NOTABLE LOUISIANA-BREDS POINTED TO LOUISIANA CUP DAY AT HARRAH’S LOUISIANA DOWNS

“Pink Day” Fundraiser for the Shantel Lanerie Cancer Breast Foundation Set for Saturday, September 19

 

Bossier City, LA – Quality Louisiana-bred horses and a great cause will make Saturday, September 19 a very special day at Harrah’s Louisiana Downs.

There was uncertainty early in the meet regarding the status of Louisiana Cup Day, which is usually held in the first week of August. However, Roger Heitzmann, Executive Director of the LTBA; Ed Fenasci, Executive Director of the HBPA and David Heitzmann, Director of Racing at Harrah’s Louisiana Downs, worked together and the stakes-filled day saluting Louisiana-bred was placed on the calendar.

“Roger presented us with a plan which we believe will work,” said Warren Harang III, President of the LTBA. “We will be creative and work outside the box to accomplish this. We will be utilizing funds that we don’t normally use for purse supplements. Helping the horsemen of Louisiana is always our mission. Adding back six black-type races helps the breeders, the horsemen participating in the races, as well as the track itself.”

Trainers have responded enthusiastically to the news, and even though nominations are not due until next month, several multiple stakes winners are pointing to Louisiana Cup Day. Joey Foster confirmed that Our Lost Love will seek her third stakes win. Bred and owned by Tri-Star Racing LLC, the 3-year-old daughter of Half Ours has already eclipsed the $200,000 earnings mark with five wins from nine starts. The talented filly broke her maiden at Louisiana Downs last September and won her first stakes, the $93,700 Louisiana Futurity on December 29 at Fair Grounds. Two months later, she added a victory in the $70,000 Take Charge Brandi at Delta Downs. On August 8, she made easy work of her rivals, winning a five-furlong sprint in :57.35 seconds.

“Knowing that we can run on Cup Day means everything for me and my owners,” said Foster. “Our Lost Love showed us she is ready, getting the win (on August 8) so easily with the rail out. We’ve got big plans for Cup Day!”

Allen Landry is another Louisiana-based conditioner who is pleased that Cup Day will return to Harrah’s Louisiana Downs for the 2020 Thoroughbred meet.

“David (Heitzmann) has done a good job for us this year,” acknowledged Landry. “The communication to the horsemen is important. We were hoping to have stakes races this meet; I have several horses that I plan to run.”

The top earner in his barn is Rodney Verret’s Laughingsaintssong, a 6-year-old gelding bred by J.E. Jumonville and his wife, Bunny, who own one of the top Quarter Horse farms in Louisiana. They own a Vindication mare Laughing Saint and bred her to Grade 1 winner Songandaprayer.  He boasts a record of ten wins and earnings of $363,010 and won the 2019 Louisiana Cup Sprint as well as the Louisiana Champions Day Sprint at Fair Grounds. Landry will look to the turf for

Net A Bear, a 4-year-old filly by Awesome Bet owned by Maximo Lamarche and Federico Deltoro. She is also a multiple-stakes winner for breeder Lora Pitre with victories in the 2019 Elge Rasberry at Louisiana Downs and Louisiana Champions Day Turf at Fair Grounds.

Further information on the following Louisiana Cup Day features is posted on Equibase.

                                   

$40,000 Louisiana Cup Juvenile                    2 YO LA-Bred                        Six furlongs

$40,000 Louisiana Cup Juvenile Fillies          2 YO Fillies LA-Bred             Six furlongs

$40,000 Louisiana Cup Filly & Mare Sprint  3 YO & Up F&M, LA-Bred  Six furlongs

$40,000 Louisiana Cup Sprint                        3 YO & Up LA-Bred              Six furlongs

$40,000 Louisiana Cup Turf Classic              3 YO & Up LA-Bred              1 1/16 miles (T)

$40,000 Louisiana Distaff                              3 YO & Up F & M LA-Bred  1 1/16 miles (T)

 

Nominations will close on Saturday, September 5. Contact David Heitzmann at dheitzmann@caesars.com or by calling (318) 741-2511.

 

 

Shantel Lanerie Breast Cancer Fundraiser To Take Place on Louisiana Cup Day

Harrah’s Louisiana Downs will conduct a fundraiser on Saturday, September 19 in support of the Shantel Lanerie Cancer Breast Foundation.  The beloved Louisiana native and wife of jockey Corey Lanerie was diagnosed with Stage 1 breast cancer in January, 2018 and passed away just six months later.  She is survived by her parents, husband and daughter, Brittlyn.

 

Rick Mocklin, who was Lanerie’s agent for ten years and his wife, Janette, were close friends of Shantel.  Mocklin serves as founder and president of the Shantel Lanerie Breast Cancer Foundation (SLBCF). The 501(c)(3organization was founded in September, 2018 with a mission of educating, empowering and encouraging women to become pro-active in early detection, and if diagnosed, surviving breast cancer.  Acknowledging that breast cancer impacts the entire family, the Foundation designates funds raised through donations and fundraisers to assist with basic needs of breast cancer patients through every stage of diagnosis and treatment.

 

Beginning at 2:00 pm on Louisiana Cup Day, a table will be set up in the grandstand with monogrammed apparel and memorabilia. Jockeys will be on hand to autograph the items, with all proceeds to benefit the foundation. Fans will be able to stop by the table, purchase items or make donations until 6:00 pm.

 

Mocklin has reached out to each of the Louisiana racetracks on their premier racing days to support fundraising efforts for the foundation. Sadly, due to COVID-19, many of the scheduled events this year have been canceled.

 

“The pandemic has affected so many people this year and events at many tracks were not able to take place,” said Mocklin.  “We are grateful to Louisiana Downs for welcoming us back on Cup Day again this year.

 

“Breast cancer can be devastating for so many people,” added Mocklin. “To lose Shantel when she was just 42 years-old was heartbreaking for her family and many friends. The foundation has already helped 40 women diagnosed with breast cancer and we want to keep raising funds to support those in need.”

 

Handicapping Preview Show Set for Saturday, September 19

Louisiana Downs track announcer John McGary and regional racing publicist Martha Claussen will team up for a pre-race handicapping preview at 2:00 pm in the Inside Rail, located on the first floor of the grandstand. They will offer analysis and their selections for each of the races on the Louisiana Cup Day card. The seminar is free and open to all racing fans.

 

 

Spots Still Available for Charity Golf Tournament on Thursday, August 20

Harrah’s Louisiana Downs will host a Charity Golf Tournament at Northwood Hills Golf Club in Shreveport, Louisiana on Thursday, August 20.

 

The event will benefit Chaplain Jimmy Sistrunk and The Backside Benevolence Fund, which provides valuable assistance to the Louisiana racing community and backstretch workers. The 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 t-shirt/cap.  Attendees can register in person in the Louisiana Downs Racing office, or by contacting Jennifer Sokol at (318) 741-2512.

 

Louisiana Downs Trainer, Jockey and Owner Standings

Through August 16, Karl Broberg tops the trainer standings with 27 wins since the meet began on June 6. Shane Wilson has moved into second place with 22 victories and Steve Asmussen follows closely with 21 wins.  Last year’s leading conditioner Joey Foster rounds out the top four conditioners; his runners have made 16 trips to the winner’s circle.

 

 

Joel Dominguez continues to rack up the wins in a very competitive jockey colony and leads his fellow riders with 38 wins. Jack Gilligan, who rides first-call for Broberg, is second with 33 trips to the winner’s circle and Jose Andres Guerrero has moved into third place in the standings with 27 victories. In fourth place is last year’s leading jockey Carlos Lozada who has ridden 24 winners to date.

 

Competition is also very tight in the battle for leader owner with Steve Asmussen and Wayne T. Davis tied with 13 wins each. End Zone Athletics Inc. follows closely with 11 victories and M and M Racing (Mike Sisk) has moved into fourth place with 8 wins.

 

 

Post Times and Racing Dates

The 2020 Thoroughbred racing season at Harrah’s Louisiana Downs got underway on Saturday, June 6. The 64-day meet will run Saturday, Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday through September 23. Post time is 3:05 pm (Central).

 

 

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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FOUR WIN SATURDAY AT HARRAH’S LOUISIANA DOWNS VERY SPECIAL FOR JOCKEY JOEL DOMINGUEZ

Bossier City, LA – Jockey Joel Dominguez is still smiling as he reflects on winning four races on Saturday’s seven-race card at Harrah’s Louisiana Downs.

His successful afternoon began in race two with Don Guillermo ($8) for trainer James “Sweet” Hodges and three for Hall of Fame conditioner Steve Asmussen; All Bizness ($3); American Dream ($5) and Curlin Beauty ($11.80). Curlin Beauty, a 4-year-old daughter of Curlin, drew off to an eight-length score in her third career effort, but it was American Dream is a filly by Triple Crown champion American Pharoah that really impressed her rider.

“She’s still learning, but what a powerful filly,” stated Dominguez.

The 30-year-old Dominguez was born in Durango, Mexico, but never rode as a child. He was very athletic, playing soccer and was a standout boxer in his weight class. His experience in the saddle began in Kentucky, galloping for both Asmussen and veteran Kentucky-based conditioner, Neil Howard.

“Riding for Steve this meet means a great deal to me,” stated Dominguez. “When I was in Kentucky, I worked hard and tried to learn everything. As I progressed, Steve began to trust me galloping some of his top horses; I remember the first time I worked Rachel Alexandra. That was very special and gave me so much confidence!”

This is the fourth year Dominguez has been based at Harrah’s Louisiana Downs. He began in 2017 as an apprentice, winning 31 races that year and returning in 2018, losing his bug on May 22, but transitioning smoothly to the journeyman ranks. Maybe more than smoothly as he won six races on the June 23, 2018 card at Louisiana Downs. But winning four races in this very challenging 2020 live racing season was an even bigger accomplishment.

“It hasn’t been easy,” he responded when asked about the impact of COVID-19. “When we were in quarantine, I just tried to get things done at the house and spend time with my family (wife Janet and two sons). I was missing getting on horses.”

The resumption of live racing on June 6 was a big relief to Dominguez and he has been winning plenty of races for this season for Asmussen. Misty Drinkwater is serving as assistant again this year and she appreciates what Dominguez brings to the Asmussen barn.

“He’s hard working and very professional, “she said. “We get along very well and he has been a big part of our team here.”

Dominguez is represented by former jockey, Don Simington and the two have a strong bond.

“Don gives me great advice and feedback,” explained Dominguez. “I admire that he is the first one to arrive in the morning and the last to leave. Trainers know him well and he works hard to book me on good horses.”

Dominguez won 91 races here last year, finishing second in the standings to Carlos Lozada who made 96 trips to the winner’s circle. He appreciates that the racing officials at Harrah’s Louisiana Downs have worked hard to maintain the recommended protocols for COVID-19.

“I ride with a mask and shield protector,” he said. “Everyone here is trying to make it safe for us, so each of the riders are making adjustments and doing what we need to do.”

 

 

Charity Golf Tournament Set for Thursday, August 20

Harrah’s Louisiana Downs will host a Charity Golf Tournament at Northwood Hills Golf Club in Shreveport, Louisiana on Thursday, August 20.

The event will benefit Chaplain Jimmy Sistrunk and The Backside Benevolence Fund, which provides valuable assistance to the Louisiana racing community and backstretch workers.

The 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 personor $320 for a four-person team.  The fee includes green fees, golf cart, lunch, and 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 13. For further information, please contact Jennifer Sokol at (318) 741-2512.

 

Louisiana Downs Trainer, Jockey and Owner Standings

Through July 25, Karl Broberg tops the trainer standings with 23 wins since the meet began on June 6. Steve Asmussen is second with 18 victories.  Last year’s leading conditioner Joey Foster is tied with Shane Wilson for third; both have 13 winners.  Joe O. Duhon and Ronnie P. Ward are tied with nine wins each.

Joel Dominguez, aided by his four-bagger on Saturday, has taken the lead in the jockey standings with 30 wins. Jack Gilligan, who rides first-call for Broberg, is second with 26 trips to the winner’s circle. Last year’s leading jockey Carlos Lozada has ridden 22 winners to date and Jose Guerrero rounds out the top four with 19 victories.

Steve Asmussen has moved into the lead in the owner standings with seven wins from 18 starts. End Zone Athletics Inc. has moved into the lead in the owner standings with 12 wins from 23 starts.  End Zone Athletics, Inc and Wayne T. Davis are tied for second with nine wins and horses owned by Ronnie P. Ward have won six races to date.

 

Post Times and Racing Dates

The 2020 Thoroughbred racing season at Harrah’s Louisiana Downs got underway on Saturday, June 6. The 64-day meet will run Saturday, Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday through September 23. Post time is 3:05 pm (Central).

 

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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BRITISH JOCKEY JACK GILLIGAN ENJOYING SUCCESS AT HARRAH’S LOUISIANA DOWNS

Bossier City, LA – What’s the story behind the newest addition to the Harrah’s Louisiana Downs jockey colony?  Jack Gilligan has been one to watch since the meet began last month and his ear-to-ear grin in the winner’s circle is just a small part of his allure!

Through the first six weeks of the meet, the 23-year-old jockey has ridden 77 horses, with 21 wins, 14 seconds and 10 thirds. He’s currently tied with Joel Dominguez, who has been one of the top riders in Shreveport for the past four years.

Born in Newmarket, England, Gilligan’s father, Patrick, is a Thoroughbred trainer and it was not long before his son found a calling with horses.

“I was riding a pony from five on,” said Gilligan. “When I turned 13, I began exercising horses before and after school and on weekends.”

Gilligan was enrolled in the British Racing School at 14 years-old. He explained that he received one day off from high school each week to attend classes at the esteemed program for aspiring riders.

“We were taught every aspect of racing and caring for horses,” he explained. “It was a great foundation.”

He graduated in May, 2013 and two weeks later, at the age of 16, rode in his first race.

Interestingly, his father was born in New York, so with dual citizenship, Gilligan set his sights on a riding career in the United States. Just before he turned 18, he arrived in Lexington, Kentucky and began riding as an apprentice at Turfway Park. He was the third leading rider at Ellis Park and made the move to Louisiana for the 2017-2018 Fair Grounds meet. One of the horsemen who gave him some very good mounts was Bret Calhoun who entrusted him to ride Silver Dust. The victory for the son of Tapit, owned by Tom Durant in the 2019 Mineshaft at Fair Grounds was his first graded stakes.

His momentum was derailed on January 25 of this year when he was involved in a nasty spill at Fair Grounds, suffering at broken collarbone and seven facial fractures.

“I was out until the last week of the Fair Grounds meet,” said Gilligan. “I knew it would be hard for me to get mounts in Kentucky, so I stayed in Louisiana.”

His agent in Kentucky was Liz Morris, but in Louisiana, Gilligan is represented by veteran Richie Price. They were aiming for Lone Star Park, but the uncertainty of when their season would begin prompted Price to consider shifting to Harrah’s Louisiana Downs. The enticement of riding for leading trainer Karl Broberg was icing on the cake.

“He’s a nice kid and is making the most of this meet,” stated Price, who is also handling mounts for apprentice Kody Kellenberger. “Jack is gaining a lot of confidence here.”

Broberg who has been the North American trainer in wins since 2014, is enjoying his association with the young jockey.

“I heard he was contemplating options and I needed a rider,” said Broberg. “I’m very pleased with Jack; he puts his horses in the right position, and we are winning races.”

Personality-wise, you would be hard-pressed to find two more different personality types than the irascible Broberg and the optimistic and upbeat Gilligan.

“He’s hilarious,” acknowledged Gilligan when asked about Broberg. “No filter whatsoever and tells it like it is. But he is fully invested in our industry and I am lucky to work with his assistant, Kevin Martin here at Louisiana Downs. He does a great job!

Gilligan loves the history, culture and food in Louisiana and recently bought a place in New Orleans. Now, riding afternoons with heat indexes in the 100’s is another story!

“The first weekend (in June) I thought I was going to die,” he said. “I got some relief by dunking my head in the ice bucket even though all the jocks were laughing at me.”

But he takes it all in stride because the camaraderie in the jocks room is very special.

“I was a little worried about fitting in, but everyone has been very friendly,” said Gilligan. “I love the atmosphere in the room and got command of the Cajun accent when I was in the same part of the Churchill Downs jocks room with Calvin Borel.  At first I didn’t understand half the words, but I’ve got them down now!”

 

Charity Golf Tournament Set for Thursday, August 20

Harrah’s Louisiana Downs will host a Charity Golf Tournament at Northwood Hills Golf Club in Shreveport, Louisiana on Thursday, August 20.

The event will benefit Chaplain Jimmy Sistrunk and The Backside Benevolence Fund, which provides valuable assistance to the Louisiana racing community and backstretch workers.

The 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 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 13. For further information, please contact Jennifer Sokol at (318) 741-2512.

 

 

Daily Racing Promotions and Daily Offers

Harrah’s Louisiana Downs welcomes patrons four days a week for live racing and daily simulcast wagering on racetracks across the country. Promotions and food and beverage specials include:

Monday Funday | Fill your cup for a buck at the Paddock Bar.

2X Tuesdays | Present your Caesars Rewards card when making a wager and receive a 2X racing reward credit multiplier each Tuesday.

Watch & Wager Wednesdays | Enjoy food, beverage and racing specials for $1.00 each!

Super Saturday| Enjoy a box seat for 4 with food and drinks for only $16. Present your Caesars Rewards card when making a wager and receive up to a 7X Racing Reward Credit Multiplier.  

 

Post Times and Racing Dates

The 2020 Thoroughbred racing season at Harrah’s Louisiana Downs got underway on Saturday, June 6. The 64-day meet will run Saturday, Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday through September 23. Post time is 3:05 pm (Central).

 

 

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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SUCCESSFUL RETURN TO HARRAH’S LOUISIANA DOWNS FOR TRAINER SHANE WILSON

Bossier City, LA – When the 2020 Thoroughbred racing season got underway on June 6 at Harrah’s Louisiana Downs, there were several new horsemen stabled at the Shreveport racetrack. The most successful of the group has been trainer Shane Wilson.

It is the first time in eight years that the Haughton, Louisiana native has shifted his base to Shreveport.  There was no hesitation when he was asked about returning for the meet.

“We were all in limbo several months ago,” said Wilson describing the impact of COVID-19 on the resumption of racing in Louisiana. “However (Director of Racing) David Heitzmann was the first to step up with a plan. We knew the early May date was not possible, but David set June 6 as the opening date at Louisiana Downs and quickly got the condition book posted.”

From that point, Wilson set his training schedule and “was ready to roll”.

In addition to the support from Heitzmann and his racing office staff, Wilson gives high marks to track superintendent, Billy McKeever, who oversees both the dirt oval and the Franks Turf Course.

“The main track is amazing,” said Wilson. “We arrived with some sore horses and they are now sound. Billy does an outstanding job.”

So far, it has worked out well for Wilson and his main owner, Wayne T. Davis. They are in second-place in the trainer and owner standings, trailing Karl Broberg and End Zone Athletics, Inc.

Wilson, 49, worked summers at Harrah’s Louisiana Downs, starting when he was 15. He mucked stalls and hot walked for trainer Jack Van Berg. His brief foray to college did not last as he realized that he wanted to pursue a career in racing.  He served as assistant to Sam David for seven years before going out on his own in 1998.

His top horse is the multiple-stakes winning Mocito Rojo a 6-year-old son of Mutadda. Wilson claimed the Kentucky-bred for owner Wayne T. Davis for $10,000 in a December 2016 maiden race at Delta Downs. The six-time stakes winner has amassed a record of 17 wins from 30 starts and earnings of $818,063. In 2019, Mocito Rojo won the Steve Sexton Mile Stakes (G3) at Lone Star Park and the Lukas Classic Stakes (G3) at Churchill Downs. He returned to the Grand Prairie, Texas racetrack on Sunday, June 28, finishing fifth in the $75,000 Lone Star Mile.

“He never likes dirt in his face and came back covered by a half of an inch of sand,” said Wilson. “It would have been nice to win as it was my owner’s 91st birthday, but the horse cooled out fine and we made it back to Louisiana Downs late Sunday night.”

Davis, who resides in Plain Dealing, Louisiana, a small town in Bossier Parrish, is appreciative of the care Wilson gives each of his horses. His winners this meet at Harrah’s Louisiana Downs include Green Monster; Cap Roc Miner, Artic Peace, Lucky Dare and most recently, a five-length score by Luvmewhenimgone.

Another key member of the Wilson team is veteran jockey Filimon Rodriguez, who is a full-time employee. The 53-year-old has ridden on the Texas and Louisiana circuits for three decades. He gallops the 30 head of Wilson’s stabled at Louisiana Downs and rides the majority of the Wilson trainees in Shreveport.

Aside from his racing ties, Wilson has another notable connection to Harrah’s Louisiana Downs. He met his wife, Becky, the daughter of horseman Jim O’Brien, here. The couple has two sons. Peyton is 19 years-old and his brother, Connor, 16, have both been helping their dad this summer.

“It’s a tough business,” stated Wilson.  “You have to make some very difficult decisions. I started the same time as some very successful horsemen, including good friend, Bret Calhoun. To reach a really high level, you have to travel, and I chose to stay in Louisiana to be closer to my family.”

He will ship select horses to Evangeline Downs this summer but is more than content to be stabled at Harrah’s Louisiana Downs.

“They showed their commitment to the horsemen,” he said. “So, I am happy to run here and support their meet.”

 

 

Charity Golf Tournament Set for Thursday, August 20

Harrah’s Louisiana Downs will host a Charity Golf Tournament at Northwood Hills Golf Club in Shreveport, Louisiana on Thursday, August 20.

The event will benefit Chaplain Jimmy Sistrunk and The Backside Benevolence Fund, which provides valuable assistance to the Louisiana racing community and backstretch workers.

The 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 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 take care of each other and this fundraising event is a great deal of fun for everyone!”

It is also an event that brings a lot of joy to the Harrah’s Louisiana Downs employees, including Jennifer Sokol, racing operations manager.

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

 

Louisiana Downs Trainer, Jockey and Owner Standings

Through June 29, Karl Broberg tops the trainer standings with 14 wins since the meet began on June 6.  Shane Wilson has saddled eight winners to move into second-place with Steve Asmussenthird with seven victories.  Patti Turner and Joe O. Duhon are tied for fourth-place with five winners each.

Jack Gilligan, who rides first-call for Broberg, has taken the lead over his fellow riders with 15 trips to the winner’s circle.  Joel Dominguez is also off to a solid start and follows closely with 14 wins. Jose Guerrero is third with 11 winners and last year’s leading jockey Carlos Lozada has ridden eight winners to date.

End Zone Athletics Inc. has moved into the lead in the owner standings with seven wins from 18 starts.  Wayne T. Davis is tied for second with Asmussen. Both have won five races this season.

 

 

Post Times and Racing Dates

The 2020 Thoroughbred racing season at Harrah’s Louisiana Downs got underway on Saturday, June 6. The 64-day meet will run Saturday, Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday through September 23. Post time is 3:05 pm (Central).

 

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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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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