Fans Voted Alysheba, Bobby Barnett, Calvin Borel and Tom Sweeney as Additional Honorees
Bossier City, LA – Harrah’s Louisiana Downs held its first Racing Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony on Saturday, July 13. The event, which was open to the public, honored the achievements of horse owners, trainers, jockeys, horses and property contributors who have played pivotal roles in the rich history of Harrah’s Louisiana Downs.
A committee was formed earlier this year and selected individuals and racing champions for its first class. In addition, Harrah’s Louisiana Downs offered racing fan an opportunity to vote for additional inductees in the category of trainer, jockey, horse and contributor.
The Harrah’s Louisiana Downs Racing Hall of Fame honored the following recipients:
LAD Racing Hall of Fame Owner
- John Franks – John Franks was the leading owner at Louisiana Downs for 18 years and much of the track’s success can be attributed to him. Franks was an Eclipse Award winning owner and his homebred Answer Lively was honored as 1998 Two-Year Colt of the Year.
LAD Racing Hall of Fame Trainer
- Frank L. Brothers – Winner of nearly 800 races at Louisiana Downs and nine consecutive training titles from 1980 – 1988. Brothers is the all-time leader in Stakes victories with 127. Louisiana Downs named a stakes race in his honor in 2019.
- C.W. Walker – The track’s second all-time leading trainer with 820 wins. A mainstay at Louisiana Downs he was best known for his prowess with claiming horses but also had 16 stakes winners. He was the leading trainer in 1977.
FAN VOTE HONOREE:
- Bobby Barnett – A three-time Louisiana Downs training title champion (1991, 1994, 1997) and trainer of 2004 Super Derby winner, Fantasticat. He was the primary trainer for John Franks. Winner of nearly 500 races locally.
LAD Racing Hall of Fame Contributor
- Edward J. DeBartolo, Sr. – Instrumental in the early development of Louisiana Downs as one of the first owners. The track was a success from the start, setting numerous national records for handle and attendance throughout the 1970’s and ’80’s under his oversight.
FAN VOTE HONOREE:
- Tom Sweeney – Longtime General Manager at Louisiana Downs including the early days of the racetrack. Sweeney was at the forefront of the inclusion of video poker and improved gaming at Louisiana Downs.
LAD Racing Hall of Fame Jockey
- Ronald Ardoin – A resident of Haughton, Louisiana, Ardoin is the all-time winningest jockey at Louisiana Downs. He made history as the 16th jockey nationally to have 5,000 wins when he rode Heart of an Angel to victory at Louisiana Downs.
- Larry Snyder – Legendary Jockey with a 35-year riding career. Loved by fans at Louisiana Downs and Oaklawn Park, Larry worked as a steward at the track after retiring from the saddle in 1994.
FAN VOTE HONOREE:
- Calvin Borel – A three-time leading jockey at Louisiana Downs (1991, 1992, 1994) and winner of over 1200 races locally. Borel is a nationally prominent rider with multiple Kentucky Derby wins
LAD Racing Hall of Fame Horses
- Sunday Silence – The Super Derby Winner in 1989 in the same year that he was named Horse of the Year and Champion 3-Year-Old Male. He was winner of The Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes and Breeder’s Cup Classic. Sunday Silence was inducted into the National Museum of Racing Hall of Fame in 1996.
- Free Spirits Joy – Louisiana-bred winner of the Super Derby in 1991. He made 29 Louisiana starts and 3 at Remington Park. He died at the age at 27 in 2015.
FAN VOTE HONOREE:
- Alysheba – Won the Super Derby in 1987 after winning the Kentucky Derby and Preakness. Alysheba was inducted into the National Museum of Racing Hall of Fame in 1993.
“We are so pleased to have honored the first class of the Harrah’s Louisiana Downs Racing Hall of Fame today,” said Eric Halstrom, Harrah’s Louisiana Downs Vice President of Operations “The accomplishments of these prodigious leaders, horsemen and tremendous racing champions are truly significant, both for Louisiana and the national racing industry. We thank our committee for their efforts and of course, our dedicated fans for voting the additional recipients into the inaugural Racing Hall of Fame.”
Live racing resumes on Monday, July 15 and the two major stakes days are right around the corner. Louisiana Cup Day will run on Saturday, August 3, featuring seven stakes, including the $60,000 Prelude, a 1 1/16-mile race for 3-year-olds that serves as the local prep race for the Grade 3, $300,000 Super Derby. Saturday, September 7 is the date for this year’s Super Derby Day card, which features seven stakes with purses totaling $600,000.
For more information on the 2019 Thoroughbred meet, which runs through September 25, visit https://www.caesars.com/harrahs-louisiana-downs/racing.
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.