HARRAH’S LOUISIANA DOWNS TO HOST RACING HALL OF FAME INDUCTION CEREMONY ON SATURDAY, JULY 13, 2019

Super Derby Festival 40 Charity Golf Tournament Set for Thursday, August 29

 

Bossier City, LA – Harrah’s Louisiana Downs will honor the first class of its Racing Hall of Fame on Saturday, July 13. It will serve as an opportunity to 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.

 

The Harrah’s Louisiana Downs Racing Hall of Fame Committee selected the following recipients for the inaugural class. In addition, fan voting was offered and the public contributed to honor one additional inductee in the category of trainer, jockey, racing contributor and horse.  Those results will be announced in Saturday’s induction ceremony, which will take place in the lobby of Harrah’s Louisiana Downs following the races.  The festivities are open to the public.

 

These are the inductees into the 2019 Harrah’s Louisiana Downs Racing Hall of Fame.

 

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.

 

 

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.

 

 

 

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.

 

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.

 

 

Super Tuesday Pick 4 Pays $797 on July 9

A new wager, the Super Tuesday Pick 4, continues to build momentum since making its debut 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 are selected for the Super Tuesday, Pick 4 wager, with an industry-low 15% takeout.

 

With just two favorites winning in the Tuesday, July 9 sequence, a record $787.10, for the $.50 wager, was returned to savvy horseplayers.

 

“We are very pleased that horseplayers are catching on to this wager,” said Eric Halstrom, Harrah’s Louisiana Downs Vice President of Operations “Offering the 15% takeout was very important to us. Had we run it with the standard takeout of 25%, the winning ticket would have paid $694.50. We want the best for our horseplayers and look forward to offering the Super Tuesday Pick 4 through September 24.”

 

 

Super Derby Festival 40 Charity Golf Tournament Set for August 29

The Super Derby Festival 40 will be held on Thursday, August 29, at Northwood Hills Golf Clubin Shreveport, Louisiana.

 

The event will benefit Chaplain Jimmy Sistrunk and The Backside Benevolence Fund, which provides assistance to the Louisiana racing community and backstretch workers. It serves as one of the special events saluting the annual Grade 3, $300,000 Super Derby, the marquee race of the Louisiana Downs Thoroughbred season, which takes place on Saturday, September 7.

 

Sign in for the event’s Four Person Scramble kicks off at 10:00 a.m. with tee off at 10:30 a.m.  The fee is $80 per person or $320 for a four-person team.  The fee includes green fees, golf cart, lunch, and Super Derby t-shirt/cap.

“I am always so humbled to see all the support that the Golf Tournament brings to our ministry,” said Sistrunk. “The people in our industry are some of the most caring and supportive people that I know.   And plus, it is a great time that we can get away from the everyday duties of the racetrack.  I am truly a blessed person and Chaplain to get to work with such a great group of people!!!

 

It’s also an event that brings a lot of joy to the Harrah’s Louisiana Downs employees, including Jennifer Sokol, who serves as racing office coordinator.

 

“We had an amazing turnout last year,” said Sokol. “Chaplain Jimmy does so much for our racing community and our annual charity golf tournament is such an enjoyable way to raise valuable funds. We thank our horsemen and local businesses for their support and look forward to another successful event this year!”

 

Attendees can register in person in the Louisiana Downs Racing office, or by mail. Checks should be payable to The Backside Benevolence Fund and mailed to:  Jennifer Sokol, Harrah’s Louisiana Downs, 8000 East Texas Street, Bossier City, Louisiana, 71111.

 

The deadline for registration is August 9. Hole sponsorships for $100, including a sign, are available, but must be purchased by August 1.

 

For further information, please contact Sokol at (318) 741-2512.

 

 

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.

 

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Memorial Service for Trainer Dana Whited Set for Saturday, September 22

Harrah’s Louisiana Downs is saddened to confirm the passing of trainer Dana Whited. Her sister, Gina Nagy Wilson confirmed that Whited died on Friday, September 14 from heart failure.

 

The 52 year-old horsewoman was born in Dodge City, Kansas and has been a respected member of the Louisiana racing industry since 2012. According to Equibase statistics, Whited saddled 851 horses, with a record of  94 win; 107seconds and 102 thirds. She won 18 races this year on the Louisiana circuit.

 

A memorial service will be held in the Harrah’s Louisiana Downs winner’s circle this Saturday, September 22 at 7:00 pm. The public is invited to pay their respects.

 

“Dana was so much more than a trainer; she was a friend to everyone,” said Chaplain Jimmy Sistrunk. “This was a shock for our racing community as Dana looked out for so many people and served as a mentor to anyone she could help.  She will be greatly missed.”

 

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NOMINATIONS FOR LOUISIANA CUP DAY AT HARRAH’S LOUISIANA DOWNS CLOSE SATURDAY, JULY 21

Bossier City, LA – The Louisiana Downs racing office is busy this week taking nominations for Louisiana Cup Day on Saturday, August 4. Nominations for the seven stakes will close this Saturday, July 21.

Trainer H. B. Johnson has three runners pointed to Louisiana Cup Day, including Berniestrike, who pulled the upset in last year’s$50,000 Louisiana Cup Turf Classic. Bred and owned by James Boyd,  the son of Wilburn out of the Unusual Heat mare Unusual Strike wore down his rivals under rider Eguard Tejera.

 Sent off at 22-1, Berniestrike, who ran third in the 2016 edition of this stakes, paid $46.20 for the victory. He won off an eight-month layoff last year and will be making his first stakes in six months,as his last race was the Dixie Poker Ace on March 3 at Fair Grounds.

“He ran in New Orleans and got hurt, so we had to give him some time off,” said Johnson. “I think he’ll do well again; turf is his best surface.”

The 5-year-old gelding has won four of his 19 starts, earning $169,470 to date.

His half-brother Jimi’s a Star, also owned and bred by Boyd, will make his stakes debut in the $50,000 Louisiana Cup Juvenile. Sired by Star Guitar out of Unusual Strike, he ran a game second to Liaisons Halo in a $23,000 maiden special weight here on July 9. Jockey Emanuel Nieves had the call.

“He’s a pretty nice horse,” said Johnson. “In his debut, he was a little erratic, but came running late. I think he’ll improve in his second start.”

Johnson’s third runner is Smokin’ Truth, who is slated to run in the $50,000 Louisiana Cup Sprint. The 3-year-old son of Yes Its True is co-owned by Johnson and Drop 23, LLC. He ran third in the 2017 Louisiana Cup Juvenile and eighth in the Sunday Silence here on Super Derby Day.

Another veteran trainer Robert Schultz has nominated Double Star for the $60,000 Prelude. Owned by Four Star Racing, the son of Star Guitar out of the Stormy Atlantic mare Bond Queen, has won four of his 12 career efforts, including two stakes earlier this year at Evangeline Downs. Schultz shipped the bay colt to Louisiana Downs and ran him in a turf allowance on July 6, where he finished sixth.

“Either he didn’t like the turf or facing that company, it wasn’t his best race,” stated Schultz. “Sometimes 3-year-olds get funny when they are up against older horses.”

Schultz looks for a good performance from Double Star, who will be ridden by Jose Guerrero.

“He’s been on him all but once,” he added. “Jose is a good, young rider.”

 

Mary Rampellini of the Daily Racing Form broke the news that Analyze This Jet is being pointed to the Prelude by his trainer, Terry Eoff.  The stakes winner has been gelded since running fourth in the $65,000 Prairie Mile at Prairie Meadows June 8.

The Prelude serves as a prep for the Grade 3, $300,000 Super Derby which will be run on Sunday, September 2.

 

Louisiana Cup Day nominations for the following stakes close on July 21.

$50,000 Louisiana Cup Juvenile                    2 YO LA-Bred                        Six furlongs

$50,000 Louisiana Cup Juvenile Fillies          2 YO Fillies LA-Bred             Six furlongs

$50,000 Louisiana Cup Filly & Mare Sprint  3 YO & Up F&M, LA-Bred  Six furlongs

$50,000 Louisiana Cup Sprint                        3 YO & Up LA-Bred              Six furlongs

$50,000 Louisiana Cup Turf Classic              3 YO & Up LA-Bred              1 1/16 miles (T)

$50,000 Louisiana Distaff                              3 YO & Up F & M LA-Bred  1 1/16 miles (T)

$60,000 Super Derby Prelude                         3 Y0                                        1 1/16 miles

 

Super Derby Charity Golf Tournament Set for August 23

The Super Derby Charity Golf Tournament will be held on Thursday, August 23, at Querbes Golf Course in Shreveport, Louisiana.

The event will benefit Chaplain Jimmy Sistrunk & The Winner’s Circle Church, which provides assistance to the Louisiana racing community and backstretch workers. It serves as one of the special events saluting the annual Grade 3, $300,000 Super Derby, the marquee race of the Louisiana Downs Thoroughbred season, set for Sunday, September 2.

Sign in for the event’s Four Person Scramble kicks off at 10:00 a.m. with tee off at 10:30 a.m.  The fee is $80 per person or $320 for a four-person team.  The fee includes green fees, golf cart, lunch, and Super Derby t-shirt/cap.

Attendees can register in person in the Louisiana Downs Racing office, or by mail. Checks should be payable to The Backside Benevolence Fund and mailed to:  Jennifer Sokol, Harrah’s Louisiana Downs, 8000 East Texas Street, Bossier City, Louisiana, 71111.

The deadline for registration is August 16. Hole sponsorships for $100, including a sign, are available, but must be purchased by August 1.

For further information, please contact Jennifer Sokol, Louisiana Downs Racing Office Manager at (318) 741-2512.

 

Post Times and Stakes Schedule

Live racing will be conducted Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday and Saturday with a 3:15 p.m. (Central) post time through September 27. The 84-day meet will include 14 stakes highlighted by two major events, Louisiana Cup Day on Saturday, August 4and Super Derby Day on Sunday, September 2. As previously announced one major change for the upcoming season is that the Grade 3, $300,000 Super Derby will return to the main track at a distance of a mile and one-sixteenth 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.

 

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