Undefeated Colt Overcame a Troubled Trip to Win His Second Stakes


Bossier City, LA – A very exciting edition of Louisiana Cup Day at Harrah’s Louisiana Downs took place on Saturday, August 4. The card featured seven stakes and purses of $420,000, highlighted by an exciting running of the $60,000 Super Derby Prelude.


The stakes for 3-year-olds at the distance of a mile and one-sixteenth attracted a competitive field of 11. The top four will receive a berth to the Grade 3, $300,000 Super Derby on Sunday, September 2, which is the richest race of the 2018 Louisiana Downs Thoroughbred racing season. 

Autumn Hill Farms Racing Stable Inc’s homebred Autumn Warrior was stretching out for the first time for trainer Al Stall Jr. Owned and bred by Robert Guidry’s Autumn Hill Farms Racing Stables Inc., the son of Orb out of the Posse mare, Kinsolving broke his maiden here on May 5 by 14 lengths and advanced directly into stakes company. He captured the $50,000 Lafayette Stakes for Louisiana-bred 3-year-olds at Evangeline Downs by an impressive margin of 6-3/4 lengths.

Colby Hernandez had the return call on Autumn Warrior, but had to overcome a challenging trip when In Charge Halo blazed to the front and was followed by several horses covering the first quarter-mile in :24.66. Autumn Warrior was seventh heading into the final turn, and Hernandez found himself behind a wall of horses as he headed into the stretch. He found his stride and won in 1:46.41, a neck in front of a fast-closing G’s Turn and rider Thomas Pompell.

“We had a troubled trip the whole way,” said Hernandez. “Going around the second turn, I swung him outside and when I called on him, he finished really strong, I want to thank Al and Autumn Hill Farms for giving me this opportunity.”

Stall’s longtime assistant Pam Fitzgerald saddled the dark bay colt.

“I thought he did a great job,” she said. “He kind of stumbled out of the gate which is why he had the tight finish.  He’s a beautiful, big, strong horse and kind of a handful to train, but he has the talent.”

Guidry gave Stall his first horse back in 1991 and was proud of both Stall and Autumn Warrior.

“The horse only went seven furlongs before, so this should put a lot more wind into his lungs going further,” said Guidry. “Al has a great operation and a very good woman (Pam) working for him.”

Autumn Warrior was sent off as the favorite and paid $4.00. G’s Turn, at 23-1, followed by Zanesville from the barn of Tom Amoss. McFeely was fourth under Ashley Broussard  with Bode’s Maker, Speedy Fellar, In Charge Halo, Analyze This Jet,  Dream Baby Dream Major Brown and Double Star completing the order of finish. 


Silvercents Closes in the $60,000 Louisiana Cup Juvenile Fillies

The first stakes of the afternoon featured a field of six accredited 2-year-old Louisiana-bred fillies in the six-furlong $60,000 Louisiana Cup Juvenile Fillies. 

Silvercents, who ran second in $100,000 TTA Sale Futurity for Terry Eoff and Johnny Evans at Lone Star Park on July 15, made the most of her Louisiana Downs debut under rider Sasha Risenhoover. The daughter of Goldencents circled the field with confidence, edging clear of Raising the Ante by a length. The final time over the fast main track was 1:12.93.

“We knew she was capable, said Evans. “We just left her in the hands of the best rider in the country!”

Gerard Melancon rode Raising the Ante for owner Valene Farms. Whodatwhodat under Richard Eramia ran third.  Post time favorite Atchata ran fifth.

This was the second win in four starts for Silvercents, who paid $8.40 for the win, and earned $36,000 today.


P Boo Withstands Inquiry in the $60,000 Louisiana Cup Filly & Mare Sprint

The $60,000 Louisiana Turf Cup Classic attracted six fillies and mares competing at the distance of six furlongs.  P Boo, trained by Kirk Harris and co-owned by Harris, his wife, Gillian and Robert Lestz, had the lead coming down the stretch under Thomas Pompell. The 4-year-old filly by Dominus dueled to the wire with Dixie Brees and jockey Richard Eramia. Eramia lodged an objection, resulting in a steward’s inquiry, but no change was made.

“We always knew this filly could run, but she struggled out of the gate,” said Harris. “We gave her a series of gate works, which really made the difference.”

Efforting was fourth, followed by l’ll Take it All and Fleet Halo. Honest Victory was an early scratch

P Boo ($5.60) crossed the wire in a speedy 1:10.17. The victory was her sixth win and second stakes victory. She increased her bankroll to $178,390.


Rail Opened for Bermuda Star in the $60,000 Louisiana Cup Distaff

Twelve accredited Louisiana-bred fillies and mares took to the Franks Turf Course for the $60,000 Louisiana Cup Distaff. 

Bermuda Star, owned by Brittlyn Stable, Inc., sat off a swift early pace set by Ourgoldshalayee, who set fractions of :23.36 for the first quarter and 46.99 half-mile. Rounding the far turn, jockey Diego Saenz guided the daughter of Star Guitar to the inside, and powered home. Her final time over the mile and one-sixteenth feature over a firm turf course was 1:42.08.

Bred by Tom Curtis and Wayne Simpson, Bermuda Star is trained by Victor Arceneaux, who captured her sixth career win today.

“I was a little nervous about her getting through on the rail,” admitted Arceneaux. “In the paddock, I told Diego ‘there is a lot of speed in the race’. He smiled and said ‘no problem; I’ve got it.”

Benoit was not in Louisiana Downs as her filly,  Minit to Stardom ran today in the Grade 1 Test Stakes at Saratoga.

“My thanks to Evelyn for Star Guitar,” added Arceneaux.

Eskenformore, trained by James Hodges, ran second under Richard Eramia. Ourgoldshalayee held for third with Luis Guerrero up and Royal Alexandra completed the superfecta.

Bermuda Star, sent off as the co-third choice in the wagering, paid $12.40 for her win.


Game Effort for Cabo’s Rumor in the $60,000 Louisiana Cup Juvenile

The fourth feature of the afternoon was the $60,000 Louisiana Cup Juvenile for Louisiana-bred 2-year-old colts and geldings.  A field of eight competed at six furlongs on the main track.

Cabo’s Rumor owned by Northpointe Thoroughbreds, closed gamely down the stretch under top Louisiana Downs jockey Emanuel Nieves for his first stakes score. The son of Amanecer de Oro ran fourth to Pickett in the D S Shine Futurity three weeks ago at Evangeline Downs.

It was also the first stakes winner for stallion Amanecer de Oro.

“I trained both his sire and dam, so getting this colt to the track means a lot to me,” said trainer Steve Duke. “He’s a nice horse; just needs some time to get going.”

Beto, trained by Steve Asmussen ran second with Diego Saenz up over Victory Trip.  Both also competed in in the D.S. Shine Futurity. Geauxcro completed the superfecta.

Cabo’s Runner scored his first stakes win in a final time of 1:13.01. He paid $21.40.  

Smooth Sailing for In The Navy in the 60,000 Louisiana Cup Turf Classic

The $60,000 Louisiana Turf Cup Classic attracted 11 turf runners going a mile and one-sixteenth over the Franks Turf Course. 

In the Navy, owned by Kendel D. Standlee, captured his fifth career win for trainer Scott Gelner. The 4-year-old son of Midshipman broke well and tracked early pacesetter Sir Genghis. Jockey Colby Hernandez patiently guided his mount through the early stages of the race and he strided clear at the sixteenth pole in 1:42.11.  Magic Vow was second by a half-length, followed by Sir Genghis and Theoryintopractice.

“He’s just a great turf horse,” said Gelner. “Always runs well for Colby and I am proud of the fact that he has won on each of the Louisiana turf courses. 

Gelner stated that In the Navy ($11.20) will have a break and return to action at Fair Grounds. 


Monte Man Keeps Streak Alive in the $60,000 Louisiana Cup Sprint

The $60,000 Louisiana Cup Sprint closed out the card with a gritty performance by Monte Man, who won his sixth consecutive race. Claimed for $25,000 in October, the 5-year-old son of Custom For Carlos is owned by Ivery Sisters Racing and trained by Ron Faucheux. 

Gerard Melancon guided him to the wire of the $75,000 Louisiana Legends Sprint at Evangeline Downs and had the return call today, winning in front-running fashion over Cheers to Berti. He covered six-furlongs in 1:10.17.

“There is always a little pressure with a streak on the line,” said Faucheux. “I didn’t expect him to go to the lead, but he just does everything right. It’s a pleasure training him.”

Cheers to Berti rallied for second under Diego Saenz, followed by Divine Bean and Queeten.

Monte Man ($4.40) will be pointed to opening day at the Fair Grounds, but Faucheux said that an out-of-state stakes is under consideration.

Live racing continues on Monday, August 6. The next major stakes day of the 2018 Louisiana Downs Thoroughbred meet is Super Derby Day on Sunday, September 2.

About Harrah’s 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. 



AUTUMN WARRIOR - The Lafayette Stakes
Autumn Warrior leads the field wire to wire to defeat his competition by 6 3/4 lengths in the Lafayette Stakes. Coady Photography.

Lafayette Stakes
Evangeline Downs, 6-23-28, 7 furlongs, $50,000
3YO Accredited Louisiana Breds

Breeder: Autumn Hill Farms Racing Stables, Inc.
Owner: Autumn Hill Farms Racing Stables, Inc.
Trainer: Al Stall, Jr
Jockey: C. J. Hernandez

O’L Red
Breeder: Tom Curtis & Wayne Simpson
Owner: Cool Breeze Racing
Trainer: Dwight J. Viator
Jockey: Kevin J. Smith

Discreetly D
Discreetly Mine-Evening Muse
Breeder: Michael Villar & Cynthia Villar
Owner: Set Hut LLC
Trainer: Jerry Delhomme
Jockey: T. Thornton

The $50,000 Lafayette Stakes for Louisiana-bred 3-year-olds took place on Saturday night at Evangeline Downs and the winner was the even-money wagering favorite, Autumn Warrior. The gelding was engaged in a speed duel through the early stakes with O’L Red, as that pair posted swift fractions of 22.21 seconds for the quarter-mile and 44.73 for the half-mile. Once in the stretch, however, Autumn Warrior easily dispatched O’L Red and surged to a 6-3/4 lengths victory in a final time of 1:24.19 for the seven furlongs.

Autumn Warrior paid $4.20 to win, $2.80 to place and $2.40 to show. O’L Red returned $3 to place and $2.40 to show and Discreetly D paid $3.60 to show.

Autumn Warrior was bred in Louisiana by the owners Autumn Hill Farms Racing Stables Inc., is trained by Al Stall, Jr. and was ridden to victory by Colby Hernandez. The 3-year-old gelding is by 2013 Kentucky Derby winner, Orb, and is out of the Posse mare, Kinsolving. He is now two-for-two in his career and the $30,000 first-place purse increases his lifetime earnings to $43,200.