Memorial Day Pig Races Set for Monday, May 28
Bossier City, LA – Apprentice jockey Joel Dominguez lost his bug on Tuesday, May 22, but those who have seen him in action have little doubt that he will remain successful at Harrah’s Louisiana Downs.
Dominguez, 28, was born in Durango, Mexico. He was athletic as a child, playing soccer and then becoming a boxer; undefeated in his weight class. He moved to Kentucky and learned to ride under the tutelage of his brother-in-law Pablo Teutla. Dominguez galloped for Hall of Famer Steve Asmussen for three years and then the highly respected Kentucky-based conditioner, Neil Howard.
“Neil was like family to me,” acknowledged Dominguez. “When I first began riding in Kentucky, I wasn’t ready. Neil made sure I knew I could always come back to work for him.”
Two years ago, he decided to come to Louisiana Downs as many trainers liked to give mounts to apprentice jockeys. In 2017, he won 31 races at Louisiana Downs, finishing tenth in the standings.
Don Simington, one of the top riders in Texas and Louisiana for three decades, is his agent.
“Ronnie Ardoin had his book last year,” said Simington. “I was impressed with Joel and was happy to become his agent. He’s a good, hard worker and came to Louisiana with a solid foundation.”
Dominguez has ridden at Delta Downs and Evangeline Downs, but this year picked up several mounts at Fair Grounds which boosted his confidence considerably. Dominguez enjoyed being a part of a very experienced jockey colony, crediting Corey Lanerie and Miguel Mena for serving as mentors. He also got the attention of the betting public on March 30 when he lit up the tote board with 54-1 longshot Reese’s Glory for owner/trainer Jorge Gomez. The 6-year-old mare rallied from last to first, rewarding her supporters with a $110.80 win payout!
“Riding in New Orleans was a good experience,” said Dominguez. “I really appreciated that Corey took the time to talk to me and gave me some helpful advice. He’s really talented and I like the way he goes to the front, sets the pace, and knows exactly how much horse he has.”
Another jockey who has boosted his confidence is Simington, who hung up his tack in 2015 after winning over 3,400 races.
“Don works very hard as my agent, but also helps me with feedback on my races,” he stated. “When I make a mistake, I always want to correct what I do wrong.”
Dominguez rides for many horsemen, including Gomez, Ronnie Ward, Ralph Irwin, Al Cates and Joe Duhon. He has also picked up mounts for Al Stall, Jr. Veteran Louisiana conditioner Duhon has seen Dominguez develop into a solid race rider.
“Joel has a very good work ethic and is very conscientious,” said Duhon. “He had the talent all along; he just needed the experience.”
While Duhon may select apprentices to ride some of his horses in the future, he will keep Dominguez in his rotation, even with the added poundage.
“He gives 150%, in the mornings and in his races for me; that means a lot,” added Duhon.
Dominguez prides himself on showing respect to others and enjoys talking with horsemen and the many assistants, grooms and exercise riders. He is affectionately dubbed “Borrega”, the Spanish word for sheep, because of his curly hair.
“Everyone on the backside calls me that, but it’s okay,” he said with a smile.
Maybe someday there will be a graded stake win in his future, but for now, he will continue to work hard and fine tune his prowess in the saddle.
“I told Don that one of my goals was to finish in the top three in the jockey standings,” he explained. “To be tied for the lead with Richard Eramia means a lot.”
As he takes the next step forward in his career, the married father of two offers his thanks to those who have encouraged him so far.
“I thank all the trainers, my agent Don and all the people who have helped me,” said Dominguez. My wife is very supportive, and the kids love to see me ride,”
He has plenty of opportunities to win his first race as a journeyman in the near future and will embrace the challenge.
“I’m not too worried about losing the bug,” said Dominguez. “I feel that have good skills and will always try to improve.”
Family Activities Set for Memorial Day
Louisiana Downs will present a family-friendly promotion on Monday, May 28 highlighted by the second annual Memorial Day Pig Races! The races will take place throughout the afternoon, between live Thoroughbred action. Plus, beginning at noon, there will be a children’s area with a FREE Petting Zoo, bounce houses and water slides. In addition, fans of all ages will be able to enjoy culinary delights from the most popular Food Trucks in Shreveport-Bossier City.
For fans preferring the air-conditioned comfort of the Grandstand, the Harrah’s Club will offer an All you can eat, All Day Buffet for $29.99.
Trainer, Jockey and Owner Standings
As of May 23, Jorge Lara and Karl Broberg top the trainer standings with five wins each. Joe O. Duhon, Dana Whited, Henry E. Uriegas and Danny Pish have each saddled four winners.
Richard Eramia and Joel Dominguez are tied for the lead in the jockey standings with ten wins. Last year’s leading jockey Gerardo Mora is second with eight trips to the winner’s circle and Kevin Smith, Emanuel Nieves, Hector Del-Cid and Eguard Tejera follow closely with six wins.
Dream Walkin Farms, Inc has won four races to take the early lead in the owner standings. End Zone Athletics, Inc. is next with three wins and Brittlyn Stable Inc, Thomas L. Holyfield, P and D Racing Stables, Jorge Gomez, Indian Creek Thoroughbred Farms LLC, Jerry Allen, Ian Yarnot, Joey Keith Davis, Maxie Wayne Kitchings, Sr. and Lara Racing Stables, Inc. follow with two wins each.
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.
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