CARLOS LOZADA, JOEY FOSTER AND END ZONE ATHLETICS, INC TOP THE STANDINGS FOR THE 2019 THOROUGHBRED MEET AT HARRAH’S LOUISIANA DOWNS

Bossier City, LA – The 2019 Thoroughbred racing season at Harrah’s Louisiana Downs, which got underway on May 4, concluded on Wednesday, September 25. The meet leaders, Carlos Lozada, Joey Foster and End Zone Athletics, Inc., were honored for their accomplishments on the final afternoon of the 84-day meet.

Both major racing events, Louisiana Cup Day on August 3 and Super Derby Day, which took place September 7, featured excellent fields. For the second year in a row, Hall of Fame conditioner Steve Asmussen won the richest race of the season, the Grade 3, $300,000 Super Derby with Rotation. The son of Tapit, bred and owned by Winchell Thoroughbreds, LLC, rallied strongly for his first graded stakes score under jockey Richard Eramia.

One of the most memorable events of the season was the creation of the Harrah’s Louisiana Downs Racing Hall of Fame. The ceremony took place on Saturday, July 13 with  John Franks; Edward J. DeBartolo, Sr.;  Frank L. Brothers; C.W. Walker; Ronald Ardoin, Larry Snyder; Sunday Silence andFree Spirits Joy inducted into the inaugural class.

Voting for one additional Hall of Fame member in several categories was offered to the fans and they elected trainer Bobby Barnett, jockey Calvin Borel; former general manager Tom Sweeney as well as the incomparable Alysheba as additional inductees.

Officials also introduced a new wager, Super Tuesday Pick 4, on Tuesday, June 25.  The wager teamed two Caesar’s Entertainment racetracks: Harrah’s Louisiana Downs and Indiana Grand Racing and Casino, which both offer Tuesday matinee racing programs. Two races each Tuesday from both racetracks were selected and offered to fans at a reduced takeout of 15%.

“We were thrilled to induct honor such outstanding horses and trailblazers into our Racing Hall of Fame,”said Eric Halstrom, Harrah’s Louisiana Downs vice president of operations.  “The fan vote was very well-received and we will certainly offer that again in 2020. It was also a great beginning for the Super Tuesday Pick 4, which gave us an opportunity to attract new fans as we teamed with the talented and innovative team at Indiana Grand.”

 

Carlos Lozada Wins His First Leading Rider Title

Carlos Lozada was dominant throughout the meet, topping a very competitive jockey colony to claim his first ever leading rider title. The 34-year-old native of Puerto Rico finished the meet with a record of 428 starts, 95 wins, 70 seconds and 52 thirds and purses of $1,076,410.

He began riding in the United States in 2007 after attending Puerto Rico’s Escuela Vocational Hipica, the famed jockey school with a noted list of riders, including Irad Ortiz, Jr, Jose Ortiz as well as 2018 Harrah’s Louisiana Downs top-ranked rider, Emanuel Nieves.

The soft-spoken rider was the 17th-ranked rider in 2018 at Louisiana Downs, but united with former jockey and highly successful agent, Ronald Ardoin, this year.

“There is no doubt that Ronald made a big difference for me,” said Lozada. “He works hard in the mornings and got me a lot of mounts. He won so many races in his career and was very helpful when I asked for advice.”

One of the biggest wins of the meet came on Super Derby Day when Lozada guided Sugarland Thoroughbreds LLC’s homebred Eskenformore to victory in the $60,000 River Cities at odds  of 30-1.  He had ridden the 6-year-old mare, trained by James Hodges, and explained his change of tactics in winning the turf feature.

“I rode her like I knew her,” stated Lozada. “I felt she needed to be closer to the lead and knew she had plenty left for the finish.”

Winning leading rider honors at Harrah’s Louisiana Downs meant a great deal to the devoted family man, supported by his wife, Eileen Quinones and their three sons: Anthony, Jean Carlos and Jandriel.

“I was a little nervous toward the end,” he acknowledged. “Providing for my family is most important to me, but I want to thank every owner and trainer who believed in me and gave me the opportunity to win my first title!”

Lozada will head to Delta Downs for their upcoming Thoroughbred meet, which gets underway on Tuesday, October 8.

It was also a very successful season for Joel Dominguez, who finished second with 91 trips to the winner’s circle, edging Lozada in purses, with mounts earning $1,091,671. Dominguez, who was third in the standings last year, is represented by retired rider Don Simington. Jockey Aubrie Green finished third with 54 victories; a solid step up from her seventh-place finish here in 2018.  Richard Eramia and Hector Del-Cid tied for fourth with 47 trips to the winner’s circle.

 

 

Joey Foster Wins His Third Louisiana Downs Leading Trainer

Benton, Louisiana horseman Joey Foster picked up his third leading trainer title at Harrah’s Louisiana Downs, winning 54 races from 218 starters to top his fellow conditioners this meet.

The very popular trainer won his first title here in 2016, repeating the feat in 2017 and finishing second to Karl Broberg last year. He saddled a mix of claiming and allowance horses throughout the meet, with standouts including Mizztic Tale, who won three of his four starts this meet for owners Brett Day and Kevin Spretz. Also, Play on Becky picked up her third victory of the season on Wednesday, September 25 for her breeder and owner Jim Horton.

“I want to thank each of my owners for their support,” said Foster. “They are the ones that put the show on; training horses is the easy part, but keeping great owners is key.”

Foster also acknowledged his wife, Cheryl, who he refers to as “the backbone” of the barn, and the hard work of assistant trainer, Amaniel Ortiz, affectionately known as “Shorty”.

The Foster trainees will head to Delta Downs as well as Fair Grounds. Foster cited Our Lost Love, a 2-year-old filly Louisiana-bred daughter of Half Ours, as one of his runners to watch. Bred and owned by Tri-Star Racing LLC, she broke her maiden impressively here on September 14.

“She ran a great race and earned an 83 Beyer (speed figure),” said Foster. “We will run her on Louisiana Champions Day (December 14) at Fair Grounds.”

Last year’s leading conditioner, Karl Broberg, finished second with 45 wins. Beverly Burress, who saddled 18 winners last year, finished the meet with 28 victories, including a stakes score with Run Rocket in the $60,000 A. L. (Red) Erwin on the Super Derby card. Steve Asmussen and Jorge Lara tied for fourth with 20 winners each.

 

Leading Owner Title Goes to End Zone Athletics, Inc.

End Zone Athletics, Inc. repeated as owner of the meet, and unlike last year, when the title went down to the final day, the national leader held a comfortable lead throughout the meet.  The highly successful partnership of Karl Broberg and Matt Johanson won 25 races this meet to earn leading owner honors.

“I want to thank Darwin Quevado, my assistant at Louisiana Downs for all he has done,” said Broberg.  “We used quite a few riders, but I was pleasantly surprised by Aubrie Green.”

Broberg confirmed that he will send a string to Delta Downs for their upcoming Thoroughbred meet and will also have a barn at Fair Grounds when their season gets underway.

Dream Walkin Farms, Inc. was second in the standings with 14 wins and horses owned by Ronnie P. Ward made 11 trips to the winner’s circle. Indian Creek Thoroughbred Farms, LLC and Penny Scarberry tied for fourth with ten wins in the 2019 Thoroughbred meet.

 

Harrah’s Louisiana Downs to Offer Training and Stall Space to Horsemen

Harrah’s Louisiana Downs is pleased to offer horsemen an opportunity to train and stable their Thoroughbreds during the months of October, November and December.

When the Evangeline Training Center closed in 2018, officials acknowledged that many Louisiana Thoroughbred trainers were in need of a facility to stable and train their racehorses.  The Bossier City-Shreveport metroplex offers convenient proximity for shipping to Delta Downs in Vinton, Louisiana; Fair Grounds in New Orleans; Remington Park in Oklahoma as well as upcoming live meets at Sam Houston Race Park and Oaklawn Park in Hot Springs, Arkansas.

Space and availability for Thoroughbreds is limited and will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis. Horsemen are encouraged to contact David Heitzmann, Harrah’s Louisiana Downs Director of Racing at (318) 741-2511 or (318) 741-2512 for rates and information.

 

Quarter Horse Racing Returns to Harrah’s Louisiana Downs on January 4

The 2020 Quarter Horse dates for Harrah’s Louisiana Downs have been approved. The 46-day meet will commence on  Saturday, January 4 and continue through Wednesday, March 18.

 

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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FORMER TRAINER, BILLY MCKEEVER, JR., KEEPS TRACK SURFACES IN TOP SHAPE AT HARRAH’S LOUISIANA DOWNS

Bossier City, LA – Billy McKeever, Jr. brings a unique skill set to his role as the highly-respected track superintendent at Harrah’s Louisiana Downs.

The 56-year-old was born in Shreveport and grew up in nearby Benton, Louisiana. His late father, Billy McKeever, Sr., was a very successful Louisiana-base trainer. McKeever followed that same path and trained  for six years, beginning in 2001, winning 59 races. His most prolific runner was Crowned King, who ran third in the 2003 Super Derby at Harrah’s Louisiana Downs.

In 2006, McKeever was evaluating the future of the Kentucky-bred Crowned King, who had won eight races and bankrolled over $580,000.

“He was six, and I was thinking it might be time to retire him,” recalled McKeever. “I started considering that maybe it was time for me to retire too.”

McKeever applied for the barn area supervisor job at Louisiana Downs and began in January, 2007. He worked closely with Brian Jabelmann, who was a consultant involved in the management of the track surfaces.

Jabelmann recommended McKeever for the job of track superintendent and he has held that position for the past 11 years.

McKeever is supported by a staff of 20 and each team member is fully committed to their assigned duties. Just one example is that two men have the first shift, beginning at 3:00 am to water the track before training begins at 6:00 am.

“Everybody in the department knows their job, but if we get five inches of rain, I don’t have to ask; the entire crew will be out there, opening additional weep holes and doing whatever has to be done to have the track ready for racing,” he explained.

To keep the Franks Turf Course green throughout one of the hottest summers in recent history was no easy feat. McKeever shared that he consulted with Scott Tolar of Evergreen Turf Solutions.

“This year we worked with Scott on a new fertilizer program, which really paid off,” said McKeever. “Of course, 28-30 loads of water each day was required, but the fertilizing program got us the best root I have seen.”

Another very important component of a safe track surface is creating the optimum composite for the main track. McKeever sends samples to Michael Depew, a respected “lab man” in Michigan.

Getting the correct mix of sand and clay is essential and the combination is different for the winter Quarter Horse meet versus the Thoroughbred meet, which runs from May through September.

McKeever is accessible to trainers, jockeys and track veterinarians and takes their feedback into account.

“Probably from training horses, I know that if I getting news about horses having joint or soft tissue injuries, changes might need to be made,” he added.

McKeever gives special thanks to the operations team at Louisiana Downs for approving the necessary funds to ensure safe track surfaces.

“Both Trent McIntosh, and now, Eric Halstrom have been incredibly supportive of spending money when needed,” stated McKeever. “I have gone to them explaining that we need to buy $75,000 worth of material and I get the necessary approval. To know they have the confidence in my judgement means a lot.”

Joey Foster, who is the current leading conditioner at Louisiana Downs, is one of many horsemen to give high marks to McKeever.

“Billy does an awesome job on both our dirt and turf tracks,” said Foster. “We have hardly had any rain, just a sprinkle during our hot summer, but the surfaces continue to be kind to our horses. Plus, we can go to Billy if we have concerns; he does a great job and is a very nice guy!”

And not that anyone would need further proof that horses are pretty important to McKeever, he shared that Crowned King, who is 19, is enjoying retirement on his farm in Benton!

 

 

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 18. He will head to Zia Park in Hobbs, New Mexico to call the races for their 2019 live racing season which begins on Saturday, September 21. This will be the third season that McGary has traveled west to call their Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse races.

Stepping in for the final four days of the meet will be Brian Arrigoni, who serves as the racing analyst at Canterbury Park. Five years ago, Arrigoni was a fan, attending the races at the popular Minnesota racetrack, and introduced himself to Eric Halstrom, who was their General Manager and now serves as Vice President of Operations at Louisiana Downs. Halstrom was impressed with Arrigoni’s love of racing and hired him. He serves as one of the track’s handicappers and hosts their paddock preview show with a variety of co-hosts, including track announcer Paul Allen. The popular Allen calls play-by-play for the Minnesota Vikings on KFAN and is the voice of the Minnesota Vikings Radio Network. When Allen’s NFL duties took him away from the booth, Arrigoni called the Canterbury Park races on August 18.

“This is a very exciting for me,” said Arrigoni, who will make his first visit to Louisiana.  “I am very grateful to Eric for hiring me at Canterbury and offering me the opportunity to call the final four days of the Louisiana Downs meet.”

The two Minnesota Vikings fans will reunite with Arrigoni stepping in beginning Saturday.

“I’m very familiar with Brian’s abilities and his enthusiasm and love of racing,” said Halstrom. “He will be a great replacement for John during the last week of our meet. It will be an excellent way for him to get some experience and exposure as well.”

 

Memorable Week for Jockey Emanuel Nieves

Last year’s leading rider Emanuel Nieves was injured in a spill on May 7 and just returned to action at the end of August.  On Wednesday, September 17, he won the sixth race aboard Mizztic Tale for trainer Joey Foster and finished second on Swift Shock in the final race of the afternoon. The 26-year-old native of Puerto Rico had little time to celebrate his comeback victory as he quickly departed for the for the hospital where his wife, Milyorie went into labor with the couple’s first child. Ian Emanuel was born early this morning and all three are doing well!

 

Trainer, Jock Trainer, Jockey and Owner Standings

As of September 18, Joey Foster leads his fellow conditioners with 53 wins this season topping.  Karl Broberg who has won 45 races. Beverly Burress has saddled 28 winners and  Jorge Lara andSteve Asmussen are tied for fourth with 19 wins each.

Carlos Lozada continues to lead the jockey standings with 91 wins holding off Joel Dominguez by three win Aubrie Green has won 50 races to move up to third in the standings and Richard Eramiarounds out the top four in the standings with 47 winning mounts.

 End Zone Athletics, Inc. has built an insurmountable lead in the quest for owner honors with 25 wins. Dream Walkin Farms, Inc. is second with 13 winners and Ronnie P. Ward follows with 11 victories and Indian Creek Thoroughbred Farms, LLC rounds out the top four owners with ten winners since the meet began on May 4.

 

Final Week of the 2019 Thoroughbred Meet

Live racing will be conducted Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday and Saturday with a 3:15 p.m. (Central) post time through Wednesday, September 25.  The closing day of the season will include the presentation of the End of the Meet honors for the leading owner, trainer and jockey.

 

 

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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COLBY HERNANDEZ AND KARL BROBERG WIN TITLES AT EVANGELINE DOWNS

END ZONE ATHLETICS WINS LEADING OWNER HONORS

 

OPELOUSAS, LA – Entering the final evening of the Thoroughbred season at Evangeline Downs, the only race for meet-end honors still in doubt was the jockeys’ race. A three-way battle between Colby Hernandez, Tim Thornton and Diego Saenz came to a dramatic conclusion as Hernandez won the penultimate race of the season aboard Tenpins Tempo to clinch the title by two over Saenz, who had three wins on the last night to tighten the race significantly. Saenz was able to pass Thornton for second place in the standings with that hat trick, as Thornton went winless on the evening.

The complete top 10 jockeys’ standings were: Colby Hernandez (95 wins), Diego Saenz (93), Tim Thornton (91), Gerard Melancon (51), Thomas Pompell (37), Carlos Quinones (34), Paulina Ramirez (32), and a three-way tie for eighth with Gerardo Mora, Chris Rosier and Kevin Smith at 26 wins each.

Karl Broberg had his textbook dominant season at Evangeline Downs, winning the trainers’ race with 68 victories from 216 starts for a winning percentage of 31%. Broberg had a total of 138 in-the-money results with 40 seconds and 30 thirds for a top three percentage of 64%. The runner-up in the standings, Ron Faucheux, also had an outstanding season and had a better winning percentage than Broberg of 32%, scoring 36 wins from 113 starts. His in-the-money results also included 29 seconds and 21 thirds, giving Faucheux a top three percentage of 76%.

The complete top 10 trainers’ standings were: Karl Broberg (68 wins), Ron Faucheux (36), Eduardo Ramirez (30), Brett Brinkman (28), Dale White, Sr. (23), Corale Richards (22), a tie for seventh between Sam Breaux and Lee Thomas at 21 wins and a tie for ninth between Sam David, Jr. and Scott Gelner at 20 wins.

Broberg was also part of the leading owners’ standings, as his partnership with Matt Johanson, End Zone Athletics, Inc., won the title handily with 43 wins from 128 starts for a winning percentage of 34%. Owner-trainer Dale White, Sr. was the runner-up in the standings with 14 wins.

The complete top 10 owners’ standings were: End Zone Athletics, Inc. (43 wins), Dale White, Sr. (14), Wayne T. Davis (13), Elite Throoughbred Racing, LLC (12), Red Rose Racing (11), Whispering Oaks Farm, LLC (10), Cynthia Sharp and Corale Richards (9), a tie for eighth between Ming Yan Ng and Norman Stables, LLC at eight wins and a tie for tenth between Brittlyn Stable, Inc. and Sandy Badeaux and Dale White, Sr. at seven wins each.

Live racing at Evangeline Downs will resume with the beginning of the 46-night American Quarter Horse season on Friday, September 27. Post time for the season will be 5:35 pm Central Time. The $1,000,000 LQHBA Louisiana Million will take place on Saturday, December 7 and the $100,000-added Evangeline Downs Futurity and $50,000-added Evangeline Downs Derby will highlight the closing night program on Saturday, December 14.

 

For more information on racing at Evangeline Downs, visit the track’s website at www.evdracing.com. Evangeline Downs’ Twitter handle is @EVDRacing and the racetrack is also accessible on Facebook at www.facebook.com/EvangelineDownsRacing.

 

About Evangeline Downs

Evangeline Downs Racetrack Casino & Hotel is owned by Boyd Gaming Corporation, a leading diversified owner and operator of 22 gaming entertainment properties located in Nevada, New Jersey, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana and Mississippi.  Boyd Gaming press releases are available at www.prnewswire.com.  Additional news and information can be found at www.boydgaming.com, or www.evangelinedowns.com.

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LEADING HORSEMEN SMASH RECORDS AT DELTA DOWNS DURING 2018-19 SEASON

TIM THORNTON, KARL BROBERG AND END ZONE ATHLETICS REWRITE RECORD BOOKS

 

VINTON, LA. –  It was a season of records at Delta Downs in 2018-19 as new heights were reached in each of three horsemen’s categories during the 84-day meeting that wrapped up on Tuesday. Leading rider Tim Thornton set a new record for mounts earnings in a single meeting while trainer Karl Broberg and owner End Zone Athletics, Inc. established new marks for wins as well as earnings.

Thornton rode 142 winners during the season to earn his first local riding title and his mounts earned $2,894,080. His win total did not match Gerard Melancon’s 2007-08 mark of 146, however his earnings total did establish a new record. It was also the second season in a row that Thornton won the leading rider title at a Boyd Gaming owned racetrack. During the 2018 meeting at Evangeline Downs he tallied 141 wins to lead all jockeys.

Following Thornton in the jockey standings were Diego Saenz (86 wins), Gerard Melancon (56), Thomas Pompell (46), Eguard Tejera (41), *Paulina Ramirez (31), Emanuel Nieves (28), Kevin Smith (28), Chris Rosier (28), and Kerwin Clark (27).

Broberg continued his dominance at Delta Downs in 2018-19 by sending out 107 winners and totaling $2,017,120 in earnings. Both numbers established single-season records. It was also the first time a trainer had won more than 100 races and gone over the $2 million mark in earnings. The accomplishment capped off a season that saw Broberg win his eighth straight training title at the Vinton, Louisiana racetrack.

Rounding out the top 10 trainers for the 2018-19 season were Tom Amoss (32), Scott Gelner (30), Beverly Burress (27), Joel Berndt (24), Brett Brinkman (22), Robertino Diodoro (21), Sam Breaux (21), Dale White, Sr. (19), and Eduardo Ramirez (19).

And finally, records were also set in the category of leading owner this year as End Zone Athletics, Inc. saw 50 of their runners make it to the winner’s circle earning a total of $873,545. Both numbers established new single season records and it was the seventh time overall that End Zone Athletics, Inc. has won the leading owner title at Delta Downs. End Zone Athletics, Inc. is made up of trainer Karl Broberg and Matt Johansen.

Following End Zone Athletics in the owner standings this year were M and M Racing (Mike Sisk) (14), Brittlyn Stable Inc. (Evelyn Benoit) (14), Maggi Moss (11), Keene Thoroughbreds LLC (Danny Keene) (9), Giddy Up Racing, LLC (9), Beverly Burress (7), Dale White, Sr. (7), Wayne T. Davis (7), and Circle H Farms (Don Hargroder) (7).

Delta Downs now looks forward to its upcoming American Quarter Horse season which gets underway on April 19 and runs through July 6. The 46-day meeting will feature live racing each Wednesday through Saturday night beginning at 6:15 pm CST.

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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THE 2018 THOROUGHBRED RACING MEET AT HARRAH’S LOUISIANA DOWNS WRAPPED ON WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 26

Emanuel Nieves, Karl Broberg and End Zone Athletics, Inc. Earn Titles

 

Bossier City, LA – The 2018 Thoroughbred racing season at Harrah’s Louisiana Downs concluded on Wednesday, September 26.  The 84-day meet, which got underway on May 5, offered live cards on its Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday racing schedule.

 

Both major racing events, Louisiana Cup Day on Saturday, August 4 and Super Derby Day, featured excellent fields and were well received by both horsemen and horseplayers here and across the country. Limation, winner of the Grade 3, $300,000 Super Derby for Hall of Fame conditioner Steve Asmussen, will run in Sunday’s Grade 3, $400,000 Remington Park Derby.

 

Louisiana Downs handled $64,565,651 throughout the meet, versus $67,290,466 in the 2017 live Thoroughbred racing season. While there was a decline of 4% in total handle, there were several positives, including an increase of 12% on Super Derby Day with horseplayers wagering $1,943,318 million this year, versus $1,737,269 in 2017.  With carryovers on both the Pick 5 and Pick 6 wagers the handle on the final day of the meet was the largest at Harrah’s Louisiana Downs since the 2016 Super Derby. Also,an increase of 3.2% was noted on handle per race, with an average of $109,619 wagered per race this year, compared to $106,136 last year.

 

“We are encouraged by the increase in our per race handle and the momentum that we saw at the end of the meet, highlighted by the very strong closing day handle, “said Eric Halstrom, Director of Operations. “It remains difficult to attract horses to Northwest Louisiana, and the reduction in the number of races we ran in 2018 is a reflection of that. We will work hard in the months to come to build momentum with both horsemen and patrons for our 2019 live racing season. ”

 

 

Emanuel Nieves Wins His First Louisiana Downs Leading Rider Title

Emanuel Nieves had an exceptional season, topping a very competitive jockey colony to claim his first ever leading rider title. The 25-year-old native of Puerto Rico finished the meet with a record of 420 starts, 85 wins, 76 seconds and 70 thirds and purses of $1,074,804.

 

Nieves began riding in 2012, and has ridden in each of the four Louisiana racetracks for the past six years. He finished sixth in the standings last year, but his business grew significantly in 2018 due to the allegiance of many horsemen and his agent, Ronald Ardoin, who was one of the most successful jockeys in Louisiana.

 

“He’s won over 5,000 races,” said Nieves. ““Ronald has such good relationships with horsemen and has helped me so much.”

 

In the money at a very respectable 55% clip,, Nieves’ lone stakes win this season was aboard Cabo’s Rumor owned by Northpointe Thoroughbreds in the $60,000 Louisiana Cup Juvenile on August 4.

 

Cabo’s Rumor is trained by Steve Duke, and Nieves had tremendous backing from a multitude of horsemen including Joey Foster, Al Stall, Jr., Karl Broberg, H. B. Johnson, Joe Duhon, Beverly Burress, Jose Camejo, Sarah Delany, Joe McKellar, Ray Shumake, Tommy Ives, Jody Hodges and Michael McEachern.

 

“I could not have gotten this far without the support of so many great horsemen,” said Nieves. “I work hard every day and am very thankful the opportunity to ride so many good horses.”

 

He finished the meet with tremendous confidence, piloting six winners this week, including his 500th career victory aboard Princesa Pomasane on Monday’s card.

 

Next up for Nieves is Delta Downs for their meet which gets underway on October 17. But first he will make a trip to Puerto Rico, where he rides three races Friday at Hipodromo Camarero.

 

“It will be a wonderful trip home,” stated Nieves. “I’ll ride on Friday, but Saturday there will be a big party with family and friends! Then back to Louisiana where I will work horses at Delta Downs on Wednesday!”

 

It was also a very successful season for Gerardo Mora, who finished second with 67 trips to the winner’s circle. Mora, who is also represented by Ardoin, was last year’s leading rider. Joel Dominguez won 66 races to finish a close third in the standings, followed by Jose Guerrero, who piloted 43 winners.

 

 

Karl Broberg Honored as Leading Trainer

Karl Broberg added another title to his fast growing list, winning 31 races from 101 starters to top his fellow conditioners this meet.

This showing caps his dominant year in Louisiana, when he began the year with 83 wins at Delta Downs to capture his seventh consecutive leading trainer award. On August 28, he picked up his eighth training title at Evangeline Downs with 59 wins from 190 starters.

This was the second leading trainer title at Harrah’s Louisiana Downs for Broberg, who has been training since 2009, and is currently ranked eighth in win on the Equibase North American trainer list.

“I’m shocked that we were able to win the title here,” said Broberg. “We sent in a few horses and had some success, so added a few more. While many of the horses were owned by End Zone Athletics, Inc., I was blessed with some quality owners this meet, for which I am thankful.”

Broberg, who is prominent at several racetracks in the region, acknowledged the hard work of assistant trainer, Kevin Martin, who ran the Louisiana Downs string.

“Maybe his worst attribute is that he is so well-liked,” quipped Broberg. “Our “good cop-bad cop” continues to work well!”

Joey Foster, who won the training title last year, finished second with 26 wins. Al Stall, Jr. won 22 races this meet and H. B. Johnson, Beverly Burress and Jorge Lara each saddled 18 winners.

 

Leading Owner Title Goes to End Zone Athletics, Inc.

The very tight battle for leading owner honors concluded on Tuesday afternoon when End Zone Athletics, Inc. won with Sun And Sand to clinch the title.

 

The highly successful partnership of Karl Broberg and Matt Johanson has reigned supreme on a national level and in the Texas-Louisiana region for many years and won 15 races this meet to earn leading owner honors.

 

End Zone Athletics, Inc. has led the nation in wins for the last three years, and currently tops all North American owners, according to Equibase, in 2018. They won the title at Delta Downs earlier this year for the sixth time in the last seven years. They also won leading owner honors earlier this year at Sam Houston Race Park. Since 2007, End Zone Athletics, Inc. has started 4,195 Thoroughbreds, winning 1,110 races and earnings of $14.573,256.

 

“Matt and I have been partners since we were roommates in college,” said Broberg. “We have had tremendous success in the claiming game.”

 

Dream Walkin Farms, Inc. followed closely with 14 wins and horses owned by Patti Turner made 13 trips to the winner’s circle. Indian Creek Thoroughbred Farms, LLC was fourth with ten wins and Beverly Burress won nine races in the 2018 Thoroughbred meet.

 

Training and Stall Space Offered to Horsemen Beginning November 15

Harrah’s Louisiana Downs is pleased to offer horsemen an opportunity to train and stable their Thoroughbreds during the upcoming Fall and Winter months.

 

With the recent closing of the Evangeline Training Center, officials acknowledge that many Louisiana Thoroughbred trainers are in need of a facility to stable and train their racehorses.  Harrah’s Louisiana Downs is now accepting stall applications to accommodate horsemen from November 15 – March 19.

 

The track will be open for training six days a week with full amenities including a clocker, outrider and ambulance service.  Security in the stable area will be provided 24 hours a day, seven days each week. Located in the Bossier City-Shreveport metroplex, Harrah’s Louisiana Downs is located in convenient proximity for shipping to Delta Downs in Vinton, Louisiana; Fair Grounds in New Orleans and the upcoming live season at Oaklawn Park in Hot Springs, Arkansas.

 

Space and availability for Thoroughbreds is limited and will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis. Horsemen are encouraged to contact David Heitzmann, Harrah’s Louisiana Downs Director of Racing at (318) 741-2511 or (318) 741-2512 for rates and information.

 

 

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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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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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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