DELTA DOWNS WORKS TOWARD REVISED SCHEDULE FOR 2020-21 THOROUGHBRED SEASON

REPAIRS TO RACETRACK UNDERWAY AFTER HURRICANE LAURA

September 28, 2020

VINTON, LA – Delta Downs Racetrack Casino Hotel today announced that it is working toward a revised start date for its 2020-21 Thoroughbred season, following delays caused by heavy damage to the track from Hurricane Laura on August 27.

Based on the progress of repairs to date, Delta Downs believes it will be able to allow horses to move back on the grounds and start training by late October and begin live racing in late November.

This year’s meet was originally scheduled to run from October 6, 2020 to February 27, 2021 for a total of 84 race days. The end of the season may now be revised and extended along with a change in the total number of race days, pending approval from the Louisiana Racing Commission

Steve Kuypers, Vice President & General Manager of Delta Downs, said: “Boyd Gaming and Delta Downs are committed to hosting a successful 2020-21 Thoroughbred meet here in Vinton, Louisiana.”

As work continues and repairs are completed, Delta Downs will provide further information about when horses will be allowed to be stabled on the backside, when the track plans to begin its season, and the new schedule for live racing. This information will be posted to the Delta Downs website at www.deltadownsracing.com.

Delta Downs Racetrack Casino Hotel, a property of Boyd Gaming Corporation (NYSE:BYD), features exciting casino action, live horse racing and fun dining experiences. Delta Downs is located in Vinton, Louisiana on Delta Downs Drive. From Lake Charles, take Exit 7 and from Texas, take Exit 4.

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Louisiana Judge to Rule Friday on Fair Grounds Emergency Stabling

By T. D. Thornton

A temporary restraining order issued Sep. 4 has blocked a Louisiana State Racing Commission (LSRC) mandate from taking effect that seeks to force the Fair Grounds to open its backstretch stabling to as many as 500 Thoroughbreds displaced by Hurricane Laura in the last week of August. An Orleans Parish Civil District Court judge is now expected to rule on the injunction after a Sep. 11 hearing.

The news site Crescent City Sports first reported on the 57-page request for injunction filed by attorneys for the Fair Grounds, which is owned by the gaming corporation Churchill Downs, Inc. The filing stated that the LSRC “does not have the legal authority to issue the mandatory injunction” and that “issuing such an order constitutes an unconstitutional taking and violates Fair Grounds’ constitutional rights to due process.”

After the Aug. 27 hurricane wrecked infrastructure at Delta Downs, the racino announced that its property would close to assess and repair damage. The Oct. 6-Feb. 27 meet could be delayed or abbreviated.

Read TDN Article

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LA Horsemen Plea to Commission for Emergency Stabling

By T. D. Thornton

In the aftermath of Hurricane Laura that devastated structures at Delta Downs last week, the Louisiana Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association (LHBPA) made a written plea to the Louisiana State Racing Commission (LSRC) Sept. 2 asking for an emergency order to be handed down that would mandate “immediate access to stalls to stable at both Louisiana Downs and Fair Grounds.”

The request for stabling involves both Thoroughbreds and Quarter Horses, and is complicated by meets for both breeds ending and starting within the same rough time frame at Louisiana’s four tracks. Additionally, the presence of the COVID-19 pandemic is making movement of people and horses difficult.

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Delta Downs Suffers Serious Damage in Hurricane, Opening to be Postponed

By Bill Finley

While no horses or people suffered major injuries as a result of Hurricane Laura, the storm produced serious damage to Delta Downs in Vinton, Louisiana, leaving the facility in such bad shape that its director of racing operations Chris Warren said there was no chance the track would be able to begin its Thoroughbred meet on time.

“This meet is supposed to start Oct. 6. That isn’t going to happen,” Warren said. “There’s no way. When it will happen, I have no idea.”

“There’s debris and sheet metal everywhere,” he said. “The tote board got demolished. It collapsed and is completely gone. Our camera towers are gone, so is our holding barn. The starting gates got completely turned over and the light poles are torn up. The whole backside rail is pretty much ruined. There’s just a lot of damage and it is everywhere.”

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Boyd Gaming Commences Property Reopening Process

Properties in Louisiana, Mississippi to Resume Operations This Week

LAS VEGAS, May 18, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Boyd Gaming Corporation (NYSE: BYD) today announced plans to resume operations at seven properties in Louisiana and Mississippi, pending receipt of final regulatory approvals.

On Wednesday, May 20, Boyd Gaming plans to reopen three Louisiana properties: Delta Downs Racetrack Casino Hotel, Evangeline Downs Racetrack Casino Hotel and Treasure Chest Casino.  On Thursday, May 21, the Company will reopen its two Mississippi properties: IP Casino Resort Spa in Biloxi and Sam’s Town Hotel & Gambling Hall in Tunica.

The following week, Boyd Gaming plans to resume operations at two additional properties in Louisiana: Amelia Belle Casino and Sam’s Town Shreveport.

These will be the first Boyd Gaming properties to reopen following the closure of all Company properties nationwide in mid-March, following state mandates aimed at preventing the spread of COVID-19.  Upon reopening, the properties will operate with limited amenities and capacity restrictions in compliance with state and local requirements.

“As we begin the process of reopening our properties nationwide, the health and safety of our customers, our team members and our communities will be our highest priority,” said Keith Smith, President and Chief Executive Officer of Boyd Gaming.  “Across the country, we are implementing comprehensive safety protocols approved by local, state and federal health officials. We are optimistic that we will be able to reopen most of our properties over the next several weeks, and we look forward to offering our guests a safe and enjoyable entertainment experience.”

Upon reopening, all Boyd Gaming properties will practice “Boyd Clean,” a set of comprehensive protocols aimed at protecting the health and safety of our team members and guests.  These protocols include:

  • Mandatory face coverings and temperature checks for all team members;
  • Social distancing requirements and capacity restrictions across all customer and team member areas, including casino floors and restaurants;
  • Enhanced cleaning and sanitation of all high-touch surfaces, including door handles, gaming machines, table games, handrails and elevator buttons;
  • Increased placement of hand sanitizer dispensers throughout our properties;
  • Required training for all team members on our safety protocols.

For additional information on the Boyd Clean initiative, visit www.boydgaming.com.

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Boyd Gaming Applies for Evangeline Downs Race Dates

Company requested 50 dates for delayed Thoroughbred meet.

Fifty dates for Thoroughbred racing at Evangeline Downs have been requested by track owner Boyd Gaming, the Louisiana Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association announced May 15.

The Opelousas, La., racecourse was originally set to open for its Thoroughbred season April 8 and race through Aug. 29, but the track has remained closed because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The revised schedule submitted to the Louisiana State Racing Commission lists June 5 as the new opening date, with racing four days a week on a Wednesday-through-Saturday basis. Closing day would remain the same.

Boyd Gaming management applied for 14 days of Thoroughbred racing in June, 19 days in July, and 17 days in August at Evangeline.

May 16 marked the first day horses stabled outside Evangeline Downs and Delta Downs were welcomed back through the stable gates at the two tracks. Since mid-March, no new horses were allowed to enter the racetracks. The horses already stabled there were allowed to remain in place after Boyd Gaming reversed course after originally telling horsemen March 16 they had 48 hours to vacate the premises. Horses resumed training April 13 for the first time since the lockdown after Louisiana District Court judge Sharon Wilson on April 9 dissolved a temporary restraining order obtained by Boyd Gaming that resulted in no racehorse training.

“We’ve had some positive steps in the last month,” said Benard Chatters, the president of the Louisiana HBPA and a trainer at Evangeline Downs. “We were able to get the horses back training, and then today we were able to bring some of the horses back to the racetrack that had been locked out. The regular workout people were back, the outriders were back, and it was a really joyous and refreshing day for me.”

Chatters, who was at Evangeline on Saturday morning, said people were eager to get their horses back to the racetrack, including trainers who ship their horses in for workouts on the track.

Racing has not taken place in Louisiana since Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots ended its meet about a week early March 21.

 

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Delta Downs, Evangeline Downs Backsides to Open Saturday, May 16

Attention Horsemen at Delta Downs:

Per Boyd Management:

Starting Saturday, May 16, 2020 at 8AM, the horsemen that have been given stalls at Delta Downs will be allowed to move their horses onto the backside.

Contact stall superintendent Jess Chance at 337-794-7989 prior to arrival to coordinate tack room, feed room and walker wheel assignments.

Check lahbpa.org for updates and advisories.

 

Attention Horsemen at Evangeline Downs:

Per Boyd Management:

Starting Saturday, May 16 , 2020 at 8AM, the horsemen that have been allocated stalls at Evangeline Downs will be allowed to move horses onto the backside.

Anyone that has yet to occupy any stalls at Evangeline Downs MUST contact Randall Leger at 337-678-8635 prior to entrance to coordinate tack rooms, feed rooms, dorm rooms and walker wheel assignments.

Check lahbpa.org for updates and advisories.

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Judge Sides With Louisiana Horsemen, Allows Training

Barring further legal action, training four days a week begins April 13.

The Louisiana Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association announced April 9 that Louisiana District Court Judge Sharon Wilson has dissolved a temporary restraining order obtained by Boyd Gaming that resulted in no racehorse training at some state tracks.

Boyd Gaming, which owns Evangeline Downs and Delta Downs in Louisiana, had been allowing stabling at its facilities but not training, citing health concerns related to COVID-19 for staff, among other reasons. Louisiana Downs, owned by Harrah’s, another gaming company, also prohibited training recently.

Under the terms of the court decision and barring further legal action, training on a four-days-a-week basis begins April 13, said Benard Chatters, the president of the Louisiana HBPA and a trainer at Evangeline Downs in Opelousas, La. He estimated there are 500 horses stabled there who have been limited to walking since mid-March.

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THORNTON, BROBERG AND END ZONE ATHLETICS EARN LEADING HORSEMEN TITLES AT DELTA DOWNS DURING 2019-20 SEASON

FAMILIAR FACES DOMINATE STANDINGS THROUGHOUT 84-DAY STAND 

  

VINTON, LA. –  The 2019-20 Thoroughbred season at Delta Downs wrapped up on Saturday with familiar names topping the standings. Tim Thornton won his second straight leading rider title while Karl Broberg notched his ninth consecutive crown in the training ranks. Broberg and Matt Johansen’s End Zone Athletics, Inc. earned their fifth straight leading owner title and their eighth in the last nine years.

Thornton’s season included 110 wins and $2,287,415 in mount earnings after riding 142 winners and setting a single season record with $2,894,080 in earnings last year.

Thornton, a husband and father of three, won two stakes races during the meet. On December 28 he rode Bending Saint to victory in the $70,000 B Connected and on January 11 he booted home Flat Lucky in the $65,000 Sam’s Town.

Following Thornton in the jockey standings were C. J. McMahon (75 wins), Paulina Ramirez (54), Diego Saenz (52), Joel Dominguez (51), Gerard Melancon (49), Jose Guerrero (42), Devin Magnon (31), Thomas Pompell (28), and Kevin Smith (26).

Broberg continued his dominance at Delta Downs in 2019-20 by sending out 95 winners and totaling $1,826,580 in earnings. The accomplishment capped off a season that saw him win his ninth straight training title at the Vinton, Louisiana racetrack. During the Delta Downs season Broberg also capped off another calendar year (2019) of leading the nation in wins by a trainer with a personal record of 548 trips to the winner’s circle. It was the sixth straight time he has accomplished that feat.

Rounding out the top 10 trainers for the Delta Downs meeting were Robertino Diodoro (41), Beverly Burress (29), Isai V. Gonzalez (26), Lee M. Thomas (23), Joel Berndt (21), Eduardo Ramirez (20), Allen Landry (19), Sam Breaux (16), and Scott Gelner (16).

End Zone Athletics, Inc. saw 46 of their runners win and earn a total of $868,765. Rounding out the top 10 owners for the season were Empire Racing Stables LLC (Jason D. Bullard) (24), Adriel Gonzalez (14), Brittlyn Stable Inc. (Evelyn Benoit) (12), Dale White, Sr. (11), Red Rose Racing (Jimmy Johnson) (11), Patti Turner (11), Elite Thoroughbred Racing, LLC (Michele Rodriguez) (10), Danny R. Caldwell (9), Allied Racing Stables, LLC (Chester Thomas) (8).

Delta Downs now looks forward to its upcoming American Quarter Horse season which gets underway on April 17 and runs through July 4. The 46-day meeting will feature live racing each Wednesday through Saturday night after opening weekend. Post times on Wednesday and Thursday nights will be at 5:15 pm CST. The first race on Fridays and Saturdays will be at 6:15 pm.

For more information about the Delta Downs go to the track’s website at www.deltadownsracing.com. Fans can also follow the track on Facebook and Twitter.

 

Delta Downs Racetrack Casino and Hotel, a property of Boyd Gaming Corporation (NYSE:BYD), features exciting casino action, live horse racing and fun dining experiences. Delta Downs is located in Vinton, Louisiana, on Delta Downs Drive. From Lake Charles, take Exit 7 and from Texas, take Exit 4.

 

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UNDERPRESSURE WINS ANOTHER THRILLER IN THE OWNER APPRECIATION CUP

Owner Appreciation Cup
Delta Downs, 2-29-20, 1 mile
Four-Year-Olds and Upwards, $70,000

Underpressure - OA Cup - 02-29-20
Underpressure wins the Owner Appreciation Cup at Delta Downs. Coady Photography.

UNDERPRESSURE
Birdstone-Charming Colleen
Breeder: James McIngvale
Owner: Mallory Greiner
Trainer: Chris Richard
Jockey: Gerard Melancon

2nd
Treasure Trove
Tapizar-Cashmere
Breeder: John Fradkin & Diane Fradkin (KY)
Owner: Bayou Bengal Racing Stable
Trainer: Thomas M. Amoss
Jockey: Diego Saenz

3rd
Paddock Pick
Graydar-Fiery Pulpit
Breeder: Taylor Brothers Properties LLC, Pollock Farms, Patrick H. Payne, et al (KY)
Owner: Claiming Game Racing
Trainer: Karl Broberg
Jockey: C.J. McMahon

 

Underpressure’s victory in the Owner Appreciation Cup came in come-from-behind style as his used his deadly late kick to run down pacesetter Treasure Trove in the stretch. The Chris Richard trainee, who was ridden by Gerard Melancon, hit the finish line 1-1/4 lengths to the good of Treasure Trove with Paddock Pick finishing another 2-1/4 lengths back in third. The final time for Underpressure was 1:38.79.

 

The win by Underpressure came with some drama after the race. Treasure Trove’s jockey Diego Saenz claimed foul against the winner for drifting in front of his mount in mid-stretch. The stewards took several minutes to review video of the race before disallowing the claim and keeping the order of finish intact.

 

Underpressure has now won 13-of-36 races and the $48,000 prize on Saturday night raised his career bankroll to $741,382. The 6-year-old Louisiana-bred son of Birdstone, out of the Charismatic mare Charming Colleen, won all three of his starts at Delta Downs this meet, each with Melancon in the saddle. The biggest score came in the $150,000 Louisiana Premier Night Championship on February 8, which was the richest race of the season.

 

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