OWNER STATON FLURRY HAS A SPECIAL PLACE IN HIS HEART FOR HARRAH’S LOUISIANA DOWNS

Flurry and Tor Con Six
Staton Flurry and Tor Con Six. Hodges Photography.

Bossier City, LA – Thoroughbred owner Staton Flurry will never forget winning the 2017 Super Derby at Harrah’s Louisiana Downs with Mr. Misunderstood.

 

Last September, the marquee stakes for 3-year-olds was run on the Franks Turf Course at the distance of a mile and one-sixteenth. Trained by Brad Cox, the gelded son of Archarcharch, shipped in undefeated on the turf, and punched his ticket to the Super Derby with a win in the $60,000 Prelude, which was also run on the turf in 2017.

 

Flurry, 28, 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. . Flurry’s first stakes winner Little Miss Flurry captured the 2014 Razorback Futurity. But Mr. Misunderstood has vaulted to the top of the ladder with an incredible record of 11 wins from 19 starts. Since winning the Super Derby, the dark bay gelding won five stakes including the Grade 2 Wise Dan at Churchill Downs. Purchased for $130,000, he currently boasts earnings of $707,854.

 

Flurry made the trip back to Louisiana Downs this week to see three of his horses who are trained by Karl Broberg.  On Monday afternoon, Tor Con Six, a 4-year-old son of Half Ours ran in a starter optional claiming sprint, and despite coming into the race off three wins, struggled and finished fifth.

 

“That was a little disappointing as he had been doing great,” said Flurry. “His rider (Gerardo Mora) said he just spit the bit.”

 

Tuesday it was Golden Driller in the second, a $21,000 maiden at six and one-half furlongs. The 3-year-old by Caleb’s Posse was injured last October at Remington Park. Flurry sent him to Louisiana Downs last month and looked forward to a solid return off the layoff. With Mora aboard, he caught the leader Three Time Charmer, briefly took the lead, before losing by a nose.

 

Wednesday marks the debut of Mathieu, a 2-year-old Louisiana-bred son of Custom For Carlos, out of the Vindication mare Laughing Saint. He has posted several solid works for the six furlong main track event and will be ridden by  Jose Guererro.

 

“We’ve babied him along,” said Flurry. “He has settled down since being gelded and I have come over to see a few of his works, and am looking forward to watching him run on Wednesday.”

 

Flurry debated on several names for the 2-year-old, finally settling on Mathieu in honor of Louisiana native Tyrann Mathieu, an All American football player. He played for LSU and is now a safety for the Houston Texans.

 

Next up for Mr. Misunderstood is the $1,000,000 Shadwell Mile at Keeneland on October 6 with the Grade 1, Breeders’ Cup Mile on the radar for Flurry and Cox.

 

“Winning the Super Derby at Louisiana Downs was a cool starting spot for Mr. Misunderstood,” stated Flurry. “We thought we really might have something, but to think that he may be two races away from earning a million dollars is pretty amazing.”

 

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.”

 

Announcer John McGary Off to Zia Park This Week

Harrah’s Louisiana Downs track announcer John McGary will wrap up his duties in the booth on Wednesday, September 19. He will head to Zia Park in Hobbs, New Mexico to call the races for their 2018 live racing season which begins on Saturday, September 22.

 

Announcer Mike Persichino will fill in for McGary for the final four days of the meet. He began calling races in 1999 with appearances in Utah, Arizona, California and Oregon. Persichino has been the voice of Wyoming Downs since 2014 and called the final two weeks of the Harrah’s Louisiana Downs Thoroughbred meet last September.

 

Trainer, Jockey and Owner Standings

As of September 18, Karl Broberg tops the trainer standings with 25 wins. Last year’s leading trainer, Joey Foster follows closely with 24 winners and horses trained by Al Stall, Jr. have won 22 races.  Jorge Lara, Beverly Burress, Jose Camejo and Danny Pish have each saddled 17 winners this meet.

 

Emanuel Nieves won eight races last week and continues to lead the rider standings with 75 wins. Last year’s leading jockey Gerardo Mora has been steadily making his way up the ladder and is now in second place with 65 victories. Joel Dominguez is third with 64 trips to the winner’s circle and Hector Del-Cid and Jose Guererro have each won 40 races.

 

Dream Walkin Farms, Inc. and End Zone Athletics, Inc. are tied for leading owner honors with 14 wins. Patti Turner is next with 12 victories and Beverly Burress and Indian Creek Thoroughbred Farms, LLC follow with nine wins each.

 

The winners of each division will be honored on Wednesday, September 26, which is the final day of the 2018 Thoroughbred racing season.

 

Diego Saenz Approaching his 2,000th Career Win

Jockey Diego Saenz is just 9 wins away from his 2,000th career victory. The 39-year-old rider won one race on the Monday, September 17thcard, piloting My Prophet for trainer Eduardo Ramirez.

Saenz is named on 15 horses this week. Once the Harrah’s Louisiana Downs meet wraps, he will head to Delta Downs when their meet opens October 17. He has won four leading rider titles at the Vinton, Louisiana racetrack.

 

Wednesday and Saturday Race Day Promotions

Louisiana Downs offers value for racing fans each Wednesday with Dollar Day. They will be able to enjoy $1 hot dogs, $1 beer at the Paddock as well as $1 programs. Saturday’s weekly promotion is the Family Four Pack featuring four hot dogs, four sodas, a program, and a box seat for four at the affordable price of just $16.

 

The Total Rewards program is free for horseplayers. With the swipe of their card each Saturday, members will receive valuable incentives.  These include:

  • Play $250 or more to receive a 5X multiplier
  • Play $1,000 or more to receive a 7X multiplier
  • Play $5,000 or more to receive a 10X multiplier

Participant’s multiplier cannot exceed a total balance of more than one hundred thousand (100,000) Reward Credits during one promotional day after the multiplier is applied.

 

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 Wednesday, September 26.

 

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 OFFICIALS PLEASED WITH SUNDAY’S SUPER DERBY DAY

 

Diego Saenz-2018
Diego Saenz. Hodges Photography

Bossier City, LA – Super Derby 39 at Harrah’s Louisiana Downs on Sunday, September 2 was successful on many levels.  The 13-race card featured seven stakes races, highlighted by the  Grade 3, $300,000 Super Derby.

 

A field of nine competed with top horsemen Tom Amoss, Al Stall, Jr., Brad Cox and Hall of Fame conditioner Steve Asmussen sending in quality 3-year-olds for the 39th running of the prestigious championship.

 

It was Michael Lankford’s Limation who pulled off a stunning upset in Super Derby 39 at odds of 26-1 and despite a heavy downpour earlier in the afternoon, the richest race of the 2018 Thoroughbred season went off under sunny skies.

 

Officials reported a 12% increase in handle from the 2017 Super Derby card, which also showcased 13 races.
“We were very pleased with the quality of racing on Super Derby Day,” said David Heitzmann, Harrah’s Louisiana Downs director of racing. “The response from some of the nation’s most respected horsemen surpassed our expectations and despite the lone afternoon shower, we presented a very competitive race card.”

 

Promotions, special events and hospitality in the suite level added to the overall festive nature of Super Derby 39.

 

“It was a great day overall and would not have been possible without the efforts of the hard-working racing office staff and entire team at Harrah’s Louisiana Downs,” added Heitzmann.

 

First Graded Stakes for Jockey Diego Saenz

Horseplayers should never ignore jockey Diego Saenz on Super Derby Day. Last year, the 39-year-old rider won three of the seven stakes on the program. He set the bar even higher on Sunday, winning four of the seven features, and notching the first graded stakes of his career.

 

His stakes wins on Sunday’s card included Bermuda Star, owned by Brittlyn Stable, Inc.in the $60,000 River Cities; Yes Gorgeous in the $60,000 Elge Rasberry for owner and trainer Scott Gelner and Ice City Ghost and homebred by Dream Walkin Farms, Inc., who scored the upset in the $60,000 Sunday Silence. Ice City Ghost paid $42.20, but that was not the biggest longshot of the Super Derby card for Saenz!

That came in the eleventh race of the afternoon when Saenz rode Limation, for owner Michael Langford in the Super Derby. Considered an outsider by the betting public, Saenz had studied his form and had a pretty good idea what kind of a trip the son of Alternation would need. The Kentucky-bred colt was saddled by Asmussen’s longtime assistant Darren Fleming.

 

“For me, I just threw out his last race, and was hoping to give him a clear trip and keep his face clean,” explained Saenz. “Darren never seemed nervous and that gave me confidence.”

 

Saenz was content to stay off the early speed and had plenty of horse left when he rounded the far turn. He got clear at the top of the lane, crossing the wire in 1:43.91, by a margin of 5 ¾ lengths over the top betting choice, Lone Sailor.

 

“I had my horse where he needed to be and when we hit the quarter pole, he just drew off,” he said.

 

It was the first Super Derby and very first graded stakes for Saenz, and a pretty nice win payout of $56.40 for the many Louisiana horseplayers who have faith in the top Louisiana jockey.

 

“I won a $300,000 turf stakes with Heitai at Evangeline Downs, but this was my first grade 3,” he said. “I’ve been riding at Louisiana Downs since 2004; this was my very first Super Derby mount. It felt pretty good to win such an important race.”

 

Saenz had three mounts on Monday’s Labor Day racing card, scoring an allowance victory aboard Harlons Commision.  He took a minute to reflect upon his Super Derby 39 success.

 

“I am very grateful to Steve for giving me the opportunity to ride Limation,” said Saenz. “I also want to thank trainers Carl Deville, Scott Gelner, Victor Arceneaux and my agent, Louis Coco, who works very hard for me.”

 

Saenz, who was born in Chihuahua, Mexico, has been riding professionally since 2004 and has won 1,987 wins from 10,198 starts in his 15-year career.

 

He and his wife have three children and reside in Carencro, a suburb of Lafayette, Louisiana. Saenz will head to Delta Downs when their meet opens October 17. He has won four leading rider titles at the Vinton, Louisiana racetrack.

 

Update on Super Derby Winner Limation

Limation, winner of Sunday’s Grade 3, $300,000 Super Derby at Louisiana Downs came out of the race in good order and has returned to trainer Steve Asmussen’s barn at Remington Park.

“I expect the Oklahoma Derby to be next for him,” the Hall of Fame conditioner told Mary Rampellini of the Daily Racing Form.

According to Rampellini, the Kentucky-bred son of Alternation will be pointed to the Grade 3, $400,000 Oklahoma Derby at Remington Park on September. 30. Mike Langford, owner of Limation  also campaigns 2017 Oklahoma Derby champion, Untrapped.

 

Weiner Dog Races Set for Saturday, September 8

Rain on Labor Day forced the cancelation of the popular Weiner Dog Races, but Harrah’s Louisiana Downs has rescheduled the entertaining event for Saturday, September 8.  Family-friendly activities will get underway at 11:00 amwith the first Wiener Dog race at noon. The championship is scheduled for 2:00 pm.

 

Live Thoroughbred action follows at its regular time of 3:15 pm.

 

 

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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DIEGO SAENZ, KARL BROBERG AND END ZONE ATHLETICS, INC. REPEAT AS LEADING HORSEMEN AT DELTA DOWNS FOR 2017-18 SEASON

84-DAY MEETING WRAPPED UP ON SATURDAY NIGHT WITH A 12-RACE CARD

VINTON, LA. – Delta Downs closed out its 2017-18 Thoroughbred season on Saturday night with a special 12-race program. During the night, the track honored its leading horsemen for the 84-day meeting that began on October 18.

Jockey Diego Saenz won his second consecutive and fourth leading rider title overall at Delta Downs this year while Karl Broberg won his seventh consecutive leading trainer crown. The title of leading owner went to End Zone Athletics, Inc. for the sixth time in the last seven years. End Zone Athletics, Inc. is made up of Karl Broberg and Matt Johanson.

Saenz led all jockeys in terms of wins and mount earnings as he enjoyed 109 trips to the winner’s circle while his mounts earned a total of $2,530,635. The 39-year-old resident of Carencro, Louisiana had previously won titles during the 2009-10, 2013-14, and 2016-17 seasons.

Following Saenz in the final jockey standings were Timothy Thornton (93 wins), Gerard Melancon (69), Ashley Broussard (55), Roberto Morales (53), Luis Negron (47), Jansen Melancon (34), Jose Guerrero (30), Steve Bourque (27), and Eddie Martin, Jr. (26).

Karl Broberg saddled 83 winners to capture the leading trainer crown during the season and his barn also led all trainers in earnings with a total of $1,801,310. The 47-year-old resident of Arlington, Texas began his current streak of leading trainer titles at Delta Downs during the 2011-12 season and has led the entire nation in wins for four calendar years in a row, 2014-2017.

Rounding out the top 10 trainers for the season at Delta Downs were Eduardo Ramirez (34), Thomas Amoss (30), Brett Brinkman (28), Scott Gelner (26), Sam Breaux (24), Shane Wilson (24), Joel Berndt (19), Henry B. Johnson, Jr. (17), J. R. Caldwell (16).

End Zone Athletics Inc. saw 43 of their runners make it to the winner’s circle from 175 starts this year to earn the leading owner title again this year. The barn, which is made up of primarily allowance and claiming horses, tallied total earnings of $854,250.

Rounding out the top 10 owners for the meet were Karl Broberg (19), Red Rose Racing (Jimmy Johnson) (16), Maggi Moss (15), Wayne T. Davis (14), Norman Stables, LLC (Robert A. Norman) (12), Brittlyn Stable Inc. (Evelyn Benoit) (11), Indian Creek Thoroughbred Farm, LLC (Phillip Mark Dison) (9), Larry Elenz and Janice Krueger (9), and Donald Melancon (8).

Delta Downs is now preparing for its 2018 American Quarter Horse season, which gets underway on Friday, April 20. The 46-day stand will run through July 7 with live racing each Wednesday through Saturday night starting at 6:15 pm CT.

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 off I-10.

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IMPRESSIVE SUPER DERBY SATURDAY FOR JOCKEY DIEGO SAENZ AT HARRAH’S LOUISIANA DOWNS

Bossier City, LA – While jockey Diego Saenz did not win the richest race of the Super Derby Day card Saturday at Harrah’s Louisiana Downs, he certainly had a highly rewarding afternoon.

The 38-year-old rider won three of the seven stakes on the program, with a close second-place finish in the $60,000 Unbridled.

Saenz won the first turf feature of the day, the $60,000 River Cities, guiding the heavily favored Quinta Verde (IRE) to victory for trainer Brad Cox. Saenz had never ridden the 5-year-old mare owned by Swift Thoroughbred Inc. before, but settled her comfortably behind the pacesetters. She unleashed her powerful closing kick at the eighth-pole and drew off by 3 ¼ lengths.

“Looking at the program, I thought I had some very good chances for the day,” said Saenz. “I was fortunate to be riding nice horses for top trainers.”

Next up was the $60,000 Sunday Silence for 2-year-olds and his second time to ride Jerry Durant’s Budro Talking, who was making his stakes debut for trainer Danny Pish.

The Louisiana-bred son of Tale of the Cat broke his maiden on July 27 at Evangeline Downs, sprinting on the main track. Pish felt that he could be versatile and compete well on turf, and he was certainly correct.  With Saenz back in the irons, the bay colt sat off the early fractions of :24.17 and :48.71, drawing clear and crossing the one-mile finish line in 1:37.78.

“He’s getting better and better,” said Saenz. “He relaxed for me and that’s what it takes when a young horse is stretching out.”

Perhaps Saenz’ most impressive ride came in the in the $50,000 Tellike Stakes, when he rode

Curtis C. Green’s homebred Justa Lady for trainer Steve Asmussen. Again, Saenz had never ridden the 4-year-old filly by More Than Ready, but he was content to let longshot Our Valor set the pace. In sixth position approaching the far turn, he got his mount clear and she responded with a strong rally, drawing clear in the five-furlong turf sprint.

“I saw (Roberto) Morales get to the lead quickly, but felt he would not hold his speed,” he stated. “My filly had plenty left and came running.”

Saenz was hoping for a fourth stakes victory aboard the heavily favored Big Changes, also trained by Cox, in the Unbridled. Net Gain, an Iowa-bred 3-year-old made a sweeping move on the far turn under rider Glen Corbett. Saenz, who finished second, lodged an objection against Corbett for interference, but the stewards reviewed the replay and took no action.

“That’s part of racing,” said Saenz. “You state your case and have to accept the decision.”

Saenz, who was born in Chihuahua, Mexico, has been riding professionally since 2004 and is currently ranked 56th in Equibase North American jockey standings. He was won 1,746 wins from 9,218 starts in his 14-year career.

He and his wife have three children and reside in Carencro, a suburb of Lafayette, Louisiana. Saenz will head to Delta Downs, where he has won three leading rider titles.

 

Update on Super Derby Winner Mr. Misunderstood

Mr. Misunderstood, owned by Flurry Racing Stables LLC, scored a definitive victory in the season’s marquee race, the $200,000 Super Derby last Saturday.

The gelded son of Archarcharch, shipped here last month undefeated on the turf, and punched his ticket to the Super Derby with a win in the $60,000 Prelude. Then owner Staton Flurry, trainer Brad Cox and jockey Chris Rosier just had to wait to see who they would be running against in the Super Derby.

“We knew what we had in Mr. Misunderstood,” said Flurry. “After the noms for the Super Derby came out, it was just the anticipation of who would enter and what he would run against. It looked like Sonneteer was our biggest threat, but speed was really holding Saturday afternoon, so he was more forwardly placed that we expected.”

Nonetheless, Mr. Misunderstood prevailed as the favorite and a memorable post-race celebration ensued for Flurry, jockey Chris Rosier and Ricky Giannini, assistant to Cox.

“It was great,” said Flurry. “I love running at Louisiana Downs; my aunt and uncle live near Shreveport and there were lots of family and friends there to enjoy our win. My phone was turned off, but thirty minutes later, I checked and had over 150 texts and Facebook messages.”

Flurry, 27, resides in Hot Springs, Arkansas, and is passionate about every facet of racing, from studying sale catalogs, training progress of his horses, to evaluating race options. He signed a sale $130,000 sale ticket for Mr. Misunderstood at the Ocala Breeders’ Sale and admitted that there were some doubts about the Kentucky-bred in the early stages of his career.

“Let’s just say that we weren’t very high on the horse last year,” admitted Flurry. “He was always balanced, but didn’t show much in his morning works.  Once we gelded him, he became more focused and found his way on the turf.”

Cox was pleased with the win and reported that Mr. Misunderstood returned safely to his base in Kentucky.

“He ran really well,” Cox told Mary Rampelinni of the Daily Racing Form. “Obviously, we’re super-pleased with the ride and where he was positioned early in the race with the lack of pace. He kicked on well. We’ll try to keep him with the 3-year-olds the rest of the year.”

 

Two More Stakes to Be Contested This Month at Louisiana Downs​

The final two stakes of the season, the $75,000 A. L. (Red) Erwin and the $75,000 Elge Rasberry, will be run on Saturday, September 23. Both stakes are written for 3-year-old graduates of the Louisiana-bred Sale and will be run at the distance of one mile on the Franks Turf Course.

 

Louisiana Downs Trainer and Jockey Standings

Through September 12, last year’s leading trainer Joey Foster continues to hold a commanding lead over his fellow conditioners with 60 wins. H. B. Johnson is second with 23 wins to date and Ronnie Ward is in sole possession of third place with 16 wins. Sarah Delany follows in fourth; she has each saddled 15 winners.

Gerardo Mora has taken the lead in the jockey standings with 69 wins. Richard Eramia, who was on top for much of the season before he departed to ride at Remington Park, is second with 59 victories. Aubrie Green continues her strong showing and has moved into third with 58 trips to the winner’s circle.  Jose Guerrero rounds out the top four with 47 wins.

Jorge Gomez and Red Rose Racing are tied at the top of the owner’s leaderboard with ten wins each.  Patti Turner Jamie C.  Pastor and Anthony Faulk have won nine races each 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
318-752-6980
8000 East Texas Street | Bossier City, LA 71111
www.caesars.com
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