Lozada, Wilson and End Zone Athletics, Inc. 2022 Louisiana Downs Thoroughbred Meet Winners

Bossier City, LA – The 2022 Thoroughbred racing season at Louisiana Downs concluded on Tuesday, September 27.  The meet leaders, jockey Carlos Lozada, trainer Shane Wilson and owner End Zone Athletics, Inc. were honored for their accomplishments on the final afternoon of the 84-day meet, which began on Saturday, May 7.

Kevin Preston, Louisiana Downs owner and president, credited his team, horsemen and local racing fans for their support.

“As we wrap up the live racing season at Louisiana Downs, I want to take a moment to thank those  who have contributed to our success,” said Preston. “First, our hard working team who show their commitment to making Louisiana Downs great again and overcome all obstacles thrown their way.  Also, to the horsemen, both on the Thoroughbred and Quarter horse side, for showing their support and caring for these amazing athletes. And, finally, to our fans in the Bossier City/Shreveport metroplex. Throughout 2022, we offered live and simulcast racing, sports wagering and many promotions.  We are grateful for the positive feedback we have received. I can promise that we will make it even better in 2023!”

Carlos Lozada Wins His Third Leading Rider Title

Carlos Lozada, who won his first title here in 2019, clinched top honors once again. He was involved in a competitive battle with Jose Guerrero entering the final week of the season, but drew off  by five wins. Lozada capped his meet by winning the final race of the meet aboard Super Wise ($20.40) on the turf for trainer Al Cates.

“I want to thank my family, my agent Ronald Ardoin and each of the owners and trainers who gave me such good mounts,” said Lozada. “I worked hard, as did Jose this year at Louisiana Downs. It means a lot to win my third title here.”

Lozada was the leading rider here in 2019 and secured the 2021 title with 84 wins. He rode for a variety of trainers including Greg Tracy, Joe Duhon, Joey Foster, Al Cates and Karl Broberg, completing the 2022 meet with  a record of 85 wins, 59 seconds and 61 third-place finishes. His mounts earned $1,097,345. 

The 37-year-old native of Puerto Rico 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 Louisiana Downs top-ranked rider, Emanuel Nieves.

Lozada is supported by his wife, Eileen Quinones and their three sons: Anthony; Jean Carlos and Jandriel. While the majority of the Louisiana Downs jockeys will head to Delta Downs, Lozada will return to his home in Tampa and ride some races at Tampa Bay Downs.

Jose Guerrero had an excellent meet, winning 80 races and edging Lozada in earnings with $1,144,805. Joel Dominguez, who was second in the standings in 2021, finished third with 59 trips to the winner’s circle. Apprentice Vicente Del-Cid, winner of the 2022 Evangeline Downs leading rider title, was fourth in the standings with 52 victories.

 

Shane Wilson Honored as Leading Trainer

It was another excellent showing for Shane Wilson who repeated as leading trainer at Louisiana Downs with 50 victories.

The Haughton, Louisiana resident started 217 Thoroughbreds adding 42 runner-up finishes and 33 thirds to earn $762,665 for the meet.  He took the lead from the beginning of the meet and was never caught.

“We came in with 58-60 horses; no 2-year-olds,” said Wilson. “The first condition book was super for us and from there we kept our foot on the pedal. We were able to pick up a few horses after Lone Star Park wrapped up. Some of the better horses only got one start, but overall, we were pleased.”

Jockeys Jose Guerrero and Alexander Castillo rode the majority of the Wilson trainees with both riders showing improvement in their skill level.

Of course, Wilson is grateful to his owners, including Wayne T. Davis, Jim and Kathy Reeves, Hugh Moore, Craig Drago and Phyllis Presswood.

“I’ve been blessed with loyal owners who have supported us for over ten years,” added Wilson. “Tye Smith joined us this year and I am fortunate that they trust me and let me place their horses where they can win, but also let me take some chances. To be able to try a horse on turf or see how they handle going long is important. Everything is about the owners and I wouldn’t have won these titles without them.”

It’s a family affair at the Wilson barn, with his wife Becky and younger son, Connor, sharing in the key duties. His oldest son, Peyton, is an honors engineering student at LSU.

Wilson will stable at Fair Grounds in New Orleans for their 2022-2023 live racing season.

Joey Foster, who has won the Louisiana Downs trainer title three times, finished in a tie for second with Karl Broberg.  Both horsemen won 38 races. Greg Tracy followed with 30 victories and Steve Asmussen won 28 races.

 

Leading Owner Title Goes to End Zone Athletics, Inc 

End Zone Athletics, Inc. claimed its third leading owner title. The highly successful partnership of Karl Broberg and Matt Johanson won 21 races this meet, after topping the standings in 2019 and 2020, and finishing second last year to Wayne T. Davis. 

Broberg’s longtime assistant, Kevin Martin, accepted the award on Tuesday afternoon.

“We are thankful that we got on a roll after a mediocre start to grab this award,” said Martin. “Our thanks go out to everyone involved in our outstanding team, including our grooms, gallop boys and our jockeys.”

Davis, who won the 2021 title, finished in a tie for second with Greg Tracy. Both owners won 15 races.  Elite Thoroughbred Racing, Inc. rounded out the top four in the standings with 12 wins.

About Louisiana Downs

Located near Shreveport in Bossier City, Louisiana, Louisiana Downs opened in 1974 and is now owned by Rubico Acquisition Corporation. 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. 

 

Photos courtesy of Hodges Photography

Elliott, Asmussen, End Zone Athletics Take Sam Houston Titles

Jockey Stewart Elliott picked up his second leading rider title at Sam Houston Race Park as the meet wrapped up its 50-day stand Saturday, April 9th. Elliott had the support of trainer Steve Asmussen, riding first call for the Hall of Fame conditioner as he piloted 296 mounts, winning 62 races with earnings of $1,490,006. The successful union between Elliott and Asmussen began in Houston two years ago and has continued at Lone Star Park and Remington Park.

Asmussen won his 14th training title at the northwest Houston racetrack, following honors as top trainer in 2000, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020 and 2021. Asmussen started 259 runners, finishing with a record of 51 wins, 41 seconds, 55 thirds and earnings of $1,554,306. He conditions Stonestreet Stable’s homebred Pauline’s Pearl (Tapit), who captured the richest race of the annual Sam Houston Thoroughbred season, the $400,000 GIII Houston Ladies Classic.

End Zone Athletics, Inc. clearly topped the owner standings, finishing with 22 wins, 29 seconds and 18 third-place finishes from 137 starters. The ownership group, founded by Karl Broberg, has been a force at Sam Houston for over a decade with previous titles in 2018 and 2020.

THORNTON, BROBERG AND END ZONE ATHLETICS CONTINUE DELTA DOWNS DOMINANCE DURING 2021-22 THOROUGHBRED SEASON

TOP HONORS WERE HANDED OUT DURING CLOSING DAY PROGRAM ON SATURDAY, MARCH 5 

 

 

VINTON, LA. –  The 2021-22 Thoroughbred season at Delta Downs wrapped up on Saturday with familiar names topping the horsemen standings. Tim Thornton won his fourth straight leading rider title while Karl Broberg notched his 11th consecutive crown in the training ranks. Broberg and Matt Johansen’s End Zone Athletics, Inc. earned their seventh leading owner title and their 10th in the last 11 years.

 

Thornton’s season included 129 wins and mount earnings of $2,782,260. The title was Thornton’s fourth consecutive since moving his tack to Vinton in late 2017. During his first full season in 2018-19, Thornton set a new track record for mount earnings in a single season with $2,894,080.

 

Delta Downs’ 2021-22 leading jockey Tim Thornton and family

Thornton, a husband and father of three, won six of the track’s 26 stakes races during the meet. His biggest score came with the Allen Landy-trained Net a Bear, who took the $125,000 Louisiana Premier Day Distaff on the track’s richest race day of the year, February 5.

 

Following Thornton in the jockey standings were Joel Dominguez (65 wins), Joe Stokes (61), Jose Guerrero (50), Alex Birzer (46), Thomas Pompell (45), Vicente Del-Cid (42), C. J. McMahon (33), Kevin Roman (29), and Gerard Melancon (28).

 

Broberg continued his dominance at Delta Downs in 2021-22 by sending out 105 winners and totaling $1,928,820 in barn earnings. Broberg nearly bettered his own records for Thoroughbred conditioners this meet as well. During the 2018-19 season his horses set the current standard with 107 wins and earnings of $2,017,120.

 

Rounding out the list of leading trainers for the Delta Downs meeting were Allen Landry (31), Eduardo Ramirez (31), Brett Brinkman (26), Dale White, Sr. (21), Sam Breaux (20), Scott Gelner (19), Benjamin Zeno (19), Greg Tracy (19), and Lee M. Thomas (19).

 

End Zone Athletics, Inc. saw 78 of their runners win and earn a total of $1,322,480. The accomplishment broke their own records set just last year when End Zone won 64 races and took home $1,186,210.

 

Rounding out the top owners for the season were Dale White, Sr. (18), Elite Thoroughbred Racing, LLC (Michele Rodriguez) (12), Israel Flores Horses LLC (10), Keith Charles (9), Adriel Gonzalez (8), Gerald L. Averett, Jr. (7), Norman Stables, LLC (7), Rylee Grudzien (7), and Sandy Badeaux (6).

 

Delta Downs now looks forward to its upcoming American Quarter Horse season which gets underway on April 29 and runs through July 16. The 46-day meeting will feature live racing each Wednesday through Saturday night with first post time set for 6:15 pm Central Time.

 

For more information about the Delta Downs Quarter Horse season, including specific race days, 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.

 

Trainer Karl Broberg Reaches 4,000-Win Milestone

Karl Broberg became the 13th trainer in North American history to reach 4,000 wins on Friday night when the Louisiana-bred gelding Baudette Blizzard edged Boo Be Right in a $5,000 claiming race at Prairie Meadows in Altoona, Iowa. It was the fourth of five winners on the night for Broberg, who had 11 horses entered Friday at three tracks: Prairie Meadows, Lone Star Park in Texas and Evangeline Downs in Louisiana.

Baudette Blizzard is owned by Broberg’s End Zone Athletics, which claimed the gelding in June 2020 for $20,000. He was ridden to victory by Elvin Gonzalez.

Read Paulick Report Article

THORNTON, BROBERG AND END ZONE ATHLETICS CONTINUE LEADING HORSEMEN STREAKS DURING 2020-21 DELTA DOWNS THOROUGHBRED SEASON

TOP HONORS WERE HANDED OUT DURING CLOSING PROGRAM ON FRIDAY, APRIL 16 

 

 

VINTON, LA. –  The 2020-21 Thoroughbred season at Delta Downs wrapped up on Friday with familiar names topping the standings. Tim Thornton won his third straight leading rider title while Karl Broberg notched his 10th consecutive crown in the training ranks. Broberg and Matt Johansen’s End Zone Athletics, Inc. earned their sixth straight leading owner title and their ninth in the last 10 years.

 

Thornton’s season included 122 wins and $2,337,260 in mount earnings. The Louisiana native rode five winners alone on closing day. During the 2018-19 season, Thornton’s first full meet at Delta Downs, he set the current record of $2,894,080 in earnings.

 

Thornton, a husband and father of three, won two stakes races during the meet, both with Broberg-trained and End Zone Athletics Inc.-owned horses. The trio teamed up to win the $100,000 Delta Mile Stakes with Hunka Burning Love on November 10 and the $40,000 Ragin Cajun Starter Stakes on February 10, Louisiana Premier Day.

 

Following Thornton in the jockey standings were Diego Saenz (73 wins), Joel Dominguez (64), Jose Guerrero (54), Thomas Pompell (45), Gerard Melancon (42), Joe Stokes (30), Alez Birzer (27), Kevin Smith (25), and Jansen Melancon (24).

 

Broberg continued his dominance at Delta Downs in 2020-21 by sending out 91 winners and totaling $1,651,170 in earnings. The accomplishment capped off a season that saw him win his 10th straight training title at the Vinton, Louisiana racetrack. During the Delta Downs season Broberg also finished second nationally in terms of wins with 329 victories to Hall of Famer Steve Asmussen’s 421. It was the first time since 2014 that Broberg did not lead the nation in that category.

 

 

Rounding out the list of leading trainers for the Delta Downs meeting were Scott Gelner (30), Juan Larrosa (29), Isai Gonzalez (28), Eduardo Ramirez (25), Brett Brinkman (23), Allen Landry (21), Ronnie Averett (17-tie), Thomas Amoss (17-tie), and Ronnie Averett (15).

 

End Zone Athletics, Inc. saw a record 64 of their runners win and earn a total of $868,765, which also set a new mark for owners in that category. The old record for wins, 50, and earnings, $873,545, was also set by End Zone Athletics during the 2018-19 season.

 

Rounding out the top owners for the season were Red Rose Racing (Jimmy Johnson) (15), Joe Alfredo Castillo (14), Gerald L. Averett, Jr. (12), Adriel Gonzalez (11), Dale White, Sr. (10), Norman Stables, LLC (Robert A. Norman) (9), Rylee Grudzien (7-tie), Steven Asmussen (7-tie), Juan Larrosa (7-tie), and Maggi Moss (7-tie).

 

Delta Downs now looks forward to its upcoming American Quarter Horse season which gets underway on May 10 and runs through July 31. The 46-day meeting will generally feature live racing each Monday through Thursday. However, there will be two special Friday cards and four special Saturday programs to accommodate major stakes races and trials for those events. The first post time each day will be at 3 pm Central Time.

 

For more information about the Delta Downs Quarter Horse season, including specific race days, 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.

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.

 

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.

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.

 

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.

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.