Louisiana Cup Day Provided Exciting Finishes and Generous Payouts

Bossier City, LA – It was another excellent edition of  Louisiana Cup Day on Saturday, August 5 at Louisiana Downs. The quality of the Louisiana Thoroughbred breeding industry shone brightly in each of the six stakes on the program.

Despite temperatures in the low 100’s tremendous performances were noted throughout the afternoon with each of the defending champions denied by top efforts in the full and competitive fields. Here is a recap of the six Louisiana Cup stakes.

Norah G Returns to Glory in the $75,000 Louisiana Cup Filly and Mare Sprint

Norah G takes the Louisiana Cup Filly and Mare Sprint. Ann Switalski Photography

The $75,000 Louisiana Filly and Mare Sprint kicked off the stakes portion of Louisiana Cup Day, with eleven Louisiana-bred fillies and mares taking on defending champion and LTBA champion filly Free Like a Girl.

The competition was fierce right out of the gate and it was Thomas Galvin’s homebred Norah G who won the race in gate-to-wire fashion. Breaking from the rail under jockey Emanuel Nieves, she carried her speed throughout the six furlong main track sprint, crossing the wire in 1:11.74.

Trained by Patricia West, the 3-year-old daughter of Fast Anna won the $112,000 Louisiana Futurity on December 31 for trainer Patricia West. This was her first start since January and  Galvin was on hand to accept the trophy on the filly named for his youngest granddaughter Norah, who will turn nine at the end of this month.

“It was incredible,” said Galvin. “I was surprised she broke so well and that she would not be denied! Nieves gave her a great ride and Patty has been a godsend to us. She takes wonderful care of our horses and as an owner, I appreciate her communication skills.”

Also incredible, the 10-cent superfecta payout of $2,465 with Norah G ($44.80), followed by Final Quest at 31-1; Miss Priority, 36-1 and Zydeco Music, sent off at 13-1.

Free Like a Girl broke from the far outside post and never advanced from mid-pack, finishing eighth. She has won 13 of her 28 starts for owners Gerald Bruno, Jr; Carl J, Deville; Chasey Deville Pomier and Jerry Caroom. She has banked $951,578 since making her debut in 2021.

Galvin may consider a start at Kentucky Downs for Norah G, whose record stands at three wins from five starts and earnings of $163,955.



Star Moment Proves Her Affinity for the Turf in the $75,000 Louisiana Cup Distaff

Star Moment victorious in Louisiana Cup Distaff. Ann Switalski Photography


The first turf  stakes of the card, the $75,000 Louisiana Cup Distaff, drew ten fillies and mares who will travel a mile and one-sixteenth over the Franks Turf Course. 

Proving her versatility for the main track as well as the turf. Star Moment garnered the third stakes of her career for owner Intrepid Thoroughbreds, LLC (Tyron Picard and Stephen C. Henry). Previously trained by Ron Faucheux, the daughter of Star Guitar is now in the barn of Bret Calhoun. He was at Ellis Park this afternoon but was reached for comment following the race.

“She was impressive today,” said Calhoun. “I watched the race and she looked sharp and didn’t seem to have an issue with the heat. We didn’t think she could get beat in her last, but the track was deep, so maybe that was the case. We’ve started her four times and she’s won two stakes!”

A jockey claim of foul was disallowed, and rider Tim Thornton was pleased with her effort. As she stalked the pace and drew clear by 1 ¾ lengths in a final time of 1.41.22.

“She’s a class filly,” he stated. “I just got her in position and she took it from there.”

Front runner Birde Call held for second, followed by Wholelottamo and Eve’s Delight. Defending champion Cheapskate Diva mounted a bid at the top of the stretch, but finished sixth.

Star Moment ($11.20), bred by Brittlyn, Inc., has won five of her eight lifetime starts. Calhoun is considering options but is leaning toward giving her some time off and pointing to the Fair Grounds meet 



Strong Promise Keeps His Win Streak Intact Capturing the $75,000 Louisiana Cup Juvenile

Strong Promise adds Louisiana Cup Juvenile for third win in as many starts. Ann Switalski Photography

The $75,000 Louisiana Cup Juvenile for Louisiana-bred 2-year-old colts and geldings attracted a field of ten at the distance of five and one-half furlongs on the main track.

Norman Racing Stables, LLC’s Strong Promise made his Louisiana Downs debut  and lived up to his favored status, drawing off to a 2 1/2 length victory for trainer Jayde J. Gelner, in a speedy 1:05.52. The 2-year colt by Broken Vow out of the Macho Uno mare St. Jean, is undefeated in two starts. Bred by J. Adcock & Hume Wornall. Strong Promise won at first asking, romping by a margin of 10 lengths on June 3 at Evangeline Downs before winning the $150,000 TTA Futurity at Lone Star Park on July 1.

“He’s a really nice horse and I am grateful to Mr. Norman and Jayde for the opportunity to ride him,” said winning pilot Luis Fuentes.

Gelner is the son of conditioner Scott Gelner and is a young horseman to watch. The 22-year-old has only been training for two years and has already topped his 2022 win and earning stats in the first month of this year. 

“I thank Robbie (Norman) and my great team,” said the young trainer. “My dad picked Strong Promise in the (2021) Texas Thoroughbred 2-Year-Old Sale,” said Gelner. “He went for $125,000, but we knew from his first breeze at Copper Crown that he had talent.” 

The third-generation horseman is off to a sensational start, and Robbie Norman was proud of both Jayde and his undefeated juvenile.

“That was a big purchase, but he has paid that off already,” stated Norman. “We feel he has a very bright future. 

Good and Stout rallied for second under jockey C J McMahon, followed by El Dinero, also bred by  J. Adcock and Hume Wornall  and Deal With it Daddy, who ran second in the D.S. Shine Futurity at Evangeline Downs.


Tap Galore Outduels her Stablemate in the $75,000 Louisiana Cup Juvenile Fillies

Tap Galore takes Louisiana Cup Juvenile Fillies. Ann Switalski Photography

A field of 10 accredited 2-year-old Louisiana-bred fillies, competed in the $75,000 Louisiana Cup Juvenile Fillies Several first-time winners will face off in the five and one-half main track sprint.

The victory went to Thompson Racing, LLC (Stephen F. Thompson)’s Tap Galore who broke maiden for trainer Jayde Gelner. The filly by Tapiture was bred by   J. Adcock and Hume Wornell and exited a fifth place finish in the D.S. “Shine” Futurity at Evangeline Downs. She crossed the wire in 1:06.18 over her stablemate Thompson Racing LLC,’s Diamond Deal.

Joel Dominguez had the call and studied her previous two races.

“I watched the replays and wanted to be patient,” he explained. “I felt she would run better laying off the speed and she responded.”

 Viv’s Wild Aces, who won here on June 5 for trainer Joe Duhon, ran third followed by Running Argument who had won the first two races of her career.

The victory by Tap Galore was the eighth stakes win this year for Gelner and he took a minute to reflect on the success in just his second year of training.

“I believe in setting goals, so when we were entered in four stakes today, I felt we would have solid chances,” said Gelner. “I am grateful to my owner and proud of the hard work of our team. I will continue to have high expectations and strive to achieve success for our barn.”



Woods N Water Defeated a Deep Field in the $75,000 Louisiana Cup Turf Classic

Woods N Water wins Louisiana Cup Turf Classic. Ann Switalski Photography

The $75,000 Louisiana Turf Cup Classic attracted 12 runners going a mile and one-sixteenth over the Franks Turf Course. Several proven turf stakes winners, including 2021 champion Carlea’s Dream and Budro Talking, who captured the trophy in 2020, are entered.

However, there was a new turf star entered and Woods N Water claimed the victory under a very confident ride by Tommy Pompell. Owned by Richard Painter and John Dewberry, the 4-year-old son of Palace has been very accomplished on the turf, winning the $100,000 Louisiana Legends Turf at Evangeline Downs for trainer Lee Thomas.

Sent off as the favorite, the bay gelding sat off the pace in the early stages of the race, rating behind horses, until Pompell guided through an opening in the stretch and surged to the wire in 1:42.12.

Thomas was in California attending his wife’s grandmother’s 99th birthday party, but did not miss a moment of the race. 

“That was a beautiful ride by Tommy,” said Thomas. “I was a little nervous about his first start on the Louisiana Downs turf course and of course, about the heat. But he had enough to finish and just keeps getting better on the grass.”

Oh My Aching Arch rallied for second, followed by Silver Galaxy and Real City Speed. Budro Talking, winner of the 2020 Louisiana Cup Turf Classic ran fifth with defending champion Carlea’s Dream, finishing seventh.

This was the fifth win in nine starts this year for Woods N Water ($5.60), who has banked $244,455 in 19 lifetime starts. He was bred by Orange Grove Thoroughbreds Inc. and Richard Painter.



X Clown Springs the Upset in the $75,000 Louisiana Cup Sprint

X Clown upsets Louisiana Cup Sprint. Ann Switalski Photography

The $75,000 Louisiana Turf Cup Sprint on the program with  a solid field of nine sprinters traveling six furlongs on the fast main track.

It marked the biggest upset of the card with X Clown lighting up the tote board at 25-1 as he broke like a rocket and never relinquished his lead under jockey Devin Magnon. The 6-year-old gelding by Jimmy Creed was clocked in 1:11.06.

Owned by BW and HTS Stables, LLC (Jay Sheffield and Ray Mabile) and Jason G. Grudzien and trained by Rylee Magnon, was claimed for $20,000 in March Rylee and Devin are married and a true “hands-on” racing couple.

“As a trainer, I feel that I do better with older horses,” said Rylee. “We claimed him and gave him a fresh start. Our game plan was to take back and track the speed, but when he broke so well, he ended up being the speed!”

X Clown had been defeated twice by the defending champion Black Sword, but Devin gave credit to his wife for establishing a training routine that X Clown seemed to appreciate.

“He responded very well and got better and better in his works,” explained Devin. “We were concerned that he would be nervous shipping, so Rylee rode in the trailer with him! He stayed calm and broke super. As well as he was traveling, I felt we could outlast the speed and when he switched leads, he just went to running!”

Bred by Michael Villar and Cynthia Villar, X Clown ($52.40) was followed by Pickens, under rider Carlos Lozada and Mike J with Aubrie Green in the saddle finishing in a dead heat with post time favorite Big Chopper. 

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 Ann Switalski Photography


El Dinero upsets colt and gelding division of the D.S. Shine Young Futurity at EVD. Coady Photography


OPELOUSAS, LA –El Dinero blew up the toteboard with a 39-1 shocker in the $70,000 D.S. ‘Shine’ Young Futurity at Evangeline Downs contested over a track rated as fast on Saturday night.

Sonofaship and Cunimbus were among the first runners away from the gate in the futurity, with El Dinero away awkwardly near the back of the pack.  As the field zipped through an opening quarter-mile in 22.17 seconds, Sonofaship had edged forward to gain control with Cunimbus, Deal With It Daddy and Sounds Like Power the closest pursuers.  El Dinero and jockey Juan Vargas were in midpack and had moved to the middle of the track as they began to gain ground on the leaders.

As the field turned into the lane, El Dinero made a sweeping five-wide bid to challenge for the lead.  Striking the front inside the final furlong, the Patrick Devereux, Jr. trainee began to clear off from his rivals and was 2-1/2 lengths in front at the wire.  Deal With It Daddy held well to finish second, just a neck better than a late closing Good and Stout.  Heavily favored Sonofaship, off at odds of 6/5, faded to fourth.  The running time for the 5-1/2 furlongs was 1:06.54.

Owned by TAV Enterprises, LLC (John Tavormina and Leslie Rohre), El Dinero earned $42,000 in winning for the first time in his second career start.  His bankroll jumps to $45,740 with the stake victory.

The 2-year-old was bred in Louisiana by the partnership of J. Adcock and Hume Wornall.  The dark bay, or brown, gelding was sired by El Deal and is out of the Forestry mare Money for Makeup.

El Dinero paid a whopping $80.80 for the $2 win price, $27 to place and $14 to show.  Deal With It Daddy returned $7.60 to place, $4.80 to show and Good and Stout paid $8 to show.

Bron and Brow, Free Like a Girl Win Respective Divisions of 2021 Louisiana Futurity

How High Can He Fly? Bron and Brow Shows Offensive Power Breaking His Maiden Against Stakes Company

Bron And Brow with Adam Beschizza aboard wins the 58th running of the Louisiana Futurity – Colts and Gelding Division at Fair Grounds. Hodges Photography / Lou Hodges, Jr.






Charco leads The Louisiana Futurity early, but proves 2nd best

New Orleans (December 31, 2021) – On the last day of his 2-year old campaign, Bron and Brow proves he has the makings of a horse on the rise. Twenty days after assistant trainer David Carroll said “He won’t be a maiden for long,” Gary Barber’s colt’s maiden win comes against stakes company in the $107,000 Louisiana Futurity over 6 furlongs on the dirt.

Second favorite 2.30-1 Charco was sent to the lead by jockey James Graham and he blitzed the opening fractions in 22.09 and 45.59 before tightly-pressing .90-1 favorite Bron and Brow drove by hitting the top of the paint in 57.77 and kept on for the score while drifting out to beat the buzzer in 1:10.85. Third favorite 2.50-1 Big Scully ran third throughout but never threatened, finishing 9 ¼ lengths back.

“He broke out a little right to be fair,” winning jockey Adam Beschizza said. “This horse is super talented and I know David [Carroll] and Mark [Casse] have believed in him since day one. We just had to overcome a little adversity there with the inquiry. He’s got a lot to learn, but he seemed to come out of that race very unexhausted so that just tells me he has a lot left in the locker there.”

Bred in Louisiana by J. Addock & Hume Wornall, after taking three shots Bron and Brow is 3-1-1-1 earning $91,820. After a third in November at Del Mar, this colt by Gormley was transferred from Peter Miller’s barn to the care of Mark Casse. Bron and Brow finished a troubled trip ½ length 2nd in the Louisiana Champions Day Juvenile Sprint. Like his namesakes, LA Lakers power-duo Lebron James and Anthony Davis, Bron and Brow has loads of talent–unlike them, he is still proving green in his races. After breaking out from the gate and bumping his neighbor, the stewards called for an inquiry, which was not acted on. Passing Charco and finishing in the stretch, he ran erratically in the stretch.

“We got the win in the end, ” assistant trainer David Carroll said. “A little worrisome there but he’s a very talented colt. I’m very happy for Mr. Barber, a great way to end the year. This horse has got a lot of talent–very unlucky in his last race when he got the bad trip but he went very fast as well. Today was a much different race. Adam rode a great race, very aware of the horse he rode last time for Mr. Asmussen [Charco] and he kept him on his target.”

Again, similar to his namesakes: he’s won his first, but can he hang another stakes banner?

“We feel there is more to come from this horse,” Carroll said. “Mark [Casse] and Mr. Barber will talk about two turns, but there is a race early next month if they wish to take advantage of it, going a mile, so maybe that will be his next race, but that’s something they will talk about–we’ll enjoy this race for now.”

The connections believe Bron and Brow can fly higher as he turns the page to his 3-year-old campaign. – Kilroy



Girls Futurity Winner Home “Free” Down the Stretch

Free Like A Girl with Chasey Deville Ponier aboard wins the 55th running of the Louisiana Futurity – Filly Division at Fair Grounds. Hodges Photography / Jan Brubaker


Free Like a Girl wins her fourth stake of the season in runaway fashion


Making amends for her narrow defeat as the favorite in the Louisiana Lassie on Champions Day, Gerald Bruno, Jr., Carl Deville and Chasey Pomier’s (trainer) Free Like a Girl left no doubt as to who was best in the $109,600 Louisiana Futurity for the 2-year-old fillies.

Away alertly as the 1.30-1 favorite, the daughter of El Deal stalked the early pace of Serape (11.70-1) though fractions of 22.33 and 46.29. Cut loose by regular rider Pedro Cotto, Jr. at the top of the stretch, she quickly took command, extending her margin of victory to 6 ¼ lengths under the wire in a final time of 1:11.11 for six furlongs. Wholelottamo (14.20-1) outkicked Serape for the place spot. Half Page was scratched at the gate.

“We stuck with the plan to get her close to the pace,” Cotto, Jr. said. “When I got a chance, I put her in the clear, and she just did her thing today. I don’t think she’s even as good as she can get right now. That’s one thing that has impressed me about her. I think she’s just going to get better when she gets older.”

Sent off as the 2-1 favorite on Champions Day, Free Like a Girl was stuck in tight between horses while stalking from mid-pack. She fought on gamely to the wire, only to get swooped by a deep closing 93-1 longshot in Buckley Bunny late. On Friday, she left no doubt who was best in front of her many supporters.

“We are very grateful to have her,” trainer Chasey Deville Pomier said. “She’s been amazing for us. The breeders, all of the connections. We’ve had a great year with her for sure. My dad owns a part, my daughter is in on it, me, the other owner used to be dad’s assistant when I was young, we’ve known the breeders for a while, so yeah, it’s just a whole big ‘ole thing.”

The winner of the D. S. Shine Young Futurity at Evangeline and the Louisiana Jewel and the open company My Trusty Cat at Delta Downs in advance of the Lassie, Free Like a Girl has now won five times from 10 starts since debuting on May 8 at Lone Star. Bred by Kim Renee Stover & Lisa Osborne and purchased for just $5,500 as a yearling, she has now banked $281,473. She’s run a lot and accomplished quite a bit in less than eight months, but shows no signs of slowing down.

“Every day she trains great, we go day-to-day with her, as long as she’s training good, we keep going,” Pomier said. – Kristufek


Louisiana-bred Picks Up Pieces to Stay Unbeaten in Jersey Girl

GI Belmont S.-winning conditioner Brad Cox grabbed one more stakes win for the road Sunday as unbeaten Australasia rallied past rivals to earn a first black-type victory out of Louisiana-bred company. An 8 1/4-length MSW winner at Fair Grounds last November, the dark bay reeled off a pair of dominant stakes scores at Delta Downs before annexing the two-turn Crescent City Oaks back in NOLA Mar. 20. She picked up another big check when shortening up for a GI Kentucky Oaks day allowance at Churchill Apr. 30, but was facing four talented foes who each owned a recent figure edge over her.

Australasia caboosed the field early after a brief delay when favorite Miss Brazil broke through the gate. Bella Sofia clicked off splits of :22.55 and :45.68 and the chalk challenged that one in upper stretch as Australasia still had work to do out wide. It still looked like it’d be one of those two to midstretch, but Australasia soon caught the eye and came flying with a well-timed ride to score by a widening margin.


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Australasia Takes Louisiana Jewel S.

Louisiana Jewel Stakes
Delta Downs, 1-12-21, 7.5 furlongs
3YO Accredited Louisiana Bred Fillies, $75,000

Australasia captures the 2021 Louisiana Jewel at Delta Downs
Australasia captures the 2021 Louisiana Jewel at Delta Downs

Sky Kingdom–Ayala Strand
Breeder: J. Adcock & Hume Wornall
Owner: Jean Etienne Dubois
Trainer: Brad H. Cox
Jockey: Diego Saenz

Wicked Strong–Inaword
Breeder: Gulf Haven Farm, LLC
Owner: Gulf Haven Farms
Trainer: Ronnie P. Ward
Jockey: Joel Dominguez

Tecate Time
Karakontie (JPN)–Urge to Splurge
Breeder: Carrol J. Castille
Owner: Whispering Oaks Farm LLC
Trainer: Steven B. Flint
Jockey: Gerard Melancon


VINTON, LA. – In the first of two stakes hosted by Delta Downs  Tuesday afternoon, Jean Etinne Dubois’s Australasia won the $75,000 Louisiana Jewel.


Austrailasia captures the 2021 Louisiana Jewel at Delta Downs
Australasia captures the 2021 Louisiana Jewel at Delta Downs


The win by Australasia came in smashing style as the Brad Cox trainee pressed the early pace set by Taylor Avenue and others before taking off in the lane under jockey Diego Saenz and winning by a widening six lengths.

The pace of the race was solid as Taylor Avenue, Inawic and Non Binding all vied for the early lead while covering the opening quarter mile in 23.49 seconds and the half in 48.52. As the field entered the second turn of the race, Australasia took command and never looked back, recording the easy win. Inawic stayed on for second while Tecate Time rallied for third, another 3 ¼-lengths behind the runner up.  

Australasia covered the 7-1/2 furlongs of the Louisiana Jewel in a time of 1:34.35 while racing over a fast track.

Now undefeated in two lifetime starts, Australasia has a bankroll of $73,200 after earning $45,000 for her effort in the first stakes race of her career. She broke her maiden at first asking on November 26 at Fair Grounds Race Course in New Orleans. 

Australasia is a 3-year-old dark bay or brown filly by Sky Kingdom, out of the Tiznow mare Ayala Strand. She was bred in Louisiana by J. Adcock & Hume Wornall. 

Sent to the gate as the odds-on favorite at odds of 2-5, Australasia paid $2.80 to win, $2.20 to place and $2.10 to show. Inawic was worth $10.20 to place and $7 to show. Tecate Time returned $3.60 to show.


Midnight Fantasy Wins $125,000 Spring Fever Stakes at Oaklawn Park

Spring Fever Stakes
Oaklawn Park, 2-29-20, 5.5 furlongs
Four-Year-Olds and Upwards, Fillies and Mares, $125,000

Midnight Fantasy wins Spring Fever Stakes at Oaklawn Park. Coady Photography

Midnight Lute-St. Jean
Breeder: J. Adcock & Hume Wornall
Owner: Carl R. Moore Management LLC
Trainer: Joe Sharp
Jockey: Martin Garcia

Amy’s Challenge
Artie Schiller-Jump Up
Breeder: Sierra Farm (KY)
Owner: Novogratz Racing Stable Inc.
Trainer: McLean Robertson
Jockey: Alex L. Canchari

What A Fox
Bernardini-Twisted Tale
Breeder: Gary & Mary West Stables Inc (KY)
Owner: Lawrence P. Roman
Trainer: Robertino Diodoro
Jockey: Orlando Mojica


Carl R. Moore Management LLC’s Midnight Fantasy gained the lead at the top of the stretch and had just enough left to hold off defending champion Amy’s Challenge by a neck in Saturday’s $125,000 Spring Fever Stakes before a crowd of 20,000.

Ridden by Martin Garcia, Midnight Fantasy settled behind the early leaders in fourth as Mt. Brave held a narrow advantage through opening fractions of :21.43 and :45.10 for the first half mile. The winner began to make her move rounding the turn for home and was well clear of the field until Amy’s Challenge rallied late. She completed the 5 ½ furlongs in 1:03.61 over a fast track.

“She was doing really good,” Garcia said. “That was exactly where I wanted to be. I was able to stay on the outside and when I asked her to go, she just took off. It was really nice.”

What a Fox finished third and was followed by Mt. Brave, Artistic Diva and 4-5 favorite Break Even.


The victory was the second of the day for owner Carl Moore and trainer Joe Sharp and third for jockey Martin Garcia.

When asked if he expected to win two races Saturday, Moore replied, “No. I was just hoping to hit the board twice. It was a tough race. I mean that race right there, she beat some good horses. She ran huge. Joe (Sharp) and I, we talked about it (Spring Fever) and we saw it up here. The distance – she likes 5 1/2 (furlongs). I think she’ll stretch out and go farther, too. We’re trying to decide. She’s doing so good short.”

Midnight Fantasy, a 4-year-old Midnight Lute filly, improved her record to 5-3-0 in 12 career starts and has now earned $327,180. She returned $19.40, $6.60 and $3.80 at odds of 8-1.

Live racing resumes Sunday with a 1:30 p.m. first post.