Shreveport Resident Tops 200 Contestants in the Four Month Contest


Bossier City, LA – Opening day of the 2019  Harrah’s Louisiana Downs Thoroughbred meet got underway on Saturday, May 4. A packed house was on hand for the return of live racing and a full afternoon of Kentucky Derby festivities.

Rodney Clements -Road To Derby Contest Winner
Jennifer Sokol, Harrah’s Louisiana Downs Racing Office Manager, contest winner Rodney Clements and Eric Halstrom, Harrah’s Louisiana Downs Vice President of Operations. Photo courtesy of Michael Greer/ Harrah’s Louisiana Downs.

Rodney Clements of Shreveport, was hoping that his final contest entry in the Road to Kentucky Handicapping Contest would snare him the $1,000 grand prize. However, he was one of countless horseplayers who selected Maximum Security to capture the Run for the Roses. After the lengthy steward’s inquiry and subsequent disqualification, Clements headed home and had to wait until the following week before getting the call from Eric Halstrom, Harrah’s Louisiana Downs Vice President of Operations, that he was the winner.


Clements was honored in between races on Saturday, May 11.


“It was pretty exciting and I enjoyed walking around carrying my big check,” said Clements. “I made it to the Winner’s Circle without a horse!”


Harrah’s Louisiana Downs is Clement’s  “home track” and he enjoys watching and wagering with family members, including his wife and brother. Finding his personal game plan for picking winners has been an enjoyable challenge.


“I wanted to understand the mechanics of handicapping,” he explained. “I bought one book, which turned into two, then three and now I have a library. I have created my own ‘matrix system’ where I print my DRF early past performances and mark all over them. Maybe I am old school in that way, but I come to the track with my notebook.”


He had several longshots throughout the weekly contest that began on January 19. He selected Maximum Security to win the Florida Derby on March 30 at Gulfstream Park.


“He stuck out in my mind,” recalled Clements. “In the beginning stages of the race, it looked like he wasn’t even paying attention; then he got going and left them in the dust.”


The Road to the Kentucky Derbv Handicapping Contest at Harrah’s Louisiana Downs was open to the public. There was no entry fee and fans were asked to make selections on major stakes races as well as the key Kentucky Derby prep races. Each participant earned points with weekly and monthly prizes were awarded.


“The response from our horseplayers for this contest was outstanding,” said Halstrom. “We appreciate the loyalty of our local race fans and 2 we plan to be more active in the contest market.  A Caesars Entertainment contest is slated for late June with information forthcoming.”


Future contests and racing promotions will be well-received by Clements and other loyal Harrah’s Louisiana Downs racing patrons.


“It was a great contest,” added Clements. “Offering free entry with daily, monthly and a grand prize gets a lot of people interested in racing. I greatly appreciate the efforts of Eric Halstrom and the marketing team to support horseplayers. Anything to bring new fans to horseracing has to be applauded!”


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.

ThoroCap announces relaunch date

HOT SPRINGS, AR- ThoroCap, established in 2004 as a Thoroughbred handicapping service, will relaunch on Thursday, April 25, 2019. ThoroCap will continue to provide a wide range of handicapping products, but has expanded its focus to include providing news, analysis, and commentary on Thoroughbred racing and the Thoroughbred racing industry.

Commenting on ThoroCap’s plans to become a destination site for racing fans, publisher Chris Robbins said, “We believe that informed racing fans are central to the success of our industry. It is an industry that is often described as ‘dying’, but the facts belie that.”

According to the U.S Equine Economic Impact Study, the horse industry generates approximately $40 billion in direct economic impact annually and has a total economic impact of more than $100 billion, approximately $30 billion of which comes from the racing sector alone. Over all, the horse industry generates the equivalent of 1.4 million full-time jobs and pays almost $2 billion per year in taxes.

In January 2019, Equibase reported that pari-mutuel wagering increased by 3.3% to $11,265,519,563 in 2018, the largest single-season increase in 18 years. “That does not speak to a dying industry,” Robbins said.

In addition to its primary focus areas- news, analysis, commentary, and handicapping products, ThoroCap has also launched ThoroCap Supports, a program that provides free advertising, promotion, and a public forum for the non-profit organizations that support those involved in the industry: backside workers, jockeys, the horses themselves.

Speaking about ThoroCap Supports, Robbins stated that, “ThoroCap is proud to be a part of the Thoroughbred industry, and we recognize our responsibility to the animals and to the people who work in our industry. The charitable organizations that ThoroCap Supports was created to assist perform an invaluable service that helps meet the needs of those in the industry whose last race may have been run.”

Don Phillips, a long-time sports writer and analyst based in New York, who serves as CEO of the ThoroCap division of DHHS, LLC., enthusiastically endorses ThoroCap Supports. Phillips said, “When Chris first mentioned the idea, I told him we almost had to do it. It’s a positive for the racing community, and just felt like the right thing to do.” Phillips, who suffers from profound Cerebral Palsy noted that philanthropic organizations, such as those ThoroCap supports was created to assist, play a vital role in meeting needs that would otherwise remain unmet.

Robbins, the owner of ThoroCap’s parent company Diversified Holdings of Hot Springs, LLC (DHHS, LLC), has been directly involved in the Thoroughbred racing industry for almost two decades, as a horse owner, writer, handicapper, and advocate for the sport.

With ThoroCap, Robbins has attempted to create a service that offers a forum for all sides when addressing issues affecting the sport, and one that makes a clear distinction between news and opinion. ThoroCap itself takes no position the issues, rather it offers a forum for civilized discourse and encourages readers to form their own informed opinions.

“ThoroCap also strives to offer a wide range of innovative handicapping products appropriate for beginning, intermediate, and advanced racing fans, who are the lifeblood of the sport.” Robbins said.