Bossier City, LA – Fans on the track apron last Saturday for Louisiana Cup Day at Harrah’s Louisiana Downs might have thought that rider Chris Rosier had won the Kentucky Derby when he galloped back aboard Mr. Misunderstood, the winner of the $60,000 Super Derby Prelude.
Rosier was elated regarding the performance of the 3-year-old son of Archarcharch, who is owned by Flurry Racing Stable LLC and trained by Brad Cox. Sent off as the favorite, he drew clear by over two lengths and earned a berth to the $200,000 Super Derby on Saturday, September 9; the richest race of the 2017 Louisiana Downs Thoroughbred racing season.
Rosier, 36, was born in California, but raised in Haughton, Louisiana. A lifetime “racetracker”, he remembers the thrill of watching Calvin Borel win the 1991 Super Derby with Free Spirit’s Joy.
Turning professional in 2001, Rosier has piloted over 7,500 Thoroughbreds including Summer Ice in the 2009 Kentucky Derby. Sent off at 43-1, finished a respectable sixth to Mine That Bird, who pulled off the monumental upset under Borel at 50-1.
As with any rider in this highly challenging sport, Rosier has had his share of highs and lows.
He was 24-years old went he went through a life-changing passage. He became seriously ill and was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes.
“I went blind for a week, and just tried to believe the doctors who told me that my vision would return,” recalled Rosier. “It was God’s way of telling me to wake up.”
At the same time, Rosier’s wife, Shannon found out she was pregnant with their first child, which gave him even more reason to dedicate himself to his craft.
“I might be the only jockey in the country to ride with an insulin pump in my vest,” he said.
Coping with a chronic disease is far from easy, and perhaps, that’s why victories like the Prelude take on an added meaning.
The celebration was shared by Rosier’s agent, former jockey, Don Simington and Staton Flurry, owner of Mr. Misunderstood.
Flurry, 27, is a passionate Thoroughbred owner from Hot Springs, Arkansas. His family’s Flurry Racing Stables, LLC has campaigned a quality group of stakes winners at Oaklawn Park and Louisiana Downs. Simington was the winning pilot on Flurry’s first stakes winner Little Miss Flurry, who captured the 2014 Razorback Futurity.
Flurry and Rosier have developed a friendship over the last seven years, with Rosier winning several races, and plenty of seconds for Flurry Racing Stable. Good natured ribbing is the centerpiece of their relationship. Flurry grinned in the Prelude post-race interview when he said he was glad that Mr. Misunderstood did not run second.
“Loyalty in racing is hard to come by sometimes, but Staton and I hit it off and he has supported me,” said Rosier. “He calls me his ‘little’ older brother.”
There was one more bit of “karma” setting the stage for last weekend.
“My ringtone on my cell is (the Eric Church song) Mr. Misunderstood,” explained Rosier.
The song is a tribute to those who are not readily accepted, but have enough belief to overcome adversity and flourish as individuals.
“I see myself that way,” admitted Rosier. “There were other agents pushing riders to Brad, but he and Staton believed in me. Winning the Prelude on a quality horse meant a lot.”
Rosier looks forward to the return call aboard Mr. Misunderstood on September 9.
“We won’t know the rest of the field for a while, but as long as I can give him running room, I believe we have a legitimate shot.”
This year may have started on the slow side for Rosier, but there is no “misunderstanding” the impact of last Saturday’s Prelude victory.
“It’s been a rough meet for me, but that win put the love back into racing,” said Rosier.
Update on Prelude Winner Mr. Misunderstood
Trainer Brad Cox reports that Mr. Misunderstood came out of the Prelude in “great” condition and returned safely to his base at Churchill Downs on Sunday evening.
It was a big weekend for Cox, who scored three stakes wins Saturday at Louisiana Downs as well as a victory by La Piba in the $75,000 West Virginia Senate’s President’s Cup at Mountainer. Cox also captured the $250,000 Troy Handicap at Saratoga with Green Mask. The 6-year-old son of Mizzen Mast eclipsed the million-dollar earnings mark with his score on Sunday.
Louisiana Downs Trainer and Jockey Standings
Through August 7, last year’s leading trainer Joey Foster continues to hold a commanding lead over his fellow conditioners with 42 wins. H. B. Johnson is second with 19 wins to date and Ronnie Ward is in sole possession of third place with 13 wins. Donald Melancon follows in fourth; he has each saddled 12 winners.
Richard Eramia continues to lead his fellow riders with 56 wins and also clinched the title at the recently concluded Lone Star Park meet. Gerardo Mora and Jose Guerrero are tied in second-place in the standings with 40 wins each and Aubrie Green follows with 38 trips to the winner’s circle.
Patti Turner tops the leaderboard in the owner standings with nine wins. Jamie C. Pastor moved into second-place with eight victories and Beverly Burress, Jorge Gomez and Terrell Jarrett each have won seven races in the 2017 Thoroughbred meet.
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.
For further information, please contact:
|Trent McIntosh | Assistant General Manager
8000 East Texas Street | Bossier City, LA 71111