February. There will be racing on Presidents’ Day – Monday, Feb. 15, but there will be no racing on Easter Sunday, April 4.

Located in Hot Springs National Park, Arkansas, Oaklawn has been one of the premiere Thoroughbred racetracks in the country since 1904, best known as home of the $1 million Arkansas Derby. The newly expanded Vegas-style casino features slots, live table games, and sports betting year-round. Live racing held Jan-May and simulcast racing throughout the year. Opening early 2021 are a 200-room luxury hotel, multi-purpose event center, state-of-the-art spa and new dining options. Website – http://www.Oaklawn.com, Phone – 1-800-OAKLAWN.

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Racetrack Coalition Moves Toward Lasix Ban in Stakes

Fair Grounds among Twenty Racetracks Committed to Ending Race-day Lasix in stakes in 2021.

 

A coalition of leading Thoroughbred racing associations and organizations announced April 18 a new initiative committed to phasing out the use of the medication furosemide (Salix, commonly called Lasix) beginning in 2020 and eliminating the use of Lasix in stakes races at their tracks beginning in 2021.

Coalition racetracks that have signed on to this initiative include all tracks owned or operated by Churchill Downs Inc., the New York Racing Association and The Stronach Group as well as Del Mar, Keeneland, Lone Star Park, Remington Park, Los Alamitos Racecourse (Thoroughbred meets), Oaklawn Park, and Tampa Bay Downs. Taken together these tracks represent 86% of the stakes races assigned graded or listed status in the United States in 2018. The coalition tracks will work diligently with their respective horsemen’s associations and racing commissions toward implementing this effort.

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