The 19th running of Louisiana Premier Day at Delta Downs on Feb. 5 couldn’t have been scripted out any better. With clear skies and a cool breeze, the 11-race program featured 10 stakes races and more than $900,000 in total purse money for Louisiana-bred horses who were vying for hoof-pounding greatness. Not only was the weather picture perfect, but the betting handle soared to $3,075,587, which was nearly $800,000 more than last year’s soirée.
– FREE LIKE A GIRL NOTCHES THIRD STAKES WIN OF THE SEASON IN THE STARLET –
VINTON, LA. – Delta Downs hosted its richest program of the season on Saturday afternoon as the 19th edition of Louisiana Premier Day took center stage. The 11-race program featured 10 stakes races and more than $900,000 in total purse money for Louisiana-bred horses.
The featured race of the day was the $150,000 Louisiana Premier Day Championship, which featured a full field of 10 competing at 1-1/16 miles. The race appeared to be wide open without Underpressure, as the winner of the last two editions of the event was not entered this time around. The morning line favorite and race-time chalk Langs Day did not disappoint, as the Lee Thomas trainee went from last-to-first while scoring his second stakes win of the meet.
“He’s a simple horse but a hard horse to ride,” said jockey Ty Kennedy. “You have to let him find himself but once he hits the three-eighths pole he does the rest and I just let the big guy roll. He always runs well at Delta Downs.”
Langs Day is known for his strong late kick, and on Saturday he used it well. After dropping back to last in the initial strides he began to pick up momentum racing into the second and final turn while pacesetters Magawildtime and Beauregard carved out fractional times of 23.85 seconds for the opening quarter mile and 48.37 for the half. When the field hit three-quarters of a mile in 1:14.54 it was Speaktomeoflove who had forged a narrow lead.
In the homestretch Speaktomeoflove looked to be in for a big payday but Langs Day had other ideas. The pair hooked up at the sixteenth pole and it was a war of wills before Langs Day got the upper hand late to record a half-length win over his tenacious rival. Jimi’s a Star finished well to be third, another 1-1/2 lengths behind the top pair.
Langs Day now has six wins from 17 career starts for owner Keith Plaisance. The winner’s prize of $90,000 on Saturday raised Langs Day’s bankroll to $277,040.
Bred in Louisiana by J. Adcock & Adcock’s Red River Farm, LLC, Langs Day is a 5-year-old chestnut gelding by New Year’s Day, out of the Langfuhr mare Langsyne.
Sent off at odds of 8-5, Langs Day paid $5.40 to win, $3.20 to place and $2.40 to show. Speaktomeoflove returned $4.80 to place and $3.60 to show. Jimi’s a Star was worth $4.60 to show.
Net a Bear scored her second stakes win of the season in the $125,000 Distaff on Louisiana Premier Day. The win came in dramatic fashion as jockey Tim Thornton had to angle out from the rail in the upper-stretch and rundown leaders Snowball and Fort Polk to get up just before the wire. The Allen Landry trainee also took the Magnolia Stakes at Delta Downs on October 29.
Net a Bear is now 10-for-30 during her career and has earned $523,870 after taking home $75,000 on Saturday afternoon for owners Maximo Lamarche and Federico Deltoro.
Trainer Allen Landry did himself one better in the $100,000 Prince as he saddled the first and second-place finishers, Vodka Gimlet and Brian’s Iron Mike. The pair were far in front of the rest of the field at the wire with Vodka Gimlet winning the first stakes race of his career with jockey Thomas Pompell in the saddle. Vodka Gimlet is owned by Ellen Epstein.
The win by Vodka Gimlet put another $60,000 into his bankroll which now stands at $102,645. He is a 3-year-old gelding by Goldencents out of the Out of Place mare Shy Baby.
The $100,000 Starlet featured Free Like a Girl, who already had two stakes wins under her belt this season. The Chasey Deville Pomier trainee won the Louisiana Jewel in October before taking the My Trusty Cat just one month later. She most recently won a stakes race at Fair Grounds
before her appearance in the Starlet on Saturday where she took the lead early and never looked back under jockey Pedro Cotto, Jr.
Free Like a Girl notched her sixth win from just 11 career starts in the Starlet and raised her career bankroll to $341,473. The bay filly by El Deal is owned by Gerald Bruno, Jr., Carl J. Deville, Chasey Deville Pomier and Jerry Caroom. She was bred by former jockey Kim Stover and her sister Lisa Osborne.
Bertie’s Galaxy turned in a sharp performance to win this year’s $100,000 sprint under jockey Jareth Loveberry. The Ron Faucheux trainee broke sharp and lead every step of the way in the five-furlong dash for older horses. Bertie’s Galaxy has now won 10-of-23 career starts and earned another $60,000 on Saturday to raise his overall bankroll to $382,850. The son of Greeley’s Galaxy is owned by Allen Cassedy.
The $100,000 Matron featured graded stakes winner Cilla, who dazzled the fans with a romping victory in the five-furlong test for older fillies and mares. Cilla is owned by P. Dale Ladner and trained by Brett Brinkman. The daughter of California Chrome was ridden to victory by jockey Thomas Pompell. Cilla has now won seven of 14 starts and owns a bankroll of $476,000.
The $60,000 Gentlemen Starter was taken by Greeley’s Dealer. The Dale White, Sr. owned and trained 9-year-old gelding saved his best for last, coming up the rail to snare the win under jockey Jose Guerrero. Greeley’s Dealer has now won 15-of-55 starts during his career.
Longshot Girl Thirsty was victorious as a huge longshot in the $50,000 Ladies Starter. Overlooked at odds of 30-1, the Ronnie Ward trainee ran down race favorite Heart That Binds in the stretch to get the win under jockey Alexander Castillo. Girl Thirsty is owned by Claudio Solis.
This year’s $50,000 Bon Temps Starter was won by Sandy Badeaux’s Madison’s Place with jockey Joel Dominguez in the saddle. The Eduardo Ramirez trainee overhauled race favorite Wild Mallory in the stretch to record the ninth win of her 32-race career.
And finally, it was the Keith Charles owned and trained gelding Alterana who took the $50,000 Ragin Cajun Starter under jockey Gerard Melancon. Alterana has now won nine of 31 career starts and the score on Saturday afternoon extended his current winning streak to four races.
Delta Downs will conduct live racing for the next four weeks on a Wednesday through Saturday schedule until the meet comes to a close on March 5. First post time each day is at 12:55 pm.
For more information about racing at Delta Downs visit the track’s website at www.deltadownsracing.com. Fans can also get information about through Facebook by visiting the page ‘Delta Downs Racing’. The track’s Twitter handle is @deltaracing.
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.