Don Stevens




VINTON, LA. – Delta Downs will host its richest race program of the season on Wednesday, February 10, when the track will award $805,000 in total purse throughout 10 stakes races. The event is called Louisiana Premier Day, and for the first time in its 18-year existence it will take place during the daytime hours with first post time set for 12:55 pm.


The featured race on the card will be the $125,000 Louisiana Premier Day Championship for older horses competing at 1-1/16 miles, which will be the ninth race on the program. This year’s Championship attracted a field of nine talented runners including last year’s winner Underpressure, from the barn of trainer Chris Richard. Underpressure, a 7-year-old gelding, is also the top earner in the field with a bankroll of $763,182 from 39 lifetime starts for owner Mallory Richard. Journeyman jockey Gerard Melancon will pilot Underpressure in the big race.


The Championship field also includes Israel Flores Horses, LLC’s Pound for Pound and Gerard Perron’s Grand Luwegee. Pound for Pound beat Underpressure by a nose in their most recent showdown, an allowance event at Fair Grounds on January 14. Grand Luwegee won the Championship back in 2019 and scored a big win in the Louisiana Champions Day Classic at Fair Grounds in December of this year.


Fans will also be in for a treat when the $100,000 Louisiana Premier Day Sprint rolls around in the sixth race as grade I winner No Parole makes his second appearance at Delta Downs for owner Maggi Moss and trainer Tom Amoss. The 4-year-old star won last year’s Louisiana Premier Day Prince before going on to take the Woody Stephens Stakes (G1) at Belmont Park this past June. Diego Saenz will be at the helm when No Parole goes to the starting gate on Wednesday afternoon.


Another race that will get plenty of attention on the program will be the $100,000 Louisiana Premier Day Starlet featuring Brett Brinkman and P. Dale Ladner’s Cilla. The 3-year-old daughter of California Chrome most recently finished third in the Grade I Frizette Stakes at Belmont Park. Brinkman trains Cilla and Gerard Melancon will get the mount aboard the likely favorite.


In addition to the many local horsemen taking part in Louisiana Premier Day there are also some nationally prominent trainers who will saddle horses on the program. They include Hall of Famer Steve Asmussen, as well as W. Bret Calhoun, Tom Amoss and others.


Delta Downs will offer the DRF Bets $50,000 Guaranteed All Stakes Pick 4 wager on the Louisiana Premier Day program. The special wager will take place on race 7 – 10, which includes the afternoon’s richest race, the $125,000 Louisiana Premier Day Championship serving as the penultimate leg.


Delta Downs will also welcome a special guest to its simulcast program during Louisiana Premier Day.  Nationally known horse racing analyst and commentator Martha Claussen will join track announcer Don Stevens on the simulcast show as a co-host, handicapper and trackside reporter following the major stakes races.


Listed below are all 10 Louisiana Premier Day stakes races for 2021 in program order.


Race #             Purse              Stakes Race                                        Distance                      Age

1                      $40,000           LAPD Bon Temps Starter                   5 furlongs                    4yo & up FM

2                      $50,000           LAPD Ladies Starter                           1 mile                          4yo & up FM

3                      $100,000         LAPD Starlet                                       1 mile                          3yo fillies

4                      $40,000           LAPD Ragin Cajun Starter                 5 furlongs                    4yo & up

5                      $100,000         LAPD Prince                                       1 mile                          3yo

6                      $100,000         LAPD Sprint                                       5 furlongs                    4yo & up

7                      $100,000         LAPD Distaff                                      1 mile                          4yo & up FM

8                      $100,000         LAPD Matron                                     5 furlongs                    4yo & up FM

9                      $125,000         LAPD Championship                          1-1/16 miles                4yo & up

10                    $50,000           LAPD Gentlemen Starter                    1-1/16 miles                4yo & up


The Louisiana Thoroughbred Breeders Association will be awarding two (2) $1,000 college scholarships via a drawing that will take place on Louisiana Premier Day.


Entries for the LTBA drawing will be taken online only this year at The deadline to enter is noon on Tuesday, February 9. Winners will be announced after the fifth race at the track and the drawing will be shown live on the Louisiana Thoroughbred Association Facebook page. To qualify for the drawing, entrants must be enrolled full time for spring or summer 2021 classes and in good standing with their Louisiana college or university.


For more information about Louisiana Premier Day and the remainder of Delta Downs’ current season, which runs through April 16, visit the track’s website at 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.





September 28, 2020

VINTON, LA – Delta Downs Racetrack Casino Hotel today announced that it is working toward a revised start date for its 2020-21 Thoroughbred season, following delays caused by heavy damage to the track from Hurricane Laura on August 27.

Based on the progress of repairs to date, Delta Downs believes it will be able to allow horses to move back on the grounds and start training by late October and begin live racing in late November.

This year’s meet was originally scheduled to run from October 6, 2020 to February 27, 2021 for a total of 84 race days. The end of the season may now be revised and extended along with a change in the total number of race days, pending approval from the Louisiana Racing Commission

Steve Kuypers, Vice President & General Manager of Delta Downs, said: “Boyd Gaming and Delta Downs are committed to hosting a successful 2020-21 Thoroughbred meet here in Vinton, Louisiana.”

As work continues and repairs are completed, Delta Downs will provide further information about when horses will be allowed to be stabled on the backside, when the track plans to begin its season, and the new schedule for live racing. This information will be posted to the Delta Downs website at

Delta Downs Racetrack Casino 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.

Delta Downs Looks to Open Delayed Meet in Late November

Stabling and tracking could begin by late October.

Delta Downs, which postponed its race meet when damaged by Hurricane Laura, could begin racing in late November, according to a company spokesman. Delta had been scheduled for its regular Thoroughbred season for 84 days from Oct. 6-Feb. 27.

Track officials are hoping to open its backstretch for training by late October, said David Strow, the vice president of corporate communications for Boyd Gaming, the track owner.

Hurricane Laura, a Category 4 storm, brought devastating winds causing damage or destruction to barns, the backside dining room, the track toteboard, its data/computer room, and its safety rail and starting gate, Strow said.

“The damage was fairly extensive. The good news is we are making great progress in our repairs, and we’re confident we can have the horses return in late October,” he said.

Boyd is working with the Louisiana State Racing Commission to extend the meet beyond its originally planned ending, though specific dates and the length of the season are still to be determined, according to Strow.

Delta Downs reopened its casino Sept. 16.

For more, Read BloodHorse Article

Delta Downs Suffers Serious Damage in Hurricane, Opening to be Postponed

By Bill Finley

While no horses or people suffered major injuries as a result of Hurricane Laura, the storm produced serious damage to Delta Downs in Vinton, Louisiana, leaving the facility in such bad shape that its director of racing operations Chris Warren said there was no chance the track would be able to begin its Thoroughbred meet on time.

“This meet is supposed to start Oct. 6. That isn’t going to happen,” Warren said. “There’s no way. When it will happen, I have no idea.”

“There’s debris and sheet metal everywhere,” he said. “The tote board got demolished. It collapsed and is completely gone. Our camera towers are gone, so is our holding barn. The starting gates got completely turned over and the light poles are torn up. The whole backside rail is pretty much ruined. There’s just a lot of damage and it is everywhere.”

Read TDN Article

Boyd Gaming Commences Property Reopening Process

Properties in Louisiana, Mississippi to Resume Operations This Week

LAS VEGAS, May 18, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Boyd Gaming Corporation (NYSE: BYD) today announced plans to resume operations at seven properties in Louisiana and Mississippi, pending receipt of final regulatory approvals.

On Wednesday, May 20, Boyd Gaming plans to reopen three Louisiana properties: Delta Downs Racetrack Casino Hotel, Evangeline Downs Racetrack Casino Hotel and Treasure Chest Casino.  On Thursday, May 21, the Company will reopen its two Mississippi properties: IP Casino Resort Spa in Biloxi and Sam’s Town Hotel & Gambling Hall in Tunica.

The following week, Boyd Gaming plans to resume operations at two additional properties in Louisiana: Amelia Belle Casino and Sam’s Town Shreveport.

These will be the first Boyd Gaming properties to reopen following the closure of all Company properties nationwide in mid-March, following state mandates aimed at preventing the spread of COVID-19.  Upon reopening, the properties will operate with limited amenities and capacity restrictions in compliance with state and local requirements.

“As we begin the process of reopening our properties nationwide, the health and safety of our customers, our team members and our communities will be our highest priority,” said Keith Smith, President and Chief Executive Officer of Boyd Gaming.  “Across the country, we are implementing comprehensive safety protocols approved by local, state and federal health officials. We are optimistic that we will be able to reopen most of our properties over the next several weeks, and we look forward to offering our guests a safe and enjoyable entertainment experience.”

Upon reopening, all Boyd Gaming properties will practice “Boyd Clean,” a set of comprehensive protocols aimed at protecting the health and safety of our team members and guests.  These protocols include:

  • Mandatory face coverings and temperature checks for all team members;
  • Social distancing requirements and capacity restrictions across all customer and team member areas, including casino floors and restaurants;
  • Enhanced cleaning and sanitation of all high-touch surfaces, including door handles, gaming machines, table games, handrails and elevator buttons;
  • Increased placement of hand sanitizer dispensers throughout our properties;
  • Required training for all team members on our safety protocols.

For additional information on the Boyd Clean initiative, visit

Boyd Gaming Applies for Evangeline Downs Race Dates

Company requested 50 dates for delayed Thoroughbred meet.

Fifty dates for Thoroughbred racing at Evangeline Downs have been requested by track owner Boyd Gaming, the Louisiana Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association announced May 15.

The Opelousas, La., racecourse was originally set to open for its Thoroughbred season April 8 and race through Aug. 29, but the track has remained closed because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The revised schedule submitted to the Louisiana State Racing Commission lists June 5 as the new opening date, with racing four days a week on a Wednesday-through-Saturday basis. Closing day would remain the same.

Boyd Gaming management applied for 14 days of Thoroughbred racing in June, 19 days in July, and 17 days in August at Evangeline.

May 16 marked the first day horses stabled outside Evangeline Downs and Delta Downs were welcomed back through the stable gates at the two tracks. Since mid-March, no new horses were allowed to enter the racetracks. The horses already stabled there were allowed to remain in place after Boyd Gaming reversed course after originally telling horsemen March 16 they had 48 hours to vacate the premises. Horses resumed training April 13 for the first time since the lockdown after Louisiana District Court judge Sharon Wilson on April 9 dissolved a temporary restraining order obtained by Boyd Gaming that resulted in no racehorse training.

“We’ve had some positive steps in the last month,” said Benard Chatters, the president of the Louisiana HBPA and a trainer at Evangeline Downs. “We were able to get the horses back training, and then today we were able to bring some of the horses back to the racetrack that had been locked out. The regular workout people were back, the outriders were back, and it was a really joyous and refreshing day for me.”

Chatters, who was at Evangeline on Saturday morning, said people were eager to get their horses back to the racetrack, including trainers who ship their horses in for workouts on the track.

Racing has not taken place in Louisiana since Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots ended its meet about a week early March 21.


Read BloodHorse Article

Delta Downs, Evangeline Downs Backsides to Open Saturday, May 16

Attention Horsemen at Delta Downs:

Per Boyd Management:

Starting Saturday, May 16, 2020 at 8AM, the horsemen that have been given stalls at Delta Downs will be allowed to move their horses onto the backside.

Contact stall superintendent Jess Chance at 337-794-7989 prior to arrival to coordinate tack room, feed room and walker wheel assignments.

Check for updates and advisories.


Attention Horsemen at Evangeline Downs:

Per Boyd Management:

Starting Saturday, May 16 , 2020 at 8AM, the horsemen that have been allocated stalls at Evangeline Downs will be allowed to move horses onto the backside.

Anyone that has yet to occupy any stalls at Evangeline Downs MUST contact Randall Leger at 337-678-8635 prior to entrance to coordinate tack rooms, feed rooms, dorm rooms and walker wheel assignments.

Check for updates and advisories.

Judge Sides With Louisiana Horsemen, Allows Training

Barring further legal action, training four days a week begins April 13.

The Louisiana Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association announced April 9 that Louisiana District Court Judge Sharon Wilson has dissolved a temporary restraining order obtained by Boyd Gaming that resulted in no racehorse training at some state tracks.

Boyd Gaming, which owns Evangeline Downs and Delta Downs in Louisiana, had been allowing stabling at its facilities but not training, citing health concerns related to COVID-19 for staff, among other reasons. Louisiana Downs, owned by Harrah’s, another gaming company, also prohibited training recently.

Under the terms of the court decision and barring further legal action, training on a four-days-a-week basis begins April 13, said Benard Chatters, the president of the Louisiana HBPA and a trainer at Evangeline Downs in Opelousas, La. He estimated there are 500 horses stabled there who have been limited to walking since mid-March.

Read BloodHorse Article

Evangeline Downs Cancels Training; Management Orders All Horses, Personnel Off The Backside

Evangeline Downs, operated by Boyd Gaming, has not only postponed it’s 2020 Thoroughbred race meet until further notice, but a mass text sent to horsemen on Monday also cancelled morning training hours and ordered all horses and personnel off the backside by 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday, March 18.

The Thoroughbred meet was scheduled to start on April 8.

Boyd Gaming has made several closures to gaming properties in the face of the international COVID-19 pandemic, but has yet to offer an official statement about the Evangeline decision.

This story will be updated as more information becomes available.




OPELOUSAS, LA – Entering the final evening of the Thoroughbred season at Evangeline Downs, the only race for meet-end honors still in doubt was the jockeys’ race. A three-way battle between Colby Hernandez, Tim Thornton and Diego Saenz came to a dramatic conclusion as Hernandez won the penultimate race of the season aboard Tenpins Tempo to clinch the title by two over Saenz, who had three wins on the last night to tighten the race significantly. Saenz was able to pass Thornton for second place in the standings with that hat trick, as Thornton went winless on the evening.

The complete top 10 jockeys’ standings were: Colby Hernandez (95 wins), Diego Saenz (93), Tim Thornton (91), Gerard Melancon (51), Thomas Pompell (37), Carlos Quinones (34), Paulina Ramirez (32), and a three-way tie for eighth with Gerardo Mora, Chris Rosier and Kevin Smith at 26 wins each.

Karl Broberg had his textbook dominant season at Evangeline Downs, winning the trainers’ race with 68 victories from 216 starts for a winning percentage of 31%. Broberg had a total of 138 in-the-money results with 40 seconds and 30 thirds for a top three percentage of 64%. The runner-up in the standings, Ron Faucheux, also had an outstanding season and had a better winning percentage than Broberg of 32%, scoring 36 wins from 113 starts. His in-the-money results also included 29 seconds and 21 thirds, giving Faucheux a top three percentage of 76%.

The complete top 10 trainers’ standings were: Karl Broberg (68 wins), Ron Faucheux (36), Eduardo Ramirez (30), Brett Brinkman (28), Dale White, Sr. (23), Corale Richards (22), a tie for seventh between Sam Breaux and Lee Thomas at 21 wins and a tie for ninth between Sam David, Jr. and Scott Gelner at 20 wins.

Broberg was also part of the leading owners’ standings, as his partnership with Matt Johanson, End Zone Athletics, Inc., won the title handily with 43 wins from 128 starts for a winning percentage of 34%. Owner-trainer Dale White, Sr. was the runner-up in the standings with 14 wins.

The complete top 10 owners’ standings were: End Zone Athletics, Inc. (43 wins), Dale White, Sr. (14), Wayne T. Davis (13), Elite Throoughbred Racing, LLC (12), Red Rose Racing (11), Whispering Oaks Farm, LLC (10), Cynthia Sharp and Corale Richards (9), a tie for eighth between Ming Yan Ng and Norman Stables, LLC at eight wins and a tie for tenth between Brittlyn Stable, Inc. and Sandy Badeaux and Dale White, Sr. at seven wins each.

Live racing at Evangeline Downs will resume with the beginning of the 46-night American Quarter Horse season on Friday, September 27. Post time for the season will be 5:35 pm Central Time. The $1,000,000 LQHBA Louisiana Million will take place on Saturday, December 7 and the $100,000-added Evangeline Downs Futurity and $50,000-added Evangeline Downs Derby will highlight the closing night program on Saturday, December 14.


For more information on racing at Evangeline Downs, visit the track’s website at Evangeline Downs’ Twitter handle is @EVDRacing and the racetrack is also accessible on Facebook at


About Evangeline Downs

Evangeline Downs Racetrack Casino & Hotel is owned by Boyd Gaming Corporation, a leading diversified owner and operator of 22 gaming entertainment properties located in Nevada, New Jersey, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana and Mississippi.  Boyd Gaming press releases are available at  Additional news and information can be found at, or

Back to top
%d bloggers like this: