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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HARRAH’S LOUISIANA DOWNS TO DEBUT NEW SUPER TUESDAY PICK 4 WAGER ON JUNE 25

 Indiana Grand Racing and Casino Partners for Four Races Each Week Through September 24

 

Bossier City, LA – A new wager, the Super Tuesday Pick 4, will debut on Tuesday, June 25.  The wager teams two Caesar’s Entertainment racetracks: Harrah’s Louisiana Downs and Indiana Grand Racing and Casino, which both offer Tuesday matinee racing programs. Two races from each property will be selected for the Super Tuesday, Pick 4 wager: races six and seven from Indiana Grand and races two and three from Harrah’s Louisiana Downs.

 

Both racetracks will offer their fans a free Pick 4 mini-program with past performances on the four races as well as selections from analysts Rachel McLaughlin and John McGary.

 

The Super Tuesday Pick 4 Wager with a reduced takeout of 15%,  will debut on Tuesday, June 25, pending approval from the Louisiana State Racing Commission (LSRC) at their June 24 meeting. It is expected to be offered each Tuesday through September 24.

 

“We are excited about this wager,” said Eric Halstrom, Harrah’s Louisiana Downs vice president of operations.  “Our horseplayers have been highly receptive to handicapping contests and innovative wagers, so we believe they will embrace the Super Tuesday Pick 4 with enthusiasm. It is a tremendous opportunity for both properties to attract new fans and follow the action in Louisiana and Indiana.”

 

Fan Vote for the Harrah’s Louisiana Downs Racing Hall of Fame Begins on June 15

Harrah’s Louisiana Downs recently announced the formation of its first Racing Hall of Fame. It will honor the achievements of horse owners, trainers, jockeys, horses and property contributors who have played pivotal roles in the rich history of Harrah’s Louisiana Downs.  Members of the first class are John Franks, Edward J. DeBartolo, Sr., Frank L. Brothers, C. W. Walker,  Ronald Ardoin, Larry Snyder, Sunday Silence and Free Spirits Joy.

 

Beginning on Saturday, June 15, the public will be able to cast a vote for an additional inductee in the category of trainer, jockey, racing contributor and horse.  Voters can select ONE of the following nominees in each category  by clicking on the following link on the Harrah’s Louisiana Downs website:  http://shout.lt/bQZNV.  

 

Voting will close on Saturday, June 29 with the Racing Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony slated for Saturday, July 13.

 

 

Caesars Rewards Handicapping Challenge Set for Saturday, June 22

Caesars Entertainment horse racing properties – Harrah’s Louisiana Downs , Indiana Grand Racing & Casino, Harrah’s Hoosier Park, and Harrah’s Philadelphia are pleased to announce the first-ever Caesars Rewards Handicapping Challenge.

 

The Caesars Rewards Handicapping Challenge will take place at four Caesar’s properties, including Harrah’s Louisiana Downs. The entry fee is $150 and participants must be 21 or over. The format for the challenge will require contestants to make 12 $2 win and place fictional wagers on the designated challenge races. Contestants must place a win and place wager on one horse in 12 mandatory races out of 20 available from Harrah’s Louisiana Downs, Harrah’s Philadelphia, Indiana Grand, and Harrah’s Hoosier Park

 

The first-place winner in the Caesars Rewards Handicapping Challenge will walk away with $20,000, a seat at the $3,000,000 estimated National Horseplayers Championship, and a chance at an additional $1 million cash prize in the event of a double victory. First-place winner must be eligible to participate in the NHC in order to receive the NHC seat.  For more information about the National Horseplayers Championship, visit www.nhctour.com. The $1 million prize will be awarded either as an annuity that pays $25,000 per year for forty years without interest or as a discounted lump sum payment of $550,000, which represents the approximate present value of the annuity. Second place will be awarded $10,000 while the third-place winner will take home $1,500. There will be additional cash prizes for fourth through tenth place.

 

For further information, visit the contest page on the Harrah’s Louisiana Downs website.

 

Trainer Joey Foster Off to a Good Start at Harrah’s Louisiana Downs

Trainer Joseph M. Foster having a solid meet this season at Harrah’s Louisiana Downs. “Joey” as he is known to his fellow horsemen and racing fans, is the current leader in the trainer standings with 14 wins since the 2019 Thoroughbred meet began on May 4.

 

Over the past 27 years, the native of Arkansas, has saddled 5,409 horses, winning 736 races with purses topping $11.8 million. Foster wins the majority of his races at the claiming and allowance levels. He won the 2016 and 2017 training titles at Louisiana downs, finishing second last year to Karl Broberg,  the top conditioner in the nation by wins.

 

“Everything’s going well,” said Foster. “Our horses are doing fine and it’s a good start for the meet. After Lone Star wraps, Broberg will ship in 40 head and pass me!”

 

Foster has been impressed with some of the new programs offered this year to attract more fans to live racing at Harrah’s Louisiana Downs.

 

“They are trying some new things this year,” acknowledged Foster. “As a horseman, I appreciate every attempt to get us attention and keep racing going in our region.  It can be tough when several racetracks within three hours of each other are running at the same time.  But my hat goes off to Eric Halstrom for coming up with these contests and new ideas.”

 

 

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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HARRAH’S LOUISIANA DOWNS LEADING TRAINER JOEY FOSTER RETURNS WITH A HEAVY HEART

Bossier City, LA – The 2018 Thoroughbred racing season at Harrah’s Louisiana Downs got underway on Saturday, May 5.  It was a bittersweet beginning of the meet for 2016-2017 leading trainer Joey Foster.

 

The Vinton, Louisiana resident topped all conditioners with 301 starters and a record of 68 wins, 55 seconds and 48 third-place finishes in 2017.  He had won the 2016 meet with 41 wins, after finished third in the standings in 2015 with 39 wins.  His stakes winners last year included Big Game Baby, in the $75,000 Elge Rasberry and Illusionofreality, who kept her four-race win streak alive in the $50,000 Louisiana Cup Distaff.

And while he hopes to continue to build on his momentum this season, Foster, along with the entire Louisiana Downs racing community, faced an unspeakable tragedy last month involving one of his exercise riders, Amaniel Ortiz.  A tornado hit Haughton, a community just east of Bossier City, around midnight, at the Hill Crest Mobile Home & RV Park on Highway 80. His daughter, Carly Stephanie Ortiz Osorio, 2, was killed when a large tree fell on the family’s camper.

“It was beyond what words can describe,” said Foster. “It’s stuff that you see on TV but can never imagine that it can happen to someone you know.”

A memorial service took place on Tuesday, April 17 at Hill Crest Memorial Funeral Home in Haughton and Carly was laid to rest.  Ortiz and his wife,  Delfa, have a 1-year-old daughter named Maddie.

Ortiz has been employed by Foster for the past eight years. Affectionately dubbed “Shorty” by the trainer, he is now back to morning works at the barn.

“He works for me from 6:00 to 8:00 am and then gets home,” explained Foster. “Mornings are really tough for Delfa and he needs to be there for her.”

Foster credits Chaplain Jimmy Sistrunk and everyone at Louisiana Downs for banding together to assist the Ortiz family.

“That part was amazing,” added Foster. “You expected everyone here to show their support, but people all over the country responded with donations and letters.”

Sistrunk has been in daily contact with the Ortiz family and admits that in his fifteen years of serving as a Chaplain, he had never dealt with such a heartbreaking catastrophe. However, he was encouraged by the unprecedented outpouring of support, both locally and nationally for the Ortiz family.

“It was so touching for me to see the generosity and compassion from people all over the United States when they heard about Carly,” said Sistrunk. “People in the racing community are always quick to lend a helping hand, but this was very special.”

Sistrunk adds that donations are still needed for furniture and many other items that were destroyed by the force of the tornado. Anyone wishing to assist the family can mail a check payable to the Winner’s Circle Fund for the Ortiz Family and send it to the Winner’s Circle Church, P.O. Box 157, Princeton, LA, 71067.

John McGary Back as the Voice of Louisiana Downs

Track announcer John McGary returned to the booth for his fourth season at Louisiana Downs. McGary, 52, was the announcer at Evangeline Downs for ten years and now divides his time between Louisiana Downs and announcing the races at Zia Park in Hobbs, New Mexico in the fall. He and his wife, Julie, make their home in Bossier City.

 

“We had a great opening day,” said McGary. “There was a fantastic turnout on Saturday for the Derby and I called my first turf race on the Monday card; the course looked really good!

 

McGary is looking forward to the marquee race of the Louisiana Downs meet, the Grade 3, $300,00 Super Derby, which is set for September 2.

 

“I love the decision to move it to the Sunday of Labor Day weekend,” he added. “It’s perfectly placed on a major stakes weekend. It will give us an opportunity to really shine.”

 

Mother’s Day Diamond Dig This Saturday

Harrah’s Louisiana Downs will celebrate Mother’s Day on Saturday, May 12.  Live racing gets underway at 3:15pm. Mothers can swipe their Total Rewards card in to the Diamond Dig drawing at the Racing Kiosk located across from Racing Publications. Ten entrants will be drawn for a chance to dig on the racetrack for a Diamond Ring valued at $2,500! One lucky Mom will celebrate with the gorgeous diamond and nine others will walk away with a Cubic Zirconia Ring. The Mother’s Day Diamond Dig will take place following the seventh and final race of the day.

 

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 September 27.

 

The 84-day meet will include 14 stakes highlighted by two major events, Louisiana Cup Day on Saturday, August 4 and Super Derby Day on Sunday, September 2. As previously announced one major change for the upcoming season is that the Grade 3, $300,000 Super Derby will return to the main track at a distance of mile and one-sixteenth on Sunday, September 2.

 

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.

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.

For further information, please contact:

Trent McIntosh  |  Assistant General Manager
318-752-6980
8000 East Texas Street | Bossier City, LA 71111
www.caesars.com
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HANDLE INCREASE OF 12% NOTED IN THE THE 2017 THOROUGHBRED RACING MEET AT HARRAH’S LOUISANA DOWNS

Joey Foster, Gerardo Mora and Jorge Gomez Earn Titles

Bossier City, LA – The 2017 Thoroughbred racing season at Harrah’s Louisiana Downs concluded with a nine-race card on Wednesday, September 27.  The 84-day meet, which got underway on May 6, wrapped with positive gains in handle and officials were pleased with the transition to a Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday racing schedule.

Louisiana Downs handled $67 million throughout the meet, an increase of 12% in handle from the 2016 live Thoroughbred racing season.

“We are grateful for the continued support of our horsemen throughout the 2017 meet,” said Trent McIntosh, Louisiana Downs assistant general manager. “The change in our schedule was well received by horseplayers on track and by simulcast fans watching and wagering across the country.”

Sunny skies graced both major racing events, the Louisiana Cup Day on Saturday, August 5 and Super Derby Day on Saturday, September 9.  Flurry Racing Stables Mr. Misunderstood captured both the Prelude and $200,000 Super Derby and will make his next start in Saturday’s   Jefferson Cup Stakes at Churchill Downs, according to trainer Brad Cox.             

Joey Foster Repeats as Leading Trainer

Joey Foster has been firing on all cylinders this meet and defended his title in commanding fashion. The Vinton, Louisiana resident topped all conditioners with 301 starters and a record of 68 wins, 55 seconds and 48 third-place finishes. Foster was the meet’s top trainer last year with 41 wins, after finished third in the standings in 2015 with 39 wins.  His stakes winners this year included Big Game Baby, in the $75,000 Elge Rasberry and Illusionofreality, who kept her four-race win streak alive in the $50,000 Louisiana Cup Distaff.

“I am very blessed to have this success,” said Foster. “This meet has been great for me and my owners. Both track surfaces are well maintained and safe. I have to commend (track superintendent) Billy McKeever for doing a super job. To me, Louisiana Downs is the prettiest track in the state and I am grateful to have won the title again this year.”

H.B. Johnson finished in second place with 27 wins. Ronnie Ward saddled 18 winners and Sarah Delany rounded out the top four conditioners with 16 wins.

 

Gerardo Mora Wins His First Louisiana Downs Leading Rider Title

Gerardo Mora made the most of his second year competing in Bossier City topping a very competitive jockey colony to emerge as the meet’s top rider. The 25-year-old jockey is respected for his well-timed finishes and versatility in mastering both the turf and main track and finished the meet with a record of 477 starts, 77 wins, 81 seconds and 65 thirds.

Born in Palestine, Texas, Mora had family ties to racing as his uncle, Adrian Ramos, was a veteran rider on the Louisiana and Texas circuit. He made his debut at Sam Houston Race Park as an apprentice in 2011 and earned two leading rider titles there as well as Retama Park. Mora was third in the standings last year, but had plenty of business this year and was well represented by his agent, Ronald Ardoin, who was one of the most successful jockeys in Louisiana.

“I want to thank each of the trainers, owners for believing in me,” said Mora. “Last year was a good start for me at Louisiana Downs. When I started the meet, horsemen knew me and gave me a lot of opportunities and Ronald did a great job with my book. He’s the man!” 

Aubrie Green continued her strong showing, beginning the meet as an apprentice, but losing no business once she lost her bug. She finished in second place with 64 trips to the winner’s circle.Richard Eramia, who was on top for much of the season before he departed to ride at Remington Park, was third with 59 victories.  Jose Guerrero rounded out the top four with 57 wins.

Next up for Mora is Delta Downs for their meet which gets underway on October 18.

 

Jorge Gomez Honored as Leading Owner  

The very tight battle for leading owner honors concluded on the final day of the meet with Jorge Gomez finishing on top with 12 wins.  Horses owned by Gomez made 114 starts, with Ty Diesel, Blue Choice and Concho posting multiple wins.  This was the first leading owner title for Gomez, who resides in Bossier City, Louisiana and will head to Fair Grounds next.

“I want to thank my crew and my jockey, Alexander Castillo,” said Gomez. “They each helped me in winning my first leading owner title.”

Red Rose Racing followed closely with 11 wins and Patti Turner, Beverly Burress, Jamie C.  Pastor, William K. Harris, Dream Walkin Farms, Inc., Terrell Jarret, Jr. and Anthony Faulk each won nine races each in the 2017 Thoroughbred meet.

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.

For further information, please contact:

Trent McIntosh  |  Assistant General Manager
318-752-6980
8000 East Texas Street | Bossier City, LA 71111
www.caesars.com
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TRAINER JOEY FOSTER SITTING ON A RECORD YEAR AT HARRAH’S LOUISIANA DOWNS

Bossier City, LA – Trainer Joseph M. Foster is a force to be reckoned with at Louisiana Downs.    “Joey” as he is known to fellow racetrackers, is a man of few words, but a work ethic not surpassed by many.

Well-known at the Bossier City racetrack, Foster stands alone at the top of the trainer standings for the 2017 Thoroughbred racing season, which began on May 6. He has enjoyed an enduring history at Louisiana Downs with a myriad of wins, including his first career victory by Striker J. scoring an upset at 32-1 on May 14, 1992.

Over the past 25 years, the native of Arkansas, has saddled 4,705 horses, winning 643 races with purses topping $10 million. It took Foster ten years to reach the $1 million mark in earnings, but he has done that for the past six years with runners mostly at the claiming and allowance levels. Louisiana Downs, Delta Downs, Evangeline Downs and Oaklawn Park have been Foster’s mainstay tracks, but he also has fond memories of running at Aksarben in Omaha, Nebraska.

“Aksarben was special,” said Foster. “It was run by a non-profit group and the people in Nebraska loved racing. The support to horsemen was unbelievable. They kept the place very clean; would come paint the barn area, mow the lawn and do whatever they could do to help. Legends of racing ran there and the fans were amazing.”

The highlight of the Louisiana Downs meet his year came on Louisiana Cup Day, Saturday, August 5. Illusionofreality, a 4-year-old daughter of Yankee Gentleman, notched her fourth win a row and first stakes of her career for Foster and owners Maury and Leslie Harrington.

 

Drawing the 13 hole in a mile and one-sixteenth turf event is not what most horsemen would ask for, but with nice rating from regular rider Alexander Castillo, Foster’s talented filly was able to hold off a late charge from Safari Calamari and become a stakes winner.

 

“It worked for us that day,” said Foster, said of the post. “I was really happy to win a stakes for the Harringtons. They are two of the nicest people I have ever known and have been with me for a while.”

 

Maury Harrington purchased Hometown Gossip, a filly by Milwaukee Brew for $7,500 at the 2011 Breeders’ Sales Company of Louisiana Yearling Sale. She earned over $200,000 for the Harringtons and Foster before she was claimed.  Foster enjoys that part of racing and points to Drinking Fund as one of his most astute claims. He cites his good fortune on January 20, 2012 at Delta Downs when he claimed the Louisiana-bred filly for $5,000.

 

“We claimed her for $5,000 and she won over $285,000,” stated Foster.

 

Nationally accomplished conditioner Brad Cox won three of the nine stakes on Louisiana Cup Day, but it was also a very good showing for the local horsemen.  H. B. Johnson, currently second in the standings, saddled Berniestrike, winner of the $50,000 Louisiana Cup Turf Classic and Sunny Oak wired the field in the $50,000 Louisiana Cup Filly and Mare Sprint for Louisiana horseman Edward Johnston.

 

“It’s always nice to win the bigger races at your home track,” added Foster. “H. B. had a good win and Eddie won with his filly too.”

 

Illusionofreality will train up to the $60,000 River Cities on Super Derby Day.

 

Foster has already surpassed his 41 winners from last year’s leading trainer title at Louisiana Downs, and looks very likely to pick up his second trophy when the meet concludes on September 27. He was third in 2015 with 39 wins, so slowly, but surely, Foster has risen up the ranks.

 

“We’ve been knocking on the door,” acknowledged Foster. “I’ve been down here for a lot of years, so it’s nice to see things going well.”

 

Special Noon Post Time for Super Derby Day

The marquee day of the 2017 Louisiana Downs Thoroughbred meet is Super Derby Day onSaturday, September 9.  Officials announced that post time for the stakes-filled card will be 12:00 pm (Central).  Nominations will close on August 26 for the following featured events:

$60,000 Unbridled                                          3 YO & Up                             1 1/16 miles (T)

$60,000 River Cities                                       3 YO & Up F&M                    1 1/16 miles (T)

$60,000 Happy Ticket                                    2 YO Fillies                             One Mile (T)

$60,000 Sunday Silence                                 2 YO                                       One Mile (T)

$50,000 Tellike                                               3 YO & Up F&M                   5 Furlongs (T)

$50,000 Need for Speed                                 3 YO & Up                             5 Furlongs (T)

$200,000 SUPER DERBY                             3 YO                                       1 1/16 miles (T)

Louisiana Downs Trainer and Jockey Standings

Through August 14, last year’s leading trainer Joey Foster continues to hold a commanding lead over his fellow conditioners with 44 wins. H. B. Johnson is second with 21 wins to date and Ronnie Ward is in sole possession of third place with 13 wins. Donald Melancon follows in fourth; he has each saddled 12 winners.

 

Richard Eramia continues to lead his fellow riders with 59 wins. Gerardo Mora won nine races last week and is in second place in the standings with 49 trips to the winner’s circle. Apprentice Aubrie Green has piloted 43 winners and Jose Guerrero follows closely with 42 wins.

Patti Turner tops the leaderboard in the owner standings with nine wins.  Jamie C. Pastor moved into second-place with eight victories and Beverly Burress, Jorge Gomez, Red Rose Racing, Maury and Leslie Harrington, Phyllis Hodges, Anthony Faulk and Terrell Jarrett, Jr. each have won seven races in the 2017 Thoroughbred meet.          

            

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.

For further information, please contact:

Trent McIntosh  |  Assistant General Manager
318-752-6980
8000 East Texas Street | Bossier City, LA 71111
www.caesars.com
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