LTBA Names Cilla 2021 Louisiana Horse of the Year

2021 Louisiana Horse of the Year
Cilla

California Chrome-Sittin At the Bar, by Into Mischief
Breeders: Brett A. Brinkman & P. Dale Ladner
Owner: P. Dale Ladner
Trainer: Brett A. Brinkman

 

Cilla winning the 2021 Louisiana Legends Mademoiselle S. Coady Photo.

 

Saturday evening, June 11, 2022, Roger Heitzmann, LTBA Secretary/Treasurer,  announced the Louisiana 2021 Horse of the Year, Cilla, who was selected from among the Louisiana divisional champions by the Louisiana Thoroughbred Breeders Association Board of Directors. 

Cilla, is proof positive that Louisiana-breds can compete among top company anywhere. 

After winning the 2021 Louisiana Legends Mademoiselle at Evangeline Downs in June, Cilla took her show on the road to Monmouth Park where she annexed the Blue Sparkler Stakes getting the five and a half furlongs in 1:03.07 to win by 2 1/2 lengths. Next,  Cilla won the G2 Prioress S. at Saratoga, running the six furlongs in 1:10.05, defeating Kentucky bred G3 Stakes Winner Souper Sensational. For the year the filly won four of eight starts and earned $310,600.

Cilla was both the first North American, winner and first black type winner for her sire two time Horse of the Year, California Chrome.

Brett Brinkman trains Cilla for owner P. Dale Ladner. The same connections both bred her and raced her dam, Sittin at the Bar. Sittin at the Bar won 11 of 19 starts including nine Louisiana-bred stakes during her career earning $705,896. and has produced nothing but runners.

Cilla, whose name in Welsh means “venerable”is certainly fulfilling her namesake. In 2022, she has added stakes wins in the Orleans S. and LA Bred Premier Matron,  both run at Delta Downs. Cilla’s lifetime earnings sit at $484,000 with more to come.

THORNTON, BROBERG AND END ZONE ATHLETICS CONTINUE DELTA DOWNS DOMINANCE DURING 2021-22 THOROUGHBRED SEASON

TOP HONORS WERE HANDED OUT DURING CLOSING DAY PROGRAM ON SATURDAY, MARCH 5 

 

 

VINTON, LA. –  The 2021-22 Thoroughbred season at Delta Downs wrapped up on Saturday with familiar names topping the horsemen standings. Tim Thornton won his fourth straight leading rider title while Karl Broberg notched his 11th consecutive crown in the training ranks. Broberg and Matt Johansen’s End Zone Athletics, Inc. earned their seventh leading owner title and their 10th in the last 11 years.

 

Thornton’s season included 129 wins and mount earnings of $2,782,260. The title was Thornton’s fourth consecutive since moving his tack to Vinton in late 2017. During his first full season in 2018-19, Thornton set a new track record for mount earnings in a single season with $2,894,080.

 

Delta Downs’ 2021-22 leading jockey Tim Thornton and family

Thornton, a husband and father of three, won six of the track’s 26 stakes races during the meet. His biggest score came with the Allen Landy-trained Net a Bear, who took the $125,000 Louisiana Premier Day Distaff on the track’s richest race day of the year, February 5.

 

Following Thornton in the jockey standings were Joel Dominguez (65 wins), Joe Stokes (61), Jose Guerrero (50), Alex Birzer (46), Thomas Pompell (45), Vicente Del-Cid (42), C. J. McMahon (33), Kevin Roman (29), and Gerard Melancon (28).

 

Broberg continued his dominance at Delta Downs in 2021-22 by sending out 105 winners and totaling $1,928,820 in barn earnings. Broberg nearly bettered his own records for Thoroughbred conditioners this meet as well. During the 2018-19 season his horses set the current standard with 107 wins and earnings of $2,017,120.

 

Rounding out the list of leading trainers for the Delta Downs meeting were Allen Landry (31), Eduardo Ramirez (31), Brett Brinkman (26), Dale White, Sr. (21), Sam Breaux (20), Scott Gelner (19), Benjamin Zeno (19), Greg Tracy (19), and Lee M. Thomas (19).

 

End Zone Athletics, Inc. saw 78 of their runners win and earn a total of $1,322,480. The accomplishment broke their own records set just last year when End Zone won 64 races and took home $1,186,210.

 

Rounding out the top owners for the season were Dale White, Sr. (18), Elite Thoroughbred Racing, LLC (Michele Rodriguez) (12), Israel Flores Horses LLC (10), Keith Charles (9), Adriel Gonzalez (8), Gerald L. Averett, Jr. (7), Norman Stables, LLC (7), Rylee Grudzien (7), and Sandy Badeaux (6).

 

Delta Downs now looks forward to its upcoming American Quarter Horse season which gets underway on April 29 and runs through July 16. The 46-day meeting will feature live racing each Wednesday through Saturday night with first post time set for 6:15 pm Central Time.

 

For more information about the Delta Downs Quarter Horse season, including specific race days, go to the track’s website at www.deltadownsracing.com. Fans can also follow the track on Facebook and Twitter.

 

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.

 

Wagering On U.S. Racing Highest Since 2009

By Bill Finley

According to figures released Wednesday by Equibase, $12,218,407,637 was wagered on horse racing in the U.S. in 2021. The figure marks the first time betting has topped $12 billion since 2009 when $12.315 billion was bet.

“Against an extraordinarily difficult backdrop, the resiliency of Thoroughbred racing was on full display in 2021, as we concluded the year with significant growth in purses and total handle of more than $12 billion, the highest since 2009,” NTRA President and Chief Executive Officer Tom Rooney said in a statement. “We thank our customers for their ongoing support, as their wagering dollars continue to fuel our industry. As we turn the page to 2022, we look forward to the beginning of a new era for U.S. Thoroughbred racing with the launch of the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act (HISA) and an even greater focus on equine safety and welfare and the integrity of America’s oldest sport.”

Wagering peaked in 2003 when $15.18 billion was bet.

Wagering was up 11.86% over 2020, when $10,922,936,290 was bet during a year in which the pandemic kept several tracks closed for parts of the year. A better comparison may be 2019, when $11,033,824,363 was wagered. The 2021-versus-2019 numbers show a 10.74% increase.

Bron and Brow, Free Like a Girl Win Respective Divisions of 2021 Louisiana Futurity

How High Can He Fly? Bron and Brow Shows Offensive Power Breaking His Maiden Against Stakes Company

Bron And Brow with Adam Beschizza aboard wins the 58th running of the Louisiana Futurity – Colts and Gelding Division at Fair Grounds. Hodges Photography / Lou Hodges, Jr.

 

 

 

 

 

Charco leads The Louisiana Futurity early, but proves 2nd best

New Orleans (December 31, 2021) – On the last day of his 2-year old campaign, Bron and Brow proves he has the makings of a horse on the rise. Twenty days after assistant trainer David Carroll said “He won’t be a maiden for long,” Gary Barber’s colt’s maiden win comes against stakes company in the $107,000 Louisiana Futurity over 6 furlongs on the dirt.

Second favorite 2.30-1 Charco was sent to the lead by jockey James Graham and he blitzed the opening fractions in 22.09 and 45.59 before tightly-pressing .90-1 favorite Bron and Brow drove by hitting the top of the paint in 57.77 and kept on for the score while drifting out to beat the buzzer in 1:10.85. Third favorite 2.50-1 Big Scully ran third throughout but never threatened, finishing 9 ¼ lengths back.

“He broke out a little right to be fair,” winning jockey Adam Beschizza said. “This horse is super talented and I know David [Carroll] and Mark [Casse] have believed in him since day one. We just had to overcome a little adversity there with the inquiry. He’s got a lot to learn, but he seemed to come out of that race very unexhausted so that just tells me he has a lot left in the locker there.”

Bred in Louisiana by J. Addock & Hume Wornall, after taking three shots Bron and Brow is 3-1-1-1 earning $91,820. After a third in November at Del Mar, this colt by Gormley was transferred from Peter Miller’s barn to the care of Mark Casse. Bron and Brow finished a troubled trip ½ length 2nd in the Louisiana Champions Day Juvenile Sprint. Like his namesakes, LA Lakers power-duo Lebron James and Anthony Davis, Bron and Brow has loads of talent–unlike them, he is still proving green in his races. After breaking out from the gate and bumping his neighbor, the stewards called for an inquiry, which was not acted on. Passing Charco and finishing in the stretch, he ran erratically in the stretch.

“We got the win in the end, ” assistant trainer David Carroll said. “A little worrisome there but he’s a very talented colt. I’m very happy for Mr. Barber, a great way to end the year. This horse has got a lot of talent–very unlucky in his last race when he got the bad trip but he went very fast as well. Today was a much different race. Adam rode a great race, very aware of the horse he rode last time for Mr. Asmussen [Charco] and he kept him on his target.”

Again, similar to his namesakes: he’s won his first, but can he hang another stakes banner?

“We feel there is more to come from this horse,” Carroll said. “Mark [Casse] and Mr. Barber will talk about two turns, but there is a race early next month if they wish to take advantage of it, going a mile, so maybe that will be his next race, but that’s something they will talk about–we’ll enjoy this race for now.”

The connections believe Bron and Brow can fly higher as he turns the page to his 3-year-old campaign. – Kilroy

 

 

Girls Futurity Winner Home “Free” Down the Stretch

Free Like A Girl with Chasey Deville Ponier aboard wins the 55th running of the Louisiana Futurity – Filly Division at Fair Grounds. Hodges Photography / Jan Brubaker

 

Free Like a Girl wins her fourth stake of the season in runaway fashion

 

Making amends for her narrow defeat as the favorite in the Louisiana Lassie on Champions Day, Gerald Bruno, Jr., Carl Deville and Chasey Pomier’s (trainer) Free Like a Girl left no doubt as to who was best in the $109,600 Louisiana Futurity for the 2-year-old fillies.

Away alertly as the 1.30-1 favorite, the daughter of El Deal stalked the early pace of Serape (11.70-1) though fractions of 22.33 and 46.29. Cut loose by regular rider Pedro Cotto, Jr. at the top of the stretch, she quickly took command, extending her margin of victory to 6 ¼ lengths under the wire in a final time of 1:11.11 for six furlongs. Wholelottamo (14.20-1) outkicked Serape for the place spot. Half Page was scratched at the gate.

“We stuck with the plan to get her close to the pace,” Cotto, Jr. said. “When I got a chance, I put her in the clear, and she just did her thing today. I don’t think she’s even as good as she can get right now. That’s one thing that has impressed me about her. I think she’s just going to get better when she gets older.”

Sent off as the 2-1 favorite on Champions Day, Free Like a Girl was stuck in tight between horses while stalking from mid-pack. She fought on gamely to the wire, only to get swooped by a deep closing 93-1 longshot in Buckley Bunny late. On Friday, she left no doubt who was best in front of her many supporters.

“We are very grateful to have her,” trainer Chasey Deville Pomier said. “She’s been amazing for us. The breeders, all of the connections. We’ve had a great year with her for sure. My dad owns a part, my daughter is in on it, me, the other owner used to be dad’s assistant when I was young, we’ve known the breeders for a while, so yeah, it’s just a whole big ‘ole thing.”

The winner of the D. S. Shine Young Futurity at Evangeline and the Louisiana Jewel and the open company My Trusty Cat at Delta Downs in advance of the Lassie, Free Like a Girl has now won five times from 10 starts since debuting on May 8 at Lone Star. Bred by Kim Renee Stover & Lisa Osborne and purchased for just $5,500 as a yearling, she has now banked $281,473. She’s run a lot and accomplished quite a bit in less than eight months, but shows no signs of slowing down.

“Every day she trains great, we go day-to-day with her, as long as she’s training good, we keep going,” Pomier said. – Kristufek

 

STRUMMER ROLLS TO VICTORY IN THE LOOKOUT STAKES AT DELTA DOWNS

SCOTT GELNER TRAINEE WINS STAKES DEBUT UNDER JOCKEY GERARD MELANCON

 

Strummer wins the Lookout Stakes at Delta Downs. Coady Photography

 

VINTON, LA. – Delta Downs hosted the $70,000 Lookout Stakes on Friday afternoon as part of a nine-race New Year’s Eve program. The 7 1/2-furlong test for Louisiana-bred fillies and mares who had yet to win a stakes race was won by Oak Tree Stables, LLC’s Strummer under jockey Gerard Melancon.

 

The win by Strummer did not come easily as the 3-year-old filly had to survive a jockey’s objection after the race when rider Ashley Broussard, who was aboard Schiff’s Corner, claimed foul on the winner for interference around the first turn. After several minutes of looking at the video, the stewards determined that Strummer was clear of her rival when crossing over to the rail and the claim of foul was disallowed.

 

Strummer, who is conditioned by Scott Gelner, led nearly all the way in the Lookout after Schiff’s Corner opened the race with a quarter-mile time of 24.32 seconds.  Strummer then took over, covering the half-mile in 50.21 and three-quarters of a mile in 1:16.05 before finishing up with a final time of 1:35.97. Each race on Friday was contested over a fast track.

 

Jet Sweep, who was reserved at the back of the field early in the Lookout, rallied late to grab the place spot behind Strummer, beaten three lengths. Suzie’s Dream, a 15-1 longshot, would up third, another length behind the runner-up.

The win by Strummer was the fourth of her nine-race career. She earned $42,000 for the effort and now owns a career bankroll of $146,620.

 

Bred in Louisiana by Brittlyn, Inc, Strummer is by Star Guitar, out of the Langfuhr mare Good Human Bean.

 

Sent to the gate at odds of 3-1, Strummer paid $8 to place, $3.40 to place and $3.40 to show. Jet Sweet returned $4 to place and $3.40 to show. Suzies Dream was worth $6.60 to show.

 

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