Bossier City, LA – The 2019 Thoroughbred racing season at Harrah’s Louisiana Downs, which got underway on May 4, concluded on Wednesday, September 25. The meet leaders, Carlos Lozada, Joey Foster and End Zone Athletics, Inc., were honored for their accomplishments on the final afternoon of the 84-day meet.

Both major racing events, Louisiana Cup Day on August 3 and Super Derby Day, which took place September 7, featured excellent fields. For the second year in a row, Hall of Fame conditioner Steve Asmussen won the richest race of the season, the Grade 3, $300,000 Super Derby with Rotation. The son of Tapit, bred and owned by Winchell Thoroughbreds, LLC, rallied strongly for his first graded stakes score under jockey Richard Eramia.

One of the most memorable events of the season was the creation of the Harrah’s Louisiana Downs Racing Hall of Fame. The ceremony took place on Saturday, July 13 with  John Franks; Edward J. DeBartolo, Sr.;  Frank L. Brothers; C.W. Walker; Ronald Ardoin, Larry Snyder; Sunday Silence andFree Spirits Joy inducted into the inaugural class.

Voting for one additional Hall of Fame member in several categories was offered to the fans and they elected trainer Bobby Barnett, jockey Calvin Borel; former general manager Tom Sweeney as well as the incomparable Alysheba as additional inductees.

Officials also introduced a new wager, Super Tuesday Pick 4, on Tuesday, June 25.  The wager teamed two Caesar’s Entertainment racetracks: Harrah’s Louisiana Downs and Indiana Grand Racing and Casino, which both offer Tuesday matinee racing programs. Two races each Tuesday from both racetracks were selected and offered to fans at a reduced takeout of 15%.

“We were thrilled to induct honor such outstanding horses and trailblazers into our Racing Hall of Fame,”said Eric Halstrom, Harrah’s Louisiana Downs vice president of operations.  “The fan vote was very well-received and we will certainly offer that again in 2020. It was also a great beginning for the Super Tuesday Pick 4, which gave us an opportunity to attract new fans as we teamed with the talented and innovative team at Indiana Grand.”


Carlos Lozada Wins His First Leading Rider Title

Carlos Lozada was dominant throughout the meet, topping a very competitive jockey colony to claim his first ever leading rider title. The 34-year-old native of Puerto Rico finished the meet with a record of 428 starts, 95 wins, 70 seconds and 52 thirds and purses of $1,076,410.

He began riding in the United States in 2007 after attending Puerto Rico’s Escuela Vocational Hipica, the famed jockey school with a noted list of riders, including Irad Ortiz, Jr, Jose Ortiz as well as 2018 Harrah’s Louisiana Downs top-ranked rider, Emanuel Nieves.

The soft-spoken rider was the 17th-ranked rider in 2018 at Louisiana Downs, but united with former jockey and highly successful agent, Ronald Ardoin, this year.

“There is no doubt that Ronald made a big difference for me,” said Lozada. “He works hard in the mornings and got me a lot of mounts. He won so many races in his career and was very helpful when I asked for advice.”

One of the biggest wins of the meet came on Super Derby Day when Lozada guided Sugarland Thoroughbreds LLC’s homebred Eskenformore to victory in the $60,000 River Cities at odds  of 30-1.  He had ridden the 6-year-old mare, trained by James Hodges, and explained his change of tactics in winning the turf feature.

“I rode her like I knew her,” stated Lozada. “I felt she needed to be closer to the lead and knew she had plenty left for the finish.”

Winning leading rider honors at Harrah’s Louisiana Downs meant a great deal to the devoted family man, supported by his wife, Eileen Quinones and their three sons: Anthony, Jean Carlos and Jandriel.

“I was a little nervous toward the end,” he acknowledged. “Providing for my family is most important to me, but I want to thank every owner and trainer who believed in me and gave me the opportunity to win my first title!”

Lozada will head to Delta Downs for their upcoming Thoroughbred meet, which gets underway on Tuesday, October 8.

It was also a very successful season for Joel Dominguez, who finished second with 91 trips to the winner’s circle, edging Lozada in purses, with mounts earning $1,091,671. Dominguez, who was third in the standings last year, is represented by retired rider Don Simington. Jockey Aubrie Green finished third with 54 victories; a solid step up from her seventh-place finish here in 2018.  Richard Eramia and Hector Del-Cid tied for fourth with 47 trips to the winner’s circle.



Joey Foster Wins His Third Louisiana Downs Leading Trainer

Benton, Louisiana horseman Joey Foster picked up his third leading trainer title at Harrah’s Louisiana Downs, winning 54 races from 218 starters to top his fellow conditioners this meet.

The very popular trainer won his first title here in 2016, repeating the feat in 2017 and finishing second to Karl Broberg last year. He saddled a mix of claiming and allowance horses throughout the meet, with standouts including Mizztic Tale, who won three of his four starts this meet for owners Brett Day and Kevin Spretz. Also, Play on Becky picked up her third victory of the season on Wednesday, September 25 for her breeder and owner Jim Horton.

“I want to thank each of my owners for their support,” said Foster. “They are the ones that put the show on; training horses is the easy part, but keeping great owners is key.”

Foster also acknowledged his wife, Cheryl, who he refers to as “the backbone” of the barn, and the hard work of assistant trainer, Amaniel Ortiz, affectionately known as “Shorty”.

The Foster trainees will head to Delta Downs as well as Fair Grounds. Foster cited Our Lost Love, a 2-year-old filly Louisiana-bred daughter of Half Ours, as one of his runners to watch. Bred and owned by Tri-Star Racing LLC, she broke her maiden impressively here on September 14.

“She ran a great race and earned an 83 Beyer (speed figure),” said Foster. “We will run her on Louisiana Champions Day (December 14) at Fair Grounds.”

Last year’s leading conditioner, Karl Broberg, finished second with 45 wins. Beverly Burress, who saddled 18 winners last year, finished the meet with 28 victories, including a stakes score with Run Rocket in the $60,000 A. L. (Red) Erwin on the Super Derby card. Steve Asmussen and Jorge Lara tied for fourth with 20 winners each.


Leading Owner Title Goes to End Zone Athletics, Inc.

End Zone Athletics, Inc. repeated as owner of the meet, and unlike last year, when the title went down to the final day, the national leader held a comfortable lead throughout the meet.  The highly successful partnership of Karl Broberg and Matt Johanson won 25 races this meet to earn leading owner honors.

“I want to thank Darwin Quevado, my assistant at Louisiana Downs for all he has done,” said Broberg.  “We used quite a few riders, but I was pleasantly surprised by Aubrie Green.”

Broberg confirmed that he will send a string to Delta Downs for their upcoming Thoroughbred meet and will also have a barn at Fair Grounds when their season gets underway.

Dream Walkin Farms, Inc. was second in the standings with 14 wins and horses owned by Ronnie P. Ward made 11 trips to the winner’s circle. Indian Creek Thoroughbred Farms, LLC and Penny Scarberry tied for fourth with ten wins in the 2019 Thoroughbred meet.


Harrah’s Louisiana Downs to Offer Training and Stall Space to Horsemen

Harrah’s Louisiana Downs is pleased to offer horsemen an opportunity to train and stable their Thoroughbreds during the months of October, November and December.

When the Evangeline Training Center closed in 2018, officials acknowledged that many Louisiana Thoroughbred trainers were in need of a facility to stable and train their racehorses.  The Bossier City-Shreveport metroplex offers convenient proximity for shipping to Delta Downs in Vinton, Louisiana; Fair Grounds in New Orleans; Remington Park in Oklahoma as well as upcoming live meets at Sam Houston Race Park and Oaklawn Park in Hot Springs, Arkansas.

Space and availability for Thoroughbreds is limited and will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis. Horsemen are encouraged to contact David Heitzmann, Harrah’s Louisiana Downs Director of Racing at (318) 741-2511 or (318) 741-2512 for rates and information.


Quarter Horse Racing Returns to Harrah’s Louisiana Downs on January 4

The 2020 Quarter Horse dates for Harrah’s Louisiana Downs have been approved. The 46-day meet will commence on  Saturday, January 4 and continue through Wednesday, March 18.


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.


 Super Tuesday Pick 4 Debuts on Tuesday, June 25


Bossier City, LA – Things are going very well for jockey Carlos Lozada so far this season at Harrah’s Louisiana Downs.


Born in Caguas, Puerto Rico, a municipality south of San Juan, Lozada learned his craft in Puerto Rico’s Escuela Vocational Hipica, the famed jockey school with a noted list of riders that have reached the top ranks in North America. Irad Ortiz, Jr, Jose Ortiz as well as 2018 Harrah’s Louisiana Downs top-ranked rider, Emanuel Nieves, all graduated from the school.


Lozada, 34, made his United States debut at Evangeline Downs in 2007. He has won 490 races over the last 12 years, and is off to an excellent 13th year on the Louisiana circuit.


He is the current leading jockey at  Harrah’s Louisiana Downs with 40 wins since the meet began on May 4. Lozada has made 14 more trips to the winner’s circle than fellow riders Joel Dominguez and Richard Eramia.  Last year’s champion, Nieves is sidelined with a broken arm.


Lozada appreciates the hard work of his agent, Ronald Ardoin, in booking him quality mounts for each live race day. He rides for a multitude of trainers including Joey Foster, Joe Duhon, John Henry Prather, Jr., James Hodges, Raul Rangel and Alfonso Banderas.


On May 20, Lozada rode three winners for three different barns, including a game victory in the seventh aboard Come On Get Higher ($14.60) for Rangel. The 5-year-old Louisiana-bred gelding was tenth by five lengths in the early stages before Lozada guided him to a neck victory in the one-mile turf event.


The horsemen all concur that Lozada is a skilled rider with an excellent work ethic.


“He’s a good jockey and comes to work every day,” said Duhon.


When it comes to turf, dirt, sprint or route races, Lozada has no preference. He just loves to ride and enjoys the challenges of each race.  Ardoin, who will be inducted into the Louisiana Downs Racing Hall of Fame on July 13, is well respected in the industry and on the backside. He makes his rounds in his golf cart and Lozada is there with him each morning.


“Ronald has won over 5,000 races,” said Lozada. “That’s a lot of races! He watches me ride and sometimes gives me suggestions.  It helps and we get along well. The main difference is that I would rather walk the barns than ride in the golf cart!”


Ardoin is enjoying his association with Lozada, citing just one minor flaw.


“His English is very good,” stated Ardoin. “I just wish I could get him to talk more!”


Lozada is pleased that his family is with him here this summer in Louisiana. He and his wife, Eileen, have three sons: Anthony, Jean Carlos and Jandriel. They will return to Puerto Rico when the school year gets underway.


This would be the first leading rider title for Lozada, but that honor is not his top priority.


“I’ve never won a title,” he acknowledged. “Things have been going well for me at Louisiana Downs, but I am not thinking too far ahead. I  just want to try hard to win every race and provide for my family.”

Lozada Family
Leading jockey Carlos Lozada, his wife, Eileen and sons Anthony, Jean Carlos and Jandriel. Hodges Photography.

Super Tuesday Pick 4 Debuts on Tuesday, June 25

A new wager, the Super Tuesday Pick 4, will be introduced on Tuesday, June 25.  The wager teams two Caesar’s Entertainment racetracks: Harrah’s Louisiana Downs and Indiana Grand Racing and Casino, which both offer Tuesday matinee racing programs. Two races from each property will be selected for the Super Tuesday, Pick 4 wager: races six and seven from Indiana Grand and races two and three from Harrah’s Louisiana Downs.


Both racetracks will offer their fans a free Pick 4 mini-program with past performances on the four races as well as selections from analysts Rachel McLaughlin and John McGary.


The Super Tuesday Pick 4 Wager with a reduced takeout of 15%,  will be offered each Tuesday through September 24.


“We are excited about this wager,” said Eric Halstrom, Harrah’s Louisiana Downs vice president of operations.  “Our horseplayers have been highly receptive to handicapping contests and innovative wagers, so we believe they will embrace the Super Tuesday Pick 4 with enthusiasm. It is a tremendous opportunity for both properties to attract new fans and follow the action in Louisiana and Indiana.”



Fan Vote for the Harrah’s Louisiana Downs Racing Hall of Fame Open Through June 29

Harrah’s Louisiana Downs recently announced the formation of its first Racing Hall of Fame. It will honor 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.  Members of the first class are John Franks, Edward J. DeBartolo, Sr., Frank L. Brothers, C. W. Walker,  Ronald Ardoin, Larry Snyder, Sunday Silence and Free Spirits Joy.


Beginning on Saturday, June 15, the public will be able to cast a vote for an additional inductee in the category of trainer, jockey, racing contributor and horse.  Voters can select ONE of the following nominees in each category  by clicking on the following link on the Harrah’s Louisiana Downs website:  


Voting will close on Saturday, June 29 with the Racing Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony slated for Saturday, July 13.



No Live Racing Wednesday, June 26 Due to Addition of Thursday, July 4 Card

Harrah’s Louisiana Downs has amended its schedule for the next two weeks to include a live card on Thursday, July 4.  There will be no racing on Wednesday, June 26. Live programs will continue on Saturday, June 29 and take place Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday of next week.


On Thursday, July 4, Harrah’s Louisiana Downs will host a family-friendly afternoon of live racing, kid’s activities and Exotic Animal Racing.  Post time is 3:15 pm for all cards.



Indiana Horseplayer Wins the  Caesars Rewards Handicapping Challenge  

Caesars Entertainment horse racing properties – Harrah’s Louisiana Downs , Indiana Grand Racing & Casino, Harrah’s Hoosier Park, and Harrah’s Philadelphia hosted its first-ever Caesars Rewards Handicapping Challenge on Saturday, June 22.


Dean Ehrgott of Camby, Indiana, who participated at Indiana Grand, was the top player, winning the $20,000 first prize by the margin of 40 cents over second place finisher Paul Napoli, who participated at Harrah’s Philadelphia and earned $10,000.

Ehrgott, a former Standardbred owner in the state of Indiana, credited his friends, Greg Gass and Deniz Sidkey, for helping him get to the top of the leaderboard. He was visible in the top 10 standings throughout the contest and was able to select Chief Red Bull in the final race offered to complete the challenge with a bankroll of $129.00 and take home the top prize. Napoli had an accumulated total of $128.60 in second place while Frederick Nielsen, also of Harrah’s Philadelphia, finished third with a balance of $127.00 to earn the $1,500 third place prize. Erghott’s second entry finished fourth with a $107.80 tally. Places four through 10 received $500 each.


“I got lucky and hit three races that paid pretty good at Philly (Harrah’s Philadelphia),” said Ehrgott. “I’m a harness guy, so going into the last race, I got help from my Thoroughbred guy and I selected the one (Chief Red Bull). He finished second and paid $3.40, which was just enough to move me into the lead. We play a lot in these types of contests,” added Ehrgott. “We play in the Santa Anita Breeders Cup $10,000 Challenge every year. We have a lot of fun traveling around.”


In addition to his $20,000 top prize, Ehrgott will also receive a seat in the 2020 National Horseplayers Championship (NHC) in Las Vegas. And, if he should win the 2020 NHC, Ehrgott would earn a $1 million bonus provided by the Caesars Rewards Handicapping Challenge.


Players in the Caesars Rewards Handicapping Challenge made selections from all four racetracks involved in the contest. A total of 20 races were provided, 12 of which were mandatory for each player. Also, each player had to use one race from each track, making it a unique format as they played both Thoroughbred and Standardbred races during the four-hour challenge. All four racetracks had at least one player in the top ten.


“This was a great way to expose more of our Louisiana Downs customers to the Caesars Entertainment family of racetracks and do so in a very rewarding way,” said Eric Halstrom, vice president of operations at Harrah’s Louisiana Downs.



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.