December Calendar of Events from the LTBA

 Louisiana Thoroughbred Breeders Association would like to share the following list of dates of interest to Louisiana horsemen and women.

Brought to you by Whispering Oaks Farm,  and Louisiana Thoroughbred Breeders Association. Click images to link to more information

Dec 3

  • Louisiana Champions Day Entry Day
  • Pan Zareta Stakes, New Orleans Fair Grounds

Dec 9

  • LTBA Board of Directors Meeting, 2:00 p.m., HBPA Main Office, Gentilly Blvd., New Orleans
  • The Magic City Classic, New Orleans Fair Grounds

Dec 10

  • 32st Annual Louisiana Champions Day, 8 stakes for Louisiana Bred Thoroughbreds,  New Orleans Fair Grounds, 1st Post 1:15 p.m.
  • Louisiana Champions Day, Race Central, 12:00 noon through last race, New Orleans Fair Grounds, LTBA Tent. Lunch is served from 1 – 3pm. No Reservations Required. First come first served. Rick Mocklin and Southern Voice to perform 3:00-6:00 p.m.
  • LTBA Scholarship Drawings; four $1,000 scholarships for current college students.

Dec 15

  • Anyone with information about Louisiana Breds winning outside of North America, please contact Roger Heitzmann (

Dec 24

  • Christmas Eve

Dec 25

  • Christmas

Dec 26

  • Road To The Derby Kickoff Day
    Tenacious Stakes, Richard R. Scherer Memorial Stakes, Blushing KD Stakes, Gun Runner Stakes, Untapable Stakes, Buddy Diliberto Memorial Stakes, Joseph E. “Spanky” Broussard Memorial Stakes, Sugar Bowl Stakes, Letellier Memorial Stakes, New Orleans Fair Grounds

Dec 29

  • Rosewater Stakes, Delta Downs, Vinton

Dec 30

  • Boyd Rewards Stakes, Delta Downs, Vinton

Dec 31

  • New Years Eve
  • Louisiana Futurity, Divisions for Fillies and for Colts and Geldings, New Orleans Fair Grounds
  • Woodchopper Stakes, New Orleans Fair Grounds
  • Pago Hop Stakes, New Orleans Fair Grounds
  • Louisiana Stallion Registrations Due
  • Louisiana Futurity Nominations Due (pregnant mares)
  • FINAL DAY to apply for accreditation of 2022 Louisiana Bred foal at weanling rate  of $75. As of January 1, 2023, 2022 foals become yearlings and the rate increases to $250.

Would you like to sponsor a newsletter? Reach @ 2,500 readers.Please contact Linda 985-386-0360, or Roger 504-947-4676, for cost and availability.

Do you have a date pertaining to Louisiana-breds that you would like included in an upcoming calendar? Please contact Linda 985-386-0360, or Roger 504-947-4676, roger@louisianabred.comfor consideration.


Any questions or need more info call

Roger A. Heitzmann III, Secretary/Treasurer

Louisiana Thoroughbred Breeders Association


Four Scholarships to be Awarded at Louisiana Champions Day Registration On Site at the Fair Grounds on December 10

(NEW ORLEANS, La.) – The Fair Grounds Racecourse & Slots will host Louisiana Champions Day Saturday, December 10, with a post time of 1:15 p.m. CT. Plenty of activities are planned for the date that is one of the biggest day of championship racing for Louisiana breds. Nine races will be contested including six stakes.

The stakes are as follows:

Champions Day Classic: $150,000 Guaranteed – Grade BT

Champions Day Juvenile: $100,000 Guaranteed – Grade BT

Champions Day Ladies Sprint: $100,000 Guaranteed – Grade BT

Champions Day Ladies Starter: $50,000 Guaranteed

Champions Day Distaff: $100,000 Guaranteed – Grade BT

Champions Day Lassie: $100,000 Guaranteed – Grade BT

Champions Day Sprint: $100,000 Guaranteed – Grade BT

Champions Day Starter: $50,000 Guaranteed

In addition on Louisiana Champions Day, the Louisiana Thoroughbred Breeders Association (LTBA) will award four scholarships, each valued at $1,000, to college students.

“We are looking forward to a great day of championship racing at the Fair Grounds,” said Roger Heitzmann, secretary/treasurer for the Louisiana Thoroughbred Breeders Association. “Students, families and friends are invited to attend and enjoy one of Louisiana’s most exciting days of racing. These championship races often help decide our Horse of the Year standings by our members. These are the top Louisiana bred race horses and there is sure to be some exciting finishes.”

Requirements for the scholarship are as follows:

  • Must be a college student enrolled full-time in an Accredited College, University or Community College for Fall 2022 or Spring 2023
  • Scholarships will be awarded by random draw.
  • Must be in good standing with the college or university.
  • Must be present to win at the Winner’s Circle when the announcement is made.
  • Must have college ID and government-issued ID.
  • Must have University ID number or Social Security number.

For Louisiana Champions Day:

  • Registration: 12:15 p,m. – 1:15 p.m. at the designated booth
  • Races begin: 1:15 p.m.
  • Drawing Time: The scholarships will be awarded after the fifth race. Post time for the fifth race is 3:15 p.m. The scholarship will be deposited directly into the student’s account at the college or university. The student is asked to know the name and address of the college that they are attending.

Louisiana Thoroughbred Breeders Association manages the best incentive program for breeding thoroughbreds in the United States. Since the organization formed, this has led to increased purses, better quality horses, and increased interest in racing and breeding horses. The thoroughbred racing and breeding industry generates over $1 billion and employs over 60,000 people in the state of Louisiana.

For more information about Louisiana Thoroughbred Breeders Association visit or call (504) 947-4676.

Fair Grounds Suspends Turf Racing

The Louisiana track entered its meet with plans to begin with limited turf racing.

Officials at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots this week suspended turf racing through at least late December to allow the track’s grass to recover from damage to the inner portion of the course. The New Orleans track entered its meet that began Nov. 18 with plans of a reduced schedule of turf racing, utilizing only its outermost running lane.

According to Gary Palmisano, executive director of racing for Churchill Downs Inc., which owns Fair Grounds, the course did not experience its customary growth this fall. Amid dry conditions, a well the track used for watering the grass was intruded with salt water when the Gulf of Mexico pushed into city freshwater supplies due to drought across much of the areas surrounding the Mississippi River, he said. Saltwater can kill grass.

Initial use of another water source and recent rainfall in the area has allowed officials to irrigate the turf, he added.


Read BloodHorse Article

Louisiana Champions Day Nomination Deadline, Saturday, November 26

Louisiana Champions Day Nomination Deadline, Saturday, November 26


Louisiana Champions Day is a month away. Be sure to get your nominations in by the deadline of Saturday, November 26th. Fair Grounds is in charge of all nominations. Please contact the racing office 504-948-1111 for nominations as well as any questions regarding Louisiana Champions Day.


Fair Grounds is opening their 151st season next Friday November 18th , and will be introducing six new stakes for Accredited Louisiana Breds that weekend. Please note there are several changes to the first condition book due to management of the turf course.

See attached

Fair Grounds Racetrack and Slots Makes Changes to Condition Book 1

The management of Fair Grounds Racetrack and Slots has discovered that there are some problems with the turf course. As a precaution, adjustments have been made to Condition Book 1 in order to resolve the issues. The majority of the turf races moving to the dirt track.  Among the races being moved to the dirt track is the  Louisiana Champions Day Ladies Turf on December 10th. The stakes for Accredited Louisiana Bred three-year-old and upward fillies and mares, was originally to be run at 1 1/16 miles on the turf. The Louisiana Champions Day Turf for Accredited Louisiana Bred three-year-olds and upwards will remain on the turf course.

For Fair Grounds Condition Book 1 Changes, Click Here

Fair Grounds Announces Twelve New Stakes and Earlier Opening Day for the 2022-23 Thoroughbred Racing Season

2022-23 STAKES SCHEDULE jumps to $8.5 MILLION,

the richest in Louisiana’s history


NEW ORLEANS (Tuesday, August 30, 2021) – Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots has announced that 65 stakes worth a combined $8.5 million, up more than $700,000 from last season, will be offered during the 80-day, 2022-23 Thoroughbred meet. In each of the 13 unrestricted, non-graded stakes, purses have been increased by $25,000. In addition, twelve new Louisiana-bred stakes have been added to the schedule, including six over the first two days of the meet.

“We worked with the Louisiana Thoroughbred Breeders Association and Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association to come up with these new stakes,” said Fair Grounds’ racing secretary Scott Jones. “We’re proud to have worked together for the betterment of our sport to create not only the best stakes schedule, but also the richest program we’ve ever offered in the state.”

The traditional Thanksgiving opening will give way to an earlier start to the meet, with opening day slated for Friday, November 18. Six inaugural $75,000 Louisiana-bred stakes will be run over the dirt course on the season’s first two days. Fillies and mares take center stage on Friday in the Happy Ticket Stakes (6 furlongs) and the Big World Stakes (1 mile & 70 yards), both for 3-year-olds and up. The Donovan L. Ferguson Memorial Stakes, a 5 1/2 furlong event for 2-year-olds, will also be carded on opening day. Saturday’s trio of stakes are a mirror-image in terms of age, distance and surface, but these open Louisiana-bred events are highlighted by a 6-furlong dirt sprint named in honor of Ivery Sisters Racing’s multiple stakes winning, fan favorite Monte Man, who retired from racing last year at age nine.

“Coming off a very successful 150th anniversary season we can’t wait to welcome fans back to experience the best winter racing in New Orleans starting in November,” said Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots’ president Doug Shipley. “We have made significant investments at the track which includes our new $1.5 million dollar state-of-the-art Tote board. The new board is one of the best in the country and provides an unparalleled experience. While our season will officially begin on November 18th we will still have our Thanksgiving day celebration that has become a staple for the residents of New Orleans. “

Louisiana Derby Day is scheduled for Saturday, March 25, and it will card eight stakes worth a total of $2.6 million. Run at 1 3/16 miles for the third time last year, the $1,000,000 Louisiana Derby (G2) is traditionally worth 100-40-20-10 points to the top four finishers on the Road to the Kentucky Derby presented by Woodford Reserve (G1). The strong infusion of our sport’s top 3-year-olds training and racing at Fair Grounds was never more apparent than it was last season. Winchell Thoroughbreds’ Epicenter, who won the Gun Runner, Risen Star (G2) and Louisiana Derby (G2) at Fair Grounds in 2021-22, would later run second in both the Kentucky Derby (G1) and Preakness (G1) in advance of victories in both the Jim Dandy (G2) and Travers (G1) at Saratoga. Haskell (G1) winner Cyberknife, Jim Dandy runner-up Zandon, who finished third in the Kentucky Derby and Travers, Ohio Derby-winner Tawny Port, and the 148th Kentucky Derby winner Rich Strike also participated in Fair Grounds’ 2021-22 Road to the Derby series.

Run at 1 1/16 miles, the Grade 2 $400,000 Fair Grounds Oaks awards 100-40-20-10 points en route to the Longines Kentucky Oaks (G1). Last year’s winner Echo Zulu, who was Champion 2-year-old of 2021, finished fourth in the Kentucky Oaks. Second and fourth-place finishers Hidden Connection and Turnerloose also competed in the Run for the Lillies.

“Fair Grounds has proven to be one of the premier winter racing destinations,” Jones said. “Once again last year, the quality of horses who stabled or came through New Orleans have made a huge impact in premier stakes races all over the country. Beginning with the Gun Runner and the Untapable for late season juveniles, our progressive schedule of 3-year-old races for both the boys and girls gives horsemen even more opportunity to develop their horses and compete for excellent purses.”

A pair of high-impact, nine furlong stakes for older horses are also scheduled on the Louisiana Derby Day program — the $500,000 New Orleans Classic (G2) on dirt and the $300,000 Muniz Memorial Stakes (G2) on turf. Four undercard stakes, each worth $125,000, are slated for the lucrative card, including the Tom Benson Memorial for older fillies and mares at 1 1/16 miles on grass and a trio of Louisiana-bred events – the Costa Rising Stakes, a 5 1/2-furlong turf sprint, the Crescent City Derby for 3-year-old males at 1 1/16 miles and the Crescent City Oaks for females at 1 mile and 70 yards. The purses for each of those stakes has been raised $25,000.

After 2021’s successful debut, the Road to the Derby Kickoff Day will keep the same December 26 date, but will card nine stakes, up three from last year. From top to bottom last year’s 13-race card was a holiday feast, featuring Cyberknife breaking his maiden, and the 148th Kentucky Derby exacta, Rich Strike and Epicenter, both participating in the Gun Runner. A pair of 2-year-old stakes with Kentucky Derby and Oaks point implications (10-4-2-1) highlight the 9-stakes race card: the $100,000 Gun Runner contested at 1 1/16ths miles and the 1 mile 70 yards $100,000 Untapable for fillies.

Two long standing juvenile 6-furlong sprint stakes have been moved to the December 26 card, the Sugar Bowl and the Letellier Memorial for fillies.  The 1 mile 70 yards Joseph E. “Spanky” Broussard Memorial Stakes for fillies and mares shifts to this date as well to pair with the Tenacious Stakes at 1 1/16 miles, both for 3-year olds and up. Also for older horses, the Buddy Diliberto Stakes at 1 1/16 miles on turf, the Blushing K.D. for fillies and mares at 1 1/16 miles on turf, and the Richie Scherer Memorial at 5 1/2 furlongs on turf. All nine races will be run for $100,000, which is a $25,000 boost for the Sugar Bowl, Letellier, Broussard, Diliberto, Blushing K.D., and Scherer.

On January 21, Road to the Derby Day features a pair of key 3-year-old events — the $200,000 Lecomte Stakes (G3) which was extended from one mile to 1 1/16 miles three years ago, and the $150,000 Silverbulletday Stakes for fillies at 1 mile and 70 yards. The top four finishers in each race receive 10-4-2-1 points on the Road to the Kentucky Derby and Oaks respectively.

Four stakes for older horses will also be presented on the January 21 program, including the $150,000 Louisiana Stakes (G3) run at 1 1/16 miles, the $100,000 Colonel E.R. Bradley Stakes at 1 1/16 miles over the Stall-Wilson Turf Course, the $100,000 Duncan F. Kenner Stakes at 5 1/2 furlongs on the turf and the $100,000 Marie G. Krantz Memorial Stakes for fillies and mares at 1 1/16 miles on grass.

On February 18, Louisiana Derby Preview Day features a pair of key 3-year-old stakes — the $400,000 Risen Star Stakes (G2), which was extended from 1 1/16 to 1 1/8 miles three years ago, and the $300,000 Rachel Alexandra Stakes presented by Fasig-Tipton (G2), for fillies to be contested over 1 1/16 miles. The top four finishers receive 50-20-10-5 points on the Road to the Kentucky Derby and Oaks respectively. The Rachel Alexandra has produced two of the last five Kentucky Oaks winners in Monomoy Girl and Serengeti Empress and 2014 victress Untapable also took down the Run for the Lilies.

Four stakes for older horses will also be presented on the February 18 program — the $250,000 Mineshaft Stakes (G3) at 1 1/16 miles, the $150,000 Fair Grounds Stakes (G3) at nine furlongs on turf, the $100,000 Colonel Power Stakes at 5 1/2 furlongs on turf and the $100,000 Albert M. Stall Memorial Stakes for fillies and mares at 1 1/16 miles on turf.

Louisiana Champions Day presented by Acadian Ambulance will be held on December 10. With the races run in various divisions over a variety of distances on both dirt and turf, the program features nine stakes restricted to Louisiana-breds. Each Louisiana Champions Day stakes is worth $100,000 with the exception of the $150,000 Louisiana Champions Day Classic and the two new additions – the $50,000 Louisiana Champions Day Starter and $50,000 Louisiana Champions Day Ladies Starter, both of which will be run at 5 1/2 furlongs for 3-year-olds and up.

“This isn’t the first time we’ve started early,”  Scott Jones said. “It means less five-day weeks for us during the entirety of the meet and gives us the opportunity to run multiple preps for Louisiana Champions Day on December 10. Starting on Thanksgiving only gave us 16 days to Champions Day. In this day and age it’s just not enough time. Of course we will still have the Thanksgiving Classic, a fantastic day of racing, and a festive crowd, as is the New Orleans tradition.”

Three other stakes will make their debut in 2023, most notably on January 7 the $75,000 Gary P. Palmisano Memorial Stakes. Paired with the $75,000 Bob F. Wright Memorial Stakes for fillies and mares, both 6-furlong dirt sprints are for 4-year-olds and up. A longtime Louisiana trainer and most recently the paddock judge at Fair Grounds, Gary Palmisano, Sr., who passed away last December, was a beloved member of the local racing community.

Also added to the Fair Grounds’ stakes program are the $75,000 Louisiana Stallion of the Year Half Ours Stakes at 1 mile 70 yards and the $75,000 Louisiana Broodmare of the Year Buttercup’s Song Stakes at one mile – both written for 3-year-old Louisiana-breds and named for two of the great producing influences in Louisiana’s breeding history. Half Ours sired 22 stakes winners, but his reign came to an untimely end after a freak paddock accident in July of 2021. With twelve foals and nine starters, the earnings of Buttercup’s Song’s foals totaled $1,721,518, highlighted by Pound for Pound and the graded-stakes winner Flatlined. Those stakes will be contested on February 25.

The 80-day, 2022-2023 Fair Grounds racing season runs through Sunday, March 26. Regular post time will be 1:05 p.m. CT, but opening day post time is 3:00 p.m. CT. There will be an earlier noon CT first post on Thanksgiving Day (Nov. 24), Louisiana Champions Day (Dec. 10), Road to the Derby Kickoff Day (Dec. 26), Road to the Derby Day (Jan. 21) Louisiana Derby Preview Day (Feb. 18), and Louisiana Derby Day (March 25).


 Louisiana Thoroughbred Breeders Association (LTBA) Will Draw for Two Scholarships


Bossier City, LA – The annual Louisiana Cup Day at Louisiana Downs will take place  Saturday, August 6.  First post is 1:45 pm (Central)for the seven-race card which will feature six stakes for accredited Louisiana-breds with purses of $67,000 each.

The stakes action, which gets underway in the second race of the card, features a mix of multiple-stakes winning Louisiana champions and as well as a showcase for the rising stars of the Pelican state.  Here is a preview of the exciting six Louisiana Cup stakes.

King’s Lute Takes on Eight Rivals in the $67,000 Louisiana Cup Juvenile

Stakes action gets underway in the second race with the running of the $67,000 Louisiana Cup Juvenile for Louisiana-bred 2-year-old colts and geldings. A field of eight will compete at five and one-half furlongs on the main track.

Four entrants make their stakes debuts off  maiden-breaking efforts with morning line favoritism going to the partnership of Claiming Cajuns LLC (Donald King, et al)  King Lute. Retired jockey Carl Woodley trains the son of Midnight Lute out of the Songandaprayer mare Sarahcarolu.

“He’s a big, gangly horse; one of those who may never get into stride quickly, but once he found his rhythm (in his debut victory on June 26), he drew off by six lengths,” explained Woodley.

Joel Dominguez will reunite with the dark bay gelding and Woodley is hoping he will notch his first stakes win.

“I have been fortunate to train for owner Donald Clark, but have never won a stakes for him,” added Woodley. “He has ALS and the ownership group is committed to fundraising efforts for the debilitating disease.”

World War IV Racing’s Ranch Water may be another contender poised for a good effort in the Louisiana Cup Juvenile. Trainer Allen Landry feels the gelded son of Palace, bred by  Love Partnership Interests, L. P., will give a good account of himself.

“He won his first time out, despite breaking in the air and getting shuffled back” Landry explained.  “When he circled the field and came running, we thought he had something special.”

Bisping, owned by Anna Guillot, broke his maiden on May 19 at Evangeline Downs and made his second start at Belmont Park in the $150,000 Tremont. Ricky Courville trains the gelding by El Deal with Devin Magnon breaking from post two.

Whispering Hill Farms homebred Kit Kat Kid also broke his maiden at first asking on June 4. The gelded son of Closing Argument prepped for this with a five furlong drill on July 13 for  trainer Steve Flint. Rider Tim Thornton has the return call at odds of 5-1.

The field also includes Easy Chance, who improved in his second start, winning a $24,000 maiden special weight last month at Evangeline Downs. Sired by Klimt, he is owned by Norman Stables, LLC and trained by Lonnie Briley.

Defending Champion Net a Bear Returns in the $67,000 Louisiana Cup Distaff

The first turf  stakes of the card, the $67,000 Louisiana Cup Distaff, drew nine fillies and mares who will travel a mile and one-sixteenth over the Franks Turf Course.

Bred by Lora Pitre and Elaine Carroll, Net a Bear is owned by Maximo Lamarche and Federico Deltoro and trained by Allen Landry. Since she began her career in 2018, the bay mare, versatile on turf or dirt, has won 12 of her 33 lifetime starts and following the victory at Evangeline Downs, upped her earnings to $615,970.  Her first stakes win came at Louisiana Downs when she captured the 2019 Elge Rasberry and she was a convincing winning last year in the Louisiana Cup Distaff.

She exits a score at Evangeline Downs last month as the favorite in the $75,000 Turf  Distaff.  With Tim Thornton aboard, the 6-year-old daughter of Awesome Bet made her usual late run and drew off tin the one-mile turf stakes, winning by 1 ¼ lengths.

Remarkably, Net a Bear has been a stakes winner at each of the four Louisiana racetracks and

will defend her title in the Louisiana Cup Distaff.

“She’s tough as hell,” said Landry. “Even when she gets in trouble, she gets clear and gives it her all. She just has an incredible turn of foot!”

Thornton will guide Net a Bear from post position two as the 8-5 choice. Landry gave her a final work at Evangeline on July 29 and plans on sending her to Bossier City on Saturday morning.

“We just gave her an easy work,” added Landry. “Didn’t want to ask for much in this heat.”

The high earner in the field will have to hold off eight rivals , including Fort Polk, a 6-year-old daughter of Behindatthebar, trained by Pat Mouton for owners Steve and Pat Roe. She won her last two turf races at Louisiana Downs, with a total of nine victories in 35 starts. Juan Vargas will ride from the eight hole. Cheapskate Diva makes her stakes debut for owner Keith Plaisance off a three-race win streak. The 4-year-old filly by Animal Kingdom last ran here on July 3, drawing off in a $25,000 turf allowance by 10 lengths under Carlos Marquez.

 The Louisiana Cup Distaff will run as the third race on the card.

Free Like a Girl Headlines the $67,000 Louisiana Cup Filly and Mare Sprint

The $67,000 Louisiana Filly and Mare Sprint boasts a field of eleven exceptional Louisiana-bred fillies and mares.

Free Like a Girl will return to Louisiana Downs on Cup Day as the 3-1 morning-line favorite in  the six-furlong sprint. Bred by retired jockey Kim Renee Stover and her sister, Lisa Osborne, the daughter of Flashy Prize, sired by El Deal, has won seven of her 14 starts for owners Gerald Bruno, Jr; Carl J, Deville; Chasey Deville Pomier and Jerry Caroom. She was honored as 2021 Louisiana Thoroughbred  Breeders Association (LTBA) Champion 2-year-old filly and continues to progress through her 3-year-old campaign.

Free Like a Girl won the $100,000 Starlet by four lengths at Delta Downs before running fourth in the Grade 3, $300,000 Honeybee at Oaklawn Park February 26 to the much heralded Secret Oath. After winning the $75,000 Louisiana Legends Soiree at Evangeline Downs, Free Like a Girl ran a credible third in the $225,000 Iowa Oaks (G3) on July 9 at Prairie Meadows.

The bay filly has already banked $423,873 and drew the far inside post under jockey Pedro Cotto.

“She has made us proud stepping up in two tough grade 3 stakes and ran her butt off at Prairie Meadows,” said trainer Chasey Pomier. “I’m alright with her breaking from the rail and we all have faith in Pedro. He rode for my dad when I was a kid and worked this filly as a baby. He has always done such a good job for our barn.”

Hall of Fame conditioner Steve Asmussen has entered Canada’s Custom for longtime owners Spendthrift Farm LLC and Corinne and William Heiligbrodt. The 3-year-old daughter of Custom for Carlos won two allowance races here in May prior to shipping to Lone Star Park. Joel Dominguez has the call on the chestnut filly at odds of 4-1.

Trainer Ron Faucheux will saddle three entrants in the Filly and Mare Sprint. Fame Feather a 7-year-old mare, sired by Lion Tamer, sprang the upset in the $75,000 Louisiana Legends Mademoiselle on June 4 at Evangeline Downs for Picard Thoroughbreds Racing Stable LLC. Strong Beauty a 5-year-old daughter of Overanalyze, owned by Golden Rock Thoroughbreds, ran fourth in that feature and Daniel Dartin’s G’s Squeezesteps up to stakes company after back-to-back allowance scores at Evangeline Downs.

2021 Louisiana Cup Filly and Mare Sprint champion, Snowball returns for her third time. Owned by Tin Roof Farms LLC and trained by Sam Breaux, the striking gray daughter of Apriority has made 40 career starts. The multiple-stakes winner has $373,850 and will break from post  four under rider Vicente Del-Cid.

Defending Champion Carlea’s Dream Prepped and Ready for the $67,000 Louisiana Cup Turf Classic

The $67,000 Louisiana Turf Cup Classic attracted eleven runners going a mile and one-sixteenth over the Franks Turf Course. Several proven turf stakes winners are entered with defending champion Carlea’s Dream, installed as the 5-2 morning line choice. Owned by Carl Moore Management,  the 5-year-old son of Lea is out of the Corinthian mare Beat The Street. Lea banked over $2.3 million in his racing career for Hall of Fame conditioner Bill Mott.

Last year, Carlea’s Dream ran a formful race, splitting rivals and surging to the wire in 1.44.57.

“He’s matured a bunch since last year and is much better in the gate,” she said. “He loves the turf, like all horses sired by Lea.  Lindey Wade had two days off from Canterbury Park last year and was great, but Iram has been working him and we feel very good about Saturday.”

Diego was in the irons for his impressive turf win here on June 21.

“We know he loves this turf course, so just felt better having him here,”
added Jacks.

Other notables include Allen Cassedy’s  Mangelsen, who ran third in last year’s Turf Classic for trainer Ron Faucheux and jockey Carlos Lozada.   The 6-year-old gelding by Big Band Sound won the $60,000 Edward J. Johnston Memorial at Fair Grounds in March and prepped for this with a gate-to-wire turf victory at Louisiana Downs on July 9. Behemeh Star makes his Louisiana Downs debut for his breeder and owner, Evelyn Benoit. Trained by Jose Camejo, the 4-year-old son of Star Guitar captured the $75,000 Star Guitar last March at Fair Grounds and will be ridden by Cristian Torres as the 3-1 second choice.

Also, Kendall Standlee’s Big Chopper, who recently won the one-mile Louisiana Legends Cheval at Evangeline Downs, will make his second turf start for trainer Scott Gelner. The 3-year-old colt by Shackleford will be ridden by C. J. McMahon. Gelner and owner Kendel Standlee won the 2018 Louisiana Cup Turf Classic with In the Navy.

“His mama (Miss Well Molded) was a turf runner, so we thought this would be a good test for him,” said Gelner. “He came home to the farm for a freshening and worked well for this.”

The Louisiana Cup Turf Classic will run as the fifth race on the program, with an approximate post time of 3:37 pm.


Highly Competitive Edition of the $67,000 Louisiana Cup Juvenile Fillies

Nine accredited 2-year-old Louisiana-bred fillies will compete in what appears to be one of the best fields ever for the $67,000 Louisiana Cup Juvenile Fillies Several first-time winners will face off in the five and one-half main track sprint.

Flurry Racing Stable LLC’s homebred Lady Flurry turned heads at  Louisiana Downs with a riveting nine-length maiden score on June 20. Owner Staton Flurry, who won the 201- Super Derby (on turf) with Mr Misunderstood, bred the daughter of Lord Nelson out of the Storm and a Half mare Patchofbadweather. Trained by Karl Broberg, Lady Flurry has been installed as the 7-5 morning-line choice.

“She has been training here and exploded in her debut, which might give us an advantage,” offered Flurry.” I bought her dam for $1,000 as a yearling. She won a few races, but this filly has a ton of speed. She was 3/1000ths off the track record here on June 20 and hopefully will move forward. Emanuel is injured, so I’m happy to give Cristian Torres the call. He’s a good, young rider who has done well for us at Oaklawn.”

Flurry has fond memories of winning the 2017 Super Derby with Mr Misunderstood. It was the only turf running on the esteemed championship and following the victory, the gelded son of Archarcharch won seven additional stakes. Trained by Brad Cox, Mr Misunderstood retired with earnings of $967,926 in 2020.

Flurry will not be at Louisiana Downs this Saturday as his proven graded stakes winning mare Shedaresthedevil will defend her title in Saturday’s Grade 1, Clement Hirsch at Del Mar,

I’ve had some great horses in partnerships, but Mr Misunderstood will always be my favorite,” added Flurry. “He’s the one that set the foundation and put me there.”

Making her Louisiana debut will be Hoffman Family Racing LLC’s What Can I Say. The filly by Mo Tom won at first asking on July 4 at Horseshoe Indianapolis for trainer Tom Amoss.

“She was an impressive winner, even though she didn’t have the best break,” said Amoss. “She’s facing a nice field, but I like the fact that she has tactical speed, but can also rate.”

Amoss, who is currently six wins away from his 4,000th career milestone, will ship the bay filly to Louisiana Downs on Thursday.

“You always have concerns when  horse travels for a race,” he added of his entrant, who will break from post eight under top Louisiana jockey Tim Thornton.


Janet is Ready will attempt to win her third in a row for conditioner Chasey Deville Pomier. The daughter of Custom for Carlos made her debut on May 13 in a $98,000 maiden special weight at Churchill Downs. After running second in Kentucky, she broke her maiden at Evangeline Downs and won the $100,000 Prairie Gold Lassie on July 8 in Iowa, at odds of 21-1.

“She came out of that race very well,” said Pomier. “It’s a tough field, but she’s a game filly.”


Dorgenois, who just broke her maiden on July 15 at Evangeline Downs, for trainer Ron Faucheux, is also entered. Jim and Natalie Montgomery,prominent in Louisiana Quarter Horse racing, bred the daughter of Gormley to the Fusaichi Pegasus mare Money Peg. She showed improvement in her second start and could very well outrun her 30-1 morning line.

Full Field in the Competitive $67,000 Louisiana Cup Sprint

The $67,000 Louisiana Turf Cup Sprint will close out the program with eleven talented Louisiana-breds traveling six furlongs on the main track.

Creole Charlie owned and trained by Howard Alonzo, has won seven of his 20 career starts and will break from post position two as the 3-1 choice. Claimed for $20,000 in February, the 4-year-old gelding by My Pal Charlie, was the runner-up in the Louisiana Legends Sprint at Evangeline Downs on June 4. He prepped for this with a victory one month later and will be ridden by Tim Thornton.

Set-Hut LLC’s X Clown makes his 23rd career start for trainer Jerry Delhomme off an allowance victory here on July 12. Joel Dominguez guided the 5-year-old son of Jimmy Creed, who drew post six at odds of 7-2.

Trainer Allen Landry, who won last year’s edition of this feature with Chu Chu’s Legacy, will saddle Brian’s Iron Mike and Double Barrel Man.  Brian’s Iron Mike, a son of Iron Fist is owned by Buck Boys,  LLC and makes his Louisiana Downs debut under jockey Joe Stokes.

“He’s a really good 3-year-old,” stated Landry. “Stakes-placed and ran a game second last out.”

Landry claimed the 9-year-old Double Barrel Man, who has an impressive career record of 14 wins and $533,912 earned in 68 starts. Calvin Borel has the call.

The Louisiana Cup Sprint runs as the seventh and final race on the card, with an expected post of 4:32 pm.

Trainer Michael C. Fetters Passes

Longtime Louisiana Thoroughbred trainer Michael C. Fetters passed away on July 24, 2022. Beginning in 1983, Fetters galloped, broke and trained horses at Louisiana Downs, Evangeline Downs and Delta Downs, with many multiple winners including Michal’s Answer, a mare by Hoist the Flag, named after his daughter Michal. He passed his love of horses to his family, including 11-year-old grandson, Asher. Survived by his wife, Betty, daughter Michal and grandson Asher, no funeral services have been announced.

“Mike was a natural horseman and was a tremendous supporter of Louisiana racing,” said trainer Joey Foster. “We send our condolences to Betty and his family. He was a good friend and will be missed.”

Louisiana Cup Day Festivities

Racing fans of all ages are invited to enjoy the festivities offered on August 6 at Louisiana Downs.

Family-friendly activities on the trackside apron include live music, inflatable bounce houses and water slides, face painting, and much more! Also, enjoy tasty bites from the city’s best food trucks. And don’t forget to claim your FREE $5 wager while you are there!

Handicapping Preview Show Begins at Noon on Cup Day

Louisiana Downs track announcer John McGary and regional racing publicist Martha Claussen will team up for a pre-race handicapping preview at 12:00 pm in the Inside Rail, located on the first floor of the grandstand. They will offer analysis and their selections for each of the races on the Louisiana Cup Day card. The seminar is free and open to all racing fans.

Scholarship Drawings Set for Louisiana Cup Day

The Louisiana Thoroughbred Breeders Association (LTBA) will award two (2) scholarships, each valued at $1,000, during the event.

The drawings will take place after the fifth race. The races begin at 1:45 p.m. and the student must be there to register between 12:45 p.m. and 1:45 p.m. at the designated registration booth. The requirements for the scholarship are as follows:

Must be a college student enrolled full-time for Fall 2022.

Must be in good standing with the college or university.

Must be present at the drawing location to win.

Must have university ID number or Social Security number.

The scholarship will be deposited directly into the student’s account at the college or university. The student is asked to know the name and address of the college that they are attending.

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.

Ova the Top! Ova Charged Leaves Backers Biting Nails to the End

Cilla Digs In but cannot hold off the focused Star Guitar filly

New Orleans (December 11, 2020) – For some, the most anticipated and most hyped race on Saturday’s Louisiana Champions Day card was over in the paddock. Prior to the $100,000 Louisiana Champions Day Ladies Sprint, one of ten stakes on the day, Ova Charged, the beautiful bay by Star Guitar, out of Cotton Charged, made her rounds – beaming, confident, focused. She has looked like a champion in her stall, in her workouts, beating optional claimers two weeks prior on November 28th, but what about up against the best filly and mare sprinters in Louisiana—did this lightly raced filly have enough to take on the class and grit of graded stakes winner Cilla?

The answer is yes.

76.00-1 longshot Sumitup hustled through the mix of sharp breaks to get the lead and sped on setting the opening ¼ fraction of 21:89. Breaking inside the early leader, second choice 1.90-1 Cilla was close to the front but relaxed and shifted to one path outside to be joined by quickening 25.30-1 shot Sarah’s Passion, who pressed tightly and did not let up pressure. The pair moved through the turn behind the leader but took over the front at the half pole. And that’s when everyone wondered, where is .40-1 favorite Ova Charged?

Breaking slowest of the field, rider Reylu Gutierrez guided Ova Charged at the back of the pack going four-wide through the turn while targeting the main foe. As Cilla put away Sarah’s Passion, it looked like she could sustain. Drifting in, Ova Charged seemed to lose focus but Gutierrez came with the crop and Star Guitar’s talented 3-year-old showed more than talent, digging in with Cilla in her sights and the finishing line just beyond, Ova Charged showed the heart of a Louisiana-bred champion and won by ¾ length over Cilla who never gave up. Five starts, four wins and one graded stakes second totaling $174,600 lifetime earnings. The connections were in attendance and they were proud.

“It’s an honor to ride for Jose’s stable, to ride Ova Charged,” jockey Reylu Gutierrez said. “What a smart, talented, strong, physically and mentally imposing filly. I am really delighted I can ride her. Two champion fillies neither of them deserved to lose.”

Cilla’s trainer Brett Brinkman had indicated before the race that the goal was to keep teaching Cilla to relax, but when you get drawn the 3 post, inside a filly like Ova Charged, it forced their hand when it came time to run.

“The post position dictated what we had to do,” Brinkman said. “The only two disappointing finishes I’ve had with her lately have been in the lane and we’ve been the target. When we are fixed on a target, we are much better off. I think that’s the same way with his filly [Ova Charged]. She’s a fighter, those are two good mares right there. She had the benefit of a recent race, which is no excuse. My filly fights, she’s good. I’d like to turn the tables and have the outside the other way and force his hand. That’s just the competitor in me.”

After the slow start, Ova Charged’s connections didn’t know this race could unfold in their favor.

“I was worried at the beginning because she didn’t break sharp,” Fair Grounds co-leading trainer Jose Camjo said. “When she was coming home I knew she had a lot of horse left, but I knew she still had to pass the three [Cilla]. She got it done and we are so proud of what she did.”

The other co-leading trainer, Ron Faucheux, sent out 15.30 – 1 Strong Beauty who finished well for third place. An impressive turning out by her and the other sharp fillies in this race. 25.30 – 1 Sarah’s Passion holding on for fourth. 14 – 1 Snowball finished fifth. Then 116.70 – 1 Sienna Breeze finished ahead of the tiring early speed Sumitup.

On a day dedicated to Louisiana’s best horses and horsemen, Ova Charged owner’s said it best:

“Louisiana I love you,” said Eveyln Benoit of Brittlyn Stables. “And I love Star Guitar.”

As for Cilla’s next steps, her trainer has a solid plan.

“I am shooting for a summer career with her,” Brinkman said. “We weren’t pointing to this race but it was a race I wanted to hit. We’ll look to hit a race in February, then we are going back up the country.”

Grand Luwegee Doesn’t Quit, Winning
Second Classic in Front Running Fashion

Favored Highland Creek leads catch the two-time winner

New Orleans (December 11, 2020) – Inquiring horses want to know: What’s the secret to running faster, looking fitter, and being flush with cash? Get a trainer like Gerard Perron to keep tabs on you, and a rider like Colby Hernandez to guide you across the finish line. Easy as cannoli. Or at least that’s how Grand Luwegee makes it look. But winning again in gate to wire fashion began in the mornings. The result – a successful repeat in the $150,000 Louisiana Champions Day Classic.

“We trained him hard,” Gerard Perron said of Grand Luwegee, who won last year’s edition at 52-1. “He ran faster than the last time he won [The LA Champ Classic], so we are really happy with him. We thought he was carrying a little too much weight, and we trained him extra hard. He lost a little bit of weight and he picked up some speed on him.”

With the rail draw, 3.00-1 third choice Grand Luwegee cleared the field and rounded the opening turn two wide setting early fractions of 23.54, 47.70, then relaxing and widening his advantage through 1:12.81, 1:37.89 and coming home in 1:51.00. Not much movement behind him as 2019 Classic Champion 1.80-1 Pound for Pound, piloted by Aubrie Green stalked in second through the first turn to move in tighter through the final bend, but when the writing was on the wall, he began to lose interest and shift lanes to hold on for third. Marginally favored by the betting public, 1.40-1 Highland Creek had been cross-entered in theTurf but trainer Bret Calhoun opted to run eventual winner Who Took the Money in that spot instead. Breaking from the outside position, rider Adam Beschizza guided him to the rail to lead the second group 3 to 4 lengths behind Grand Luwegee.

When it came time, he could only chase the winner and finished three lengths back.

“They were honest fractions, 23, 47,” Beschizza said. “My horse has similar tactics. He was sitting on second here and he made a good move like he did last year. He’s got a good explosive kick, but I just got out-kicked and I couldn’t pull him back. The horse ran with his heart on his sleeve and that’s what you want.”

A career record of 30 – 8 – 6 – 4 and lifetime earnings of $491,150, Grand Luwegee’s two Classic scores have come with Colby Hernandez on board.

“Coming out of the one hole we were definitely going to run just like last time. Gerrad (trainer Perron) and his staff did a great job of getting this horse to the race and he ran a very hard race,” Hernandez said. “Turning for home, when I slapped her more on the shoulder, she kicked on.”

Fort Polk Nets Her Foe, Plants Flag in Fair Grounds Dirt

A sharp effort from Calhoun’s Winning Romance falls two lengths short

New Orleans (December 11, 2020) – Everyone knows the secret to winning begins with getting your opponent on your court, not theirs. For Fort Polk, the 3.10 third choice in the $100,000 Louisiana Champions Day Ladies Distaff, home court advantage is the Fair Grounds main track. It may have been just what this improving 6-year old needed to beat the one horse who almost always has gotten the best of her, the 2.20-1 second choice Net a Bear. The much-loved previous Louisiana Champion could only muster finishing third of five.

It was a valiant effort by the bettor’s 1.30-1 favorite Winning Romance to set the early fractions of 24.63 and 48.85 and hold on for second. But jockey Jorge Guzman and Fort Polk took it to her coming into the turn, accelerating three wide, passing at the ¾ pole and keeping to business in the homestretch to win by two lengths. Make it $226,650 in lifetime earnings and a 30-7-4-8 record for this daughter by Behindatthebar that has been with trainer Patrick Mouton’s barn from day one.
“She’s always been a good horse,” Mouton said. “Actually, I think she is getting better with age. She is going to be 6 pretty soon. She ran super all summer. We got beat only once when we ran on turf and she doesn’t really care for the turf.”

Fort Polk has won four out of the last five since adding blinkers. The one loss coming on turf – to Net A Bear. Jockey Jorge Guzman had a ton of horse that day but went wide in traffic and had to pump the breaks often when Fort Polk got in too tight and Net a Bear left her in the clippings. Tables turned in the Louisiana Champions Day Ladies Distaff and Fort Polk gave her five lengths of dirt to chew on until they meet again.

“She was a little flat,” Net a Bear’s regular rider Timothy Thornton said. “We know she is better on the grass, but you know we were hoping it would set up good for her. She ran her race, she was just a little bit flat. She is a much better grass horse than on the dirt. She is a nice filly. I was tracking the winner the whole way around there and when he went at the 3/8ths pole, I tried going with him, but she just didn’t have enough.”

The pace unfolded as expected as Winning Romance took the lead, Elieen Alexandra pressed, Quikfast n Ahurry sat the pocket trip and Net a Bear followed Fort Polk through two turns. Winning Romance ran well enough but early company made it hard to battle and sustain.

“We got pressured from the 5 [Eileen Alexandra] down the back stretch,” Winning romance’s rider Deshawn Parker said, “but she gave her all to the finish.”

Louisiana Champions Day is like the Breeders Cup for local connections. They target these races and put their hearts into reaching the winner’s circle. Once there, Patrick Mouton took it all in and expressed his satisfaction.

“Listen, I don’t travel, I stay here in the state,” Mouton said. “I stay in Louisiana 99 and 9/10% of the time,” Mouton said. “Winning this kind of race is a big deal, it’s the epitome.”

Who Took the Money Gets the Dough on the Turf

Last year on dirt, this year on grass, Allied Racing Stable
homebred wins on Champions Day for the second consecutive year

New Orleans (December 11, 2020) – The Allied Racing Stable homebred has been a challenge in many ways, but in Saturday’s $100,000 Louisiana Champions Day Turf, he may have found his niche.

Off slowly in the field of 11, the 3-year-old gelded son of Street Boss, was far off the early pace set by 1.30-1 favorite Mangelsen through honest early fractions of 23.81, 48.97 and 1:14.15 with the rail 20 feet out on the Stall-Wilson Turf Course, but once jockey Deshawn Parker found clear sailing to the outside, the horse did the rest.

“We wanted to get a little better break, but he didn’t break too sharp today,” Parker said. “He was so relaxed on the backside. When I called on him, he gave me an explosion. He gobbled them up so fast. As soon as I got to them, he just rolled by.”

Sent off as the third choice at 3.40-1, Who Took the Money stopped the timer in 1:45.93 for the 1 1/16 miles distance on grass, besting fellow deep closers Budro Talking (13.40-1), also trained by Calhoun) and Treys Midnight Moon by 5 ¾ and 7 ¾ lengths respectively, while the pacesetting Mangelsen faded to third.

Who Took the Money was cross entered in the Classic, but trainer Bret Calhoun opted to run eventual runner-up Highland Creek there instead.

“We tried him (Who Took the Money) on turf once before and he ran alright,” Calhoun said. “We had two horses that could have gone either way so I had to make a tough decision. Knowing his pedigree, I just thought he would be the right one for the grass. He really showed the kind of turn of foot today that we were wanting to see. We were disappointed a little early on because of the break and we were kind of buried behind traffic. I wasn’t optimistic early in the race, but when he (rider Parker) kicked him out. The horse exploded.”

Last year as a 3-year-old, Who Took the Money flipped in the post parade prior to the running of the Crescent City Derby, but won the race anyway as the .50-1 favorite. His behavior hasn’t improved all that much since.

“He’s not as difficult to train as he is to run,” Calhoun explained. “The antics in the paddock and going to the gate, he’ll test you. He’s got quite a bit of ability, but he’s got some (mental) issues.”
With the win, Who Took the Money boosted his record to 8-5-0-1 with earnings of $217,627.
“At the top of the stretch I was looking at Bret and I didn’t think we had a shot, and then boom,” Thomas said. “We really didn’t know what to expect. We thought he’d be alright on the turf. Bret made a good call (to run him in this race). Deshawn rode a great race. We’re delighted.”

Additional quote:

Emmanuel Nieves (rode Budro Talking, who finished second)

“I’ve got patience,” Emmanuel Nieves said. “When I feel comfortable, I love running from behind. Today I had the perfect trip and everything. I thought I was home free but the other horse flew by me. For the team, for both Brett’s [Calhoun] horses, I am happy we ran first and second.”

Buckley Bunny Bounds Home in Lassie

Whispering Oaks homebred lights up the toteboard at 93-1

New Orleans (December 11, 2020) – In what was easily the biggest upset of Saturday’s Louisiana Champions Day card, the Whispering Oaks Farm homebred Buckley Bunny rallied from far off the pace to take down the $100,000 Lassie

Ninth early behind contested fractions of 21.98 and 45.86, the sophomore daughter of Iron Fist picked off a couple of horses on the turn under jockey Kevin Smith before uncorking the winning, five-wide rally in the stretch.

“The plan was just letting her settle herself in and make one run with her. Mr. Steve (trainer Flint) said don’t rush her. I took her back, waited until the 3/8ths pole and let her run. I did what he told me to do. When I let her go, she fought.”

Basalt Street (6.00-1) and Beleout (37.10) battled early, with 2.00-1 favorite Free Like a Girl, the winner of three consecutive stakes coming in, tucked in fifth. She tipped out three-wide and made a solid bid in the stretch, but was simply outkicked by the longshot winner, losing by ¾ of a length over six furlongs run in 1:11.76. It was just another neck back to the late closing Medley (3.80-1) in third.

“I don’t think she had any pace to run into last time,” Flint explained. “It’s not like filly the filly wouldn’t appreciate a stretch like today. We had some pace. Kevin rode her to a tee. I told him, don’t move until you hit the 3/8ths pole, let her go, and let’s see what we got. She responded well. I got a little of that (93-1).”

A winner at first asking back in June, Buckley Bunny entered the Lassie on a four-race losing streak. She now sports a career record of 6-2-1-1 with earnings of $93.660.

Monte Man Does It Again

8-year-old veteran repeats in Sprint

New Orleans (December 11, 2020) – At the age of eight, Ivery Sisters Racing’s Monte Man is the gift that keeps on giving. Claimed for $25,000 way back in October of 2017, the son of Custom for Carlos scored the ninth stakes win of his career on Saturday, repeating the $100,000 Louisiana Champions Day Sprint.

Fourth behind hot and contested early fractions of 21.58 and 44.53 set by his stablemate Bertie’s Galaxy with pressure from Takes Two To Tango, Swot Analysis and the 1.4-1 favorite No Parole, the table was set, and Monte Man feasted in the stretch.

“Before the race, Ron (trainer Faucheux) and I could almost see it playing into his favor,” Beschizza said. “All the credit to the horse. He’s just an iron horse, really. A couple of years ago, they (the connections) could have just retired him and given him a nice second life, but he just seems to be so spontaneous in the mornings. Ron just tells me that, year after year. True to that word, he’s bounced back here and Ron had him in great shape. The team has been a huge supporter of mine and I can’t thank them enough.”

Bertie’s Galaxy (3.50-1) dug in gamely in the stretch, but he could not hold off Monte Man, who prevailed by ¾ of a length, stopping the timer in 1:09.91. It was 4 ½ lengths back to Sir Wellington (4.40-1 in third. No Parole, the former Grade I winner, pressed the pace briefly while four-wide, but he failed to make the course.

“He (No Parole) is fine, but since his layoff, he hasn’t shown that he wants to compete in the afternoons despite working well in the mornings,” trainer Tom Amoss said of No Parole. He is completely sound and Maggi (owner Moss) has decided to retire him.”

In his first start off the claim for trainer Ron Faucheux Monte Man won a local optional-claimer in December 2017, which was the start of a seven-race winning streak. After running third in the Sprint in 2018 and fourth in the 2019 renewal, Monte Man won the race last year, and he was up to the task once again.

“I think he’s just getting better, we’re just getting started with him, you know, we got a long way to go,” Faucheux said in jest. “He’s every trainer’s dream. He’s just so consistent. He gives it his all every race. To have an 8-year-old turning nine, stay sound throughout the whole process, and just continue to progress, it’s unbelievable. It’s real privilege to train him for Ivery Sister Racing. They let us place him appropriately, take our time between races, and that makes all the difference with this horse. We 100% will go for the three-peat as a 9-year-old.”

Monte Man boosted his career record to 50-18-8-9 with earnings of $794,223.

Additional quote:

Jareth Loveberry (rode Bertie’s Galaxy, who finished second)

“It was kinda tough down the backside” jockey Jareth Loveberry said. “I was in a tight spot and I had to keep him where he was so I didn’t get shuffled back. I had to use him just a little bit early maybe it cost me at the end. But he ran his heart out. He dug in and ran really good.”

Unified Report Passes Another Test in Lassie

Sophomore filly shows a new dimension to remain undefeated

New Orleans (December 11, 2020) – On Monday, trainer Dallas Stewart welcomed his first grandchild into the world, and just a few short days later, Henry Lane Stewart and family watched from afar as Valene Farms’ Unified Report would score yet another Louisiana Champions Day win for grandpa.

Sent off as the .70-1 favorite in the $100,000 Juvenile, the sophomore son of Unified, tracked the pace set by the embattled Grunt and Charco through contested fractions of 21.76 and 45.63. Four-wide on the turn for home, he battled briefly with eventual third place finisher Charco mid-stretch before putting that rival away. Unified Report led into the deep stretch, and held safe of the late closing 1.80-1 second choice, the maiden Bron and Brow, stopping the timer in 1:10.55.

“Truly it all goes back to thanking Mr. Murray (owner Valene),” Hernandez said. “Year after year, he just keeps finding these really good Louisiana-breds. I think this is like the third or fourth year in a row we’ve won one of these 2-year-old (stakes) races. He (Unified Report) looked like he was the best horse in the race and I just did my job, give him the cleanest trip we could. He’s a young horse, but he was two for two (coming in) so he’s got a little experience behind him. There were for of them in front, so I just let him find his rhythm, I got him in the clear and off he went. What really impressed me today was the way he galloped out. He hit the wire and kind of stepped away from those horses again, so he kind of shows you that he wants to stretch out and go to two turns.”

With the win, Unified Report remained perfect from three starts, increasing his bankroll to $154,720 in the process.

Bron and Brow, who finished third at Del Mar in his career debut, added blinkers for the Juvenile, and after a difficult trip with some traffic trouble, he too stamped himself as a youngster to watch.

“It was a little troubled trip for me,” jockey Deshawn Parker admitted. “He was trying to run and had nowhere to go for a while. So once I came out of the turn, I tried to dig him out. But it was real trouble. Trouble. He’s a maiden but he won’t be a maiden much longer.”

“We had a horrible trip,” assistant trainer David Carroll added. “He was loaded the whole way, had to check hard off heels, then had to wait for room. He closed fast. To me, he was much the best horse in the race. He’s a talented colt and we look forward to running him back. That’s racing.”

A longtime supporter of Louisiana racing, Murray Valene was thrilled with his colt’s performance.

“We had an undefeated filly (Big Time) win for us on this day last year, and this year it was the colt (Unified Report),” Valene said. “I want to thank Dallas Stewart and his team for doing such a great job. This colt looks like he wants to go longer and he might have the talent to do it successfully.”

Quarter Horse stakes recaps provided by H. David Smith

Louisiana Champions Day Quarter Horse Classic Ends In Thrilling Dead Heat

New Orleans (December 11, 2020) – Multiple stakes winners Eyeondaprize and Lifeinthefastlanes battled to a dead heat Saturday in the $100,000 Louisiana Champions Day Quarter Horse Classic(RG2) at Fairgrounds Race Course in New Orleans.

The pair of 4-year-old Louisiana-Bred fillies stopped the clock in :21.454 seconds for the 440 yards, equaling a 105 speed index with an 8 mph tailwind. Each filly earned $32,500 for her effort.
Coming off a win in the Opelousas Stakes on November 13th, Lifeinthefastlanes got her 11th win in 17 starts to bring her earnings total to $514,381. The daughter of multiple stakes sire Jess Louisiana Blue was making only her third career start for owner Paragon Farms LLC. Wade and Kay Loup, Jr. bred Lifeinthefastlanes from the Panther Mountain mare Pantherinthefastlane. David Alvarez had the riding call for champion trainer Kenny Roberts.

“The delay was difficult because she’s one of these fillies that gets nerved up,” Roberts said. “But she ran a real good race, and is one of the best I’ve had. I believe this will be her last race.”

Coming off a win in the French Quarter Stakes at Evangeline Downs October 30th, Eyeondaprize picked up her eighth career win in 19 starts to bring her earnings total to $142,660. Trainer Rosendo Valdez, Jr. conditions the daughter of multiple stakes sire Fast Prize Jordan for owner Rosendo Valdez.

Daniel Trahan bred the brown filly from the Game Patriot mare Good Game Meg. Noe Castaneda was up.

“She responded pretty good at the end,” Castaneda said following the winning ride. “I knew she had the talent to go far; I never gave up on her and she never gave up.”

Tuckers Prize finished 1-¼ lengths behind the leaders to earn $10,000 for third. Owned-and-trained by Preston Jourdan, the 5-year-old graded stakes winning son of multiple stakes sire Fast Prize Dash was ridden by Ubaldo Luna. Kirby and Phillip Bruchhaus bred the $206,375 earner from the Game Patriot mare Bb Secrets Game.

Maggies Runaway, Lightemupwithcharm, Heza Bell Perry Jr, Jrs Corona Toast and Hezjessmagic completed the field. Apollitical B Snow was scratched at the gate.

Additional reporting by Martha Claussen.

Quid Pro Quo Surprises In Louisiana Champions Day Quarter Horse Juvenile

New Orleans (December 11, 2020) – Quid Pro Quo (15-1), a 2-year-old son of multiple stakes sire Five Bar Cartel, got his first career stakes win on Saturday when he soundly defeated Gamefaceprize by three-quarter’s in the restricted Grade 2 $100,000 Louisiana Champions Day Quarter Horse Juvenile at Fairgrounds Race Course.

Quid Pro Quo lugged out late under jockey Bobby Ransom while clocking :17.583 seconds for the 350 yards, a 99 speed index into a 12 mph crosswind. It was the fourth win in seven starts for the sorrel gelding.

The $45,000 Champions Juvenile’ winner’s purse doubled Quid Pro Quo’s earnings mark to $93,132 for the year. Trainer Josue Huitron sent out the sorrel gelding for owner Jeronimo Silva from Cullman, Alabama.

“With these young horses you never know, Huitron said after the race. “Today he ran big, and we were proud of him.”

The 2-year-old was also a finalist in the restricted Grade 1 Lee Berwick Futurity at Delta Downs last summer.

“This is my first stakes win,” Silva said after the race. “Maybe it’s beginners luck but will take it!”
Gerard Hebert bred Quid Pro Quo from Jess Tempting To Fly by Tempting Dash.

Quid Pro Quo rewarded backers with $31.40 to win, $16.40 to show and $8.40 to place.
Runner-up Gamefaceprize picked up $17,000 for his second-place effort. The Fast Prize Dash gelding bumped in at the start under jockey Ariel Rodriguez. Orlando Orozco trains the bay gelding for owner Miguel Hernandez.

Jack Willie bred Gamefaceprize from the Game Patriot mare Baby This Girls Game. A finalist in the Mardi Gras Futurity(RG2) in March, he has earned $70,097 in 10 starts this year.

Rosendo Valdez and Rosendo Valdez, Jr., winning owner and trainer of the Louisiana Champions Day Quarter Horse Classic(RG2) in the opening race today, sent out post-time favorite Jess Sweet Enough to finish half-a-length back an earn $10,000 for third.

Everardo Rodriguez rode the One Sweet Jess gelding out of Devilwithabluedress by Corona Cartel. Jess Sweet Enough has banked $47,500 in eight starts.

Return The Queen, Kp Prospect Luna, Amazing Blood, Soft On The Freight, Tdz Royal Runaway, Jess Louisiana, Railroad Jimmy, Kk Sandra Patriot and Shesa Knockoutcartel completed the field.

Additional reporting by Martha Claussen.

Post Time Favorite Dirtwater Dash Up Late To Win Louisiana Champions Day Quarter Horse Derby

New Orleans (December 11, 2020) – Post time favorite Dirtwater Dash, under jockey Everardo Rodriguez, got up late to defeat Ought To Go Tee by half-a-length in the $100,000 restricted Grade 2 Louisiana Champions Day Quarter Horse Derby Saturday afternoon at Fairgrounds Race Course.
Dirtwater Dash, a son of leading Louisiana sire Sir Runaway Dash, completed the 400 yards in :19.743 seconds, equaling a 107 speed index, into a 12 mph crosswind. It was the seventh career win in 14 starts for the 3-year-old.

“This horse is coming along and has done everything the right way,” assistant trainer Chris Valdez said following the win. “It’s all about the family with us; my dad and my brothers are home taking care of the horses every day and every night.”

It was big day at the Fair Grounds for the Valdez family who won the Louisiana Champions Day Quarter Horse Classic (RG2), Champions Day Quarter Horse Derby(RG3) and took third in the Champions Day Quarter Horse Juvenile(RG2).

Third in the Firecracker Derby(G3), two races back, and winner of the Delta 550 Stakes last May, Dirtwater Dash has earned $124,038. Michael Carlton bred Dirtwater Dash from the Dashin Bye mare Dashin Kate Perry.

Winner of last year’s Louisiana Champions Derby Juvenile(RG2), runner-up Ought To Go Tee earned $17,000 for second today. The son of multiple stakes sire Tee Cos vied early under jockey Rolando Cabrera.

Fernando Lopez trains the $164,472 earner for owner Jose Oviedo. Ronald Gale bred Ought To Go Tee from the Bigtime Favorite mare Vf Ought To Go Max.

Get It Done Babe, a daughter of leading sire Heza Fast Dash, finished a nose back for owner Fausto Mendoza to earn $10,000 for third. Trainer Josue Huitron named Leonardo Rodriguez to ride the brown filly out of Mi Babe by Mr Jess Perry. Gerard Hebert bred the earner of $53,330.
Completing the field were Jettin Cartel, Apollitical Chais, Tee Zo, Bayou Kue, Cason, One Fast Cajun and Tee Britt.

Additional reporting by Martha Claussen.

Relax?! Cilla and Ova Charged Primed to Swap Styles for the Louisiana Champions Day Filly and Mare Sprint

Winning Traditions Continue as Dam Sitting at The Bar’s and Sire Star Guitar’s Best Battle for First Time


New Orleans (December 9, 2021) – On a racing day dedicated to Louisiana-breds, one race best tells the story of the Magnolia state’s recent breeding success: The $100,000 Louisiana Champions Day Ladies Sprint Stakes. Two impressive 3-year-old fillies face off: the lightly-raced Ova Charged, representing owner and breeder Brittlyn Stables and trainer Jose Camejo, and the relatively seasoned graded stakes winner, Cilla, owned by P Dale Ladner, bred by P Dale Ladner and Brett Brinkman, who also serves as her trainer.  There’s more than just the purse on the line. This race is for bragging rights as the top Louisiana-bred in training and the connections of six other females hope to join ranks with their more accomplished counterparts.

With a post time of 2:56 p.m. CT, The Louisiana Champions Day Ladies Sprint Stakes is the 7th race on Saturday’s 13-race card at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots. Louisiana Champions Day includes 10 stakes races totaling $1,050,000. Race 1 post time is 12:05 p.m. CT.

“Kudos to the breeding establishment in the state because I think we’ve got a pretty good bunch of horses in our program right now,” Cilla’s trainer and breeder Brett Brinkman said.

Cilla and Ova Charged come into the race poised to run big and likely eclipse the photo finish light from reaching the rest of the field. The daughter of Louisiana legend Star Guitar, who won 24 of his 30 races, Ova Charged has the potential to be one of the very best her stallion has ever produced. That title is currently held by Minit to Stardom, who banked $536,180 for the same connections, winning the Ladies Sprint in 2019 along the way.

“She is gonna be the one,” trainer Jose Camejo said. “Everybody saw how she ran last time. We have had high hopes for her from day one. She’s been doing good. And hopefully in this race she can improve and show who she is. We’re ready for her.”

But is Cilla ready for her? Let the facts speak for themselves: sired by California Chrome and out of the broodmare Sittin at the Bar, she’s a perfect three for three at 6 furlongs on the dirt (1 for 1 at Fair Grounds), winner of the Prioress-G2 at Saratoga, the Louisiana Legends Mademoiselles Stakes in the slop at Evangeline Downs, and the Blue Sparkler Stakes at Monmouth. There’s no question she’s ready.

“I wouldn’t trade places with anybody,” Brett Brinkman said. “We love her [Cilla]. She has been really good to us. I know Camejo has a really nice filly on his hands–she ran a big race here earlier in the meet. But I like my filly and her accomplishments–she’s been rock steady for us since Champions Day at Evangeline. She is doing good. I feel great about her.”

In the Raven’s Run-G2 at Keeneland in October, Cilla got caught in the middle of a three-wide duel led by Strong Silent and followed by Miss Speedy. At 7 furlongs, a distance she has yet to prove herself over, she put away those quality foes and finished third, five lengths ahead of graded stakes winners Souper Sensational and Obligatory (who won the Chilukki at Churchill Downs next out). But the early exertion set up for closers Caramel Swirl and Joy’s Rocket to come flying late for the respective win and place.

“Tyler said when she broke, she broke right on the button and he caught himself a little further forward than he anticipated,” Brinkman said. “When she settled in, she wanted to be just right up there with them [Miss Speedy and Strong Silent] and ended up on the lead going into the turn. By the middle of the turn she ended up on the front end so instead of fighting and dragging her backwards, he went on with it. Take nothing away from the two fillies that outrun her–they are really nice fillies–but she ran for the wire, it’s not like she hung it up, those fillies came and got her.”

Ova Charged’s most recent start came against far lesser foes, but the optional-claiming second-level state-breds, allowed her to try something new in preparation for Saturday. Her 10+ length victory last out was guided by 68-year old jockey Rafael Torrealalba. She had wired her first two races, finishing a combined 16+ lengths ahead of Delta Downs maidens and Monmouth Park first-level allowance company in the slop. One of dam Charged Cotton’s five who have won 28% of 49 starts, this phenom filly could have wired the field, but instead the veteran jockey got her to relax, perching in 4th through the ¼ pole and on the move but still in 2nd at the ½.

“That was the plan,” Camejo said. “She was coming from a long layoff and we didn’t want her to be on the lead even though she was the best in the race. We wanted to teach her a little patience from behind and see if she could do that. I told the rider [Torrealba] ‘try and see if you can run from behind, let her break and see where she wants to be and at the 3/16s, then let her go and see how she will finish.’”

You wouldn’t guess it from watching their last races, but on Saturday, Cilla looks to relax and make a targeted run, while Ova Charged plans to be on or near the lead. Possible rain could alter course, and both trainers Camejo and Brinkman expressed confidence in their jockeys.

“The plan for Saturday,” Camejo continued, “I am going to leave that to the rider, I’ll be honest with you. She is going to be a little more sharp for this race, running closer to the lead now that she has the race under her belt.”

Jockey Reylu Gutierrez will guide Ova Charged from post 5. Fresh off the Pan Zareta masterpiece on Brooke Marie, Adam Beschizza will guide Cilla from post 3. Both are riding their horse for the first time.

“[Cilla’s] last work was by herself,” Brinkman said. “We had been working her with company, letting her sit off by herself and then go after them. This last breeze we just kinda let her ease away from the pole and power home from the lane. It opened my eyes a little bit–she was really fast in the lane, a lot faster than I thought she was going to be. As much as I want to win the race, I am really focusing on her relaxing. Giving her a target to run at. I’m gonna tell Adam what my filly’s preferences are and how she has exhibited her best racing and just let him ride his race from there.”

Though overmatched on paper, the remainder of the 8-horse field is filled with well-bred winners in more-than-capable hands. Breaking from the 1st post is stakes winner, Strong Beauty. Trained by Fair Grounds’ 2020-2021 leading trainer, Ron Faucheux, this daughter of Overanalyze and Headstrong Beauty has shown early speed and likely will need to send from the rail. Bred by Terry Gabriel & Dr. & Mrs. E C Hart, this 4-year-old to be ridden by Carlos Marquez needs to have found another level of speed in her 100+ day freshening.

The first of two 4M Ranch-breds, gray mare Snowball, looks to find more in her 10th start as a 5-year-old. Breaking from post 2 with hot jockey Colby Hernandez up, this Tin Roof Farms-owned earner of $323,280 will benefit from a duel out front that she can close into. Sired by Apriority and dam Inner Peace, Snowball is making her second start off a layoff for trainer Samuel Breaux, finishing 4th to quality statebred company last out.

Wire-to-wire maiden winner last out, Sum of the Parts sired Sumitup will break from post 4 with Jose Riquelme riding. Bred by J Adcock and trained by Delmar Caldwell, this filly owned by Double Dam Farm appears overmatched but is a lightly raced 3-year-old running 2nd time in her form cycle so could improve.

The Lonnie Briley-trained 7-year-old mare, Suzie’s Dream, has not shown the same speed she once had since Norman Stables claimed this Tiz the One for $7,500 three races back in June. She breaks from post 6 with Aubrie Green up. Suzie’s Dream is the second 4M Ranch-bred competitor.

Last-out wire-to-wire winner at a mile, Sarah’s Passion makes her third start in her form cycle. Drawing post 7, Allen Landry calls Joe Stokes to ride this Songandaprayer 4-year-old owned and bred by Perform Stables.

In the far outside post, Sienna Breeze makes her stakes debut with apprentice Brianne Culp aboard. Bred by Joey R Agular, owned and bred by Charles Rosier, this Custom for Carlos 4-year-old has won one time before at this distance and has shown alacrity from the gate in the past.


Watch Out Louisiana-Bred Ladies, You Might Get Caught in the Bear Trap

Louisiana Champions Day Turf Winner looks to add Distaff to her Stakes Success

Net a Bear can do it all: turf, dirt, sprint, route. But one of the things this versatile 5-year old mare hasn’t done is win at 1 1/16th miles on dirt. That’s the distance they’ll travel in the 31st running of the $100,000 Louisiana Champions Day Ladies Distaff.

Entered for a $20,000 claiming tag in her third career start, Net a Bear is now a 6-time stakes winner with over $400,000 in the bank. Installed as Mike Diliberto’s 7-5 morning line favorite, Net a Bear rides three straight wins into this, beating her two main rivals in those contests. Bred by Lora Pitre & Elaine Carroll and sired by Awesome Bet,  this 5-year old mare loves the grass as much as the dirt. Trainer Allen Landry calling upon regular rider Timothy Thornton, this team does not turn back a challenge–as long as it is in the state of Louisiana. And she is not alone in having made all her starts in “The Boot;”. Her main competition, Fort Polk and Quikfast N Ahurry, have always kept it close to home, too.

Quikfast N Ahurry is making the third start in her form cycle after finishing second in her last two outings at Delta Downs, including a half length loss to Net A Bear in the Magnolia. A positive angle for this Steve Flint 4-year old filly is that she won her last two starts 3rd off the layoff. Owned by Whispering Oaks Farm and bred by Carol J Casille out of sire Closing Argument and dam Wynning Ride. Colby Hernandez will break from the rail and is likely to save ground on the first turn.

Morning 6-shooter, Fort Polk looks to have sustained her spring form. There are more bullets on her PPs than holes in the OK Corral. Blinkers off woke up this horse and it has been apparent in the mornings. She’s won three of her last four, with her lone loss in that stretch coming at the hooves of Net a Bear. Patrick Mouton trained, Steve and Pat Roe owned, Fort Polk makes her first start after three months off. Prudently placed, Mouton now aims this Behindatthebar Spanish Cross Stable LLC bred for her first stakes victory. Jorge Guzman up, this 5-year old mare will break from the 2 and likely press potential early pacesetter, Winning Romance.

Another rounding second in her form cycle is her 3-year old Winning Romance. Her three wins have come out front but trainer Bret Calhoun has been stretching her out, last time going Saturday’s distance at Churchill Downs finishing 15+ lengths back after a slower than usual start.  Deshawn Parker will look to return to her impressive 20-length win at Evangeline Downs on June 5th. Allied Racing Stable owned and bred will break from post 4.

The last of the five starters is the 3-year old filly, Eileen Alexandra. Running against the pace dynamic last out, this early speed presser struggled, but she has the tactical advantage to tighten up to the likely early speed to her inside. The second race since transfering from the Amoss barn to Ronnie Ward, this Bob Mahoney owned daughter of Jess’s Dream needs to show more to score against this small but mighty team of Louisiana breds.


Deja Vu Victory for Grand Lu, or Pound for Pound’s Mighty Return to the Top?

Former Champions Grand Luwegee and Pound for Pound will have plenty of company out front  for the Classic

The best effort of 6-year old Grand Luwegee’s career came when he won this race last year at Fair Grounds, his lone start at 1 ⅛ miles on dirt. A muddy track last year may have contributed to his 52-1 shocker, and a Saturday forecast repeat that could be to his liking for the 30th start of his career as he has never finished out of the money out of 6 starts in the mud. Add to that jockey Colby Hernanadez is back up and we have the recipe for this Gerard Perron owned, bred, and trained horse to take the big stack and move less than $10,000 away from a cool half million.

But he’ll have company out front with the presence of Pound for Pound. No rider has been more assertive with her speedy mounts so far at Fair Grounds than Aubrie Green who rides the 2019 Classic champion, who missed the race last year. Owned by Israel Flores Horses, bred by J Addock & B & B Bloodstock, this early mover also knows how to fight off rivals late. Seven of his seventeen exacta finishes have come down to less than half a length. Trained by Andrea Ali, the 6-year old horse drew post 3 and could follow Grand Luwegee until ready to punch.

Likely to settle and make one run, Jimi’s A Star will have to go further than he has ever attempted before. With 3 wins out of 31 starts, this 5-year old Star Guitar gelding knows how to cash, finishing in the money 18 times. Jose Guzman grabs the reins out of post 2 for connections trainer Henry Johnson and owner/breeder James Boyd.

Mageez in the money line looks like the stat sheet for James HArden after a night against the Rockets: 64 starts 11 wins 14 places 12 shows. But none of those wins have come at Saturday’s distance. This 8-year old veteran sired by Musket Man relies on his late kick and often gets caught wide or finds trouble doing so. Facing lesser the last five races, trainer Delmar Caldwell and rider Mitchell Murrill surely smiled to see that even though the competition is stiff, there is a strong possibility of a pace meltdown playing into Mageez hoofs. Owned by Double Dam Farm and bred by James A Mcgehee Jr, a return to summer’s form would light up the tote board for this stalwart in post 4.

Unrestricted’s best races have been his last two. After a three-month freshening for trainer Kenneth Hargrave, this 5-year old out of Bind makes his first start at this distance while running in the best form of his career. Owned by Yovanni Rustrian Munoz and bred by Columbine Stable, Jose Riquelme will guide this quick consistent gelding from post 5.

With four wins out of seven starts, Who Took the Money often answers his own question. After an awkward start in the Churchill Downs slop last out and a slow start at Indiana Downs before that, this Bret Calhoun 3-year old looks to get back to breaking sharp and winning in the homestretch. Always a bit of a headcase, this Allied Racing Stable owned and bred gelding is 3 for 3 at Fair Grounds, and he will break from post 6.

Secret Vista faces his toughest yet while going longer than a mile for the first time. Angel Cordero keeps Carlos Marquez up to pilot this Paddy O’Prado 4-year old. Owned by Omar Ramirex and bred by J Adock & Hume Wornall, maybe stretching out will show another level for this 3 for 19 gelding breaking from post 7.

Sprint to route would be the path taken to glory if Allied Racing owned and Bret Calhoun trained second entrant Highland Creek can win the Classic. A dominant press and pass winner off a summer layoff last out over 6 ½ furlongs at Delta Downs, jockey Adam Beschizza might choose to send from the outside, post 8. J Adock & Neil McFadden bred gelded son of Broken Vow is cross-entered in the LA Champions Turf.

Five out of Ten Juveniles Likely Gunning From the Get-Go

Unified Report enters Juvenile sprint undefeated

Need for speed is the name of the game in the $100,000 Juvenile Sprint where five horses entered have proven to win out front. On a dirt course that has been favoring front runners, whether or not these 2-year olds can relax behind others and find rhythm late is the question they will have to answer.

Morning line favorite Unified Report (5-2) led most of the way in both of his previous victories, but those leads came after rating and passing–always a sign of talent and good things to come for horses early in their career. Dallas Stewart calls his go-to pilot Brian Hernandez Jr to ride this Stephen Brown bred colt, owned by Valene Farms. The recent winner of the Louisiana Legacy Stakes at Delta Downs will break form post 8 with two speed demons to his outside.

Immediately in post 9, Gotmy Mo Jo Workin earned an impressive speed figure breaking his maiden in gate to wire last out. The Mo Tom gelding won’t have it quite so easy this time.  Far outside True Deal has done his best running on the lead and going shorter. Lonnie Brilley brings 2,576 lifetime winning jockey Timothy Thornton on board to see what kind of trip he can work out from the far outside post.

The meet’s leading trainer Jose Camejo sends out Tamborine Star (post 4, ML 4-1) after a live, front running score with the addition of blinkers last out. Irwin Rosendo strikes again aboard this Brittlyn Stable owned son of Star Guitar.

The mornings have belonged to 2nd-time starter maiden Bron and Brow (post 5, ML 5-1). Three bullet workouts concluded with best of 90 going 4 furlongs on December 4th. Blinkers are on for this Lakers fans hunch play that will likely not get many Pelicans backers.

Brett Brinkman’s Grunt won with the easy lead last and will likely have difficulty seeing the front end from the rail (ML 12-1). Patrick Mouton sends out last time winner My Heavy Son (Angel Suarez riding from post 2, ML 30 -1) who has stayed fresh since that Louisiana Downs maiden win against state breds. Steven Asmussen’s Charco (post 3, ML 9-1) has not shown much improvement in four starts and took advantage of the paceless gift he was given on the lead last time out at Delta Downs.

Route to sprint is the angle for Allen Landry’s Vodka Gimlet (ML 8-1), breaking from post 6 with Joe Stokes on board.  And in post 7 Feisty Fist takes another shot at morning line favorite, Unified Report, after falling 3 ¾ lengths short after stalking the easy going leader last out.


Little Question that No Parole Will Break Loose in the
LA Champ Sprint, but How Long Will He Last?

Formidable Faucheux pair Monte Man and Berties’ Galaxy look to lock down the former G1 winner


A return to top form has been as difficult to find as favorable pace setups for the classy front-runner No Parole. The 2020 G1 Woody Stephens has won only once in six starts since, and in his losses, he hasn’t been close, leaving many to wonder if this shooting star has faded away. Tom Amoss calls the 4-year old colt’s original rider, James Graham, back to the saddle. Perhaps the “lucky charm,” who was aboard for No Parole’s first three races resulting in wins by 34 combined lengths for this Maggie Moss and Greg Tramontin owned enigma, can help make a difference.

Monte Man, an 8-year-old son of Custom for Carlos, has been a revelation since being claimed by trainer Gary Sciacca for $25,000 at Belmont Park in October 2017. Ivory Sisters Racing turned him over to trainer Ron Faucheux for his next start and he won a local optional-claimer in December 2017, which was the start of a seven-race winning streak. All told, Monte Man is 17-for-49, which includes eight stakes wins, though last year was his first win in the Louisiana Champions Day Sprint, after running third in the race in 2018 and fourth in the 2019 renewal. Always ready with a late move, the pace dynamic should set up nicely and Adam Beschizza gets the call for Ron Faucheux to try to repeat this winning tradition. Faucheux also sends out Bertie’s Galaxy, who finished a disappointing 5th as the favorite in the 2020 edition. Another speedster who doesn’t perform nearly as well when not allowed to dictate terms, this 5-year old gelding has won three out of this last 4, most recently at Delta Downs against conditioned allowance company.

Rounding out the field from the inside out starts with trainer Ricky Courville’s Father Goose (jockey Pedro Cotto Jr, ML 20-1) who has won three out of twelve starts but has yet to face anything as tough as these stakes superstars. Most recently winning against allowance company sprinting on turf, Allen Landry’s Hail State (jockey Joe Stokes, post 3, ML 10-1) would need a hail mary type miracle to score this caliber of win against these foes. A two-time stakes winner out of the Hugh Robertson barn, Sir Wellington (post 4, ML 8-1) is a 3-year old coming into his own. Making his second start after a tough duel against talented foes at Churchill Downs last out, this colt by Palace gets hot jockey Marcelino Pedroza Jr up.  Woodbine shipper, Swot Analysis (post 6, jockey Deshawn Parker, ML 8-1) tried two turns on the turf last out, flashed speed and faded 7th against second level optional claimers. A one time G3 entered 3-year old by Anchor Down, this Mark Casse trainee seems to have used that as a prep for Champions Day and this horse could be a live long shot. Last out winner Pickens (jockey Jose Varga, post 7, ML 10-1) has posted competitive speed figures but against much lesser in the optional claiming ranks at Delta Downs. If the up and down form holds true for the every other start superstar/clunker runner Takes Two to Tango (post 8, Emmanuel Nieves, ML 8-1) then Saturday could be a high mark for this Jose Garcia trained 5-year old gelding who was eased in his most recent start. Scott Gelner sends out Izzy’s Baby Boy (jockey Aubrie Green, post 9, ML 20-1) who is 0 for 6 at this distance but had a nice recent win two back going 6 ½ furlongs.


Large Field for the Lassie Creates Interesting Puzzle of Possibility

Free Like A Girl is seasoned and hoping to assert dominance over her freshman filly foes

A full field of lightly raced 2-year olds creates the type of chaos that savvy bettors thrive on, but three logical horses will take the lion’s share of the market’s action: Free Like a Girl, Basalt Street, and Wholelottamo.

Eight races run and eight races in the money puts Free Like a Girl as the 9-5 morning line favorite in the 31st running of the Louisiana Champions Day Lassie. Her last three races were strong wins against state-bred stakes company. Second favorite Basalt Street will likely attract a lot of sharp money after her dominating eight length maiden win here on opening day. Louisiana Downs stakes winner Wholelottamo could redeem herself after tossing in a clunker last out behind Free Like A Girl as the well beaten 3-5 favorite in the Louisiana Jewel at Delta Downs.

Second time starters Valtesse (trained by Allen Landry, ridden by Colby Hernandez, post 1, ML 20-1), Dreaming of Neany (trained by Sam David Jr, ridden by MArcelino Pedroza Jr, post 3, ML 8-1), Beleout (trained by Delmar Caldwell, ridden by James Graham, post 4, ML 20-1), Won Day (trained by Allen Landry, ridden by Joe Stokes, post 10, ML 8-1), all ran impressively at first asking and appear to be in striking distance in terms of logical speed figure improvements second time out. Dreaming of Neany looks to have won in a key race that featured two next winners, including Basalt Street.

Filling out the field is Medley (trained by Steve Asmussen, ridden BJ Hernandez Jr., post 6, ML 8-1), Dream on It (trained by Emile Schwandt, ridden by Reylu Gutierrez, post 8, ML 6-1),  Maestria (trained by Cathal Lynch, ridden by Adam Beschizza, post 9, ML 8-1), and Buckly Bunny (trained by Steve Flint, ridden by Kevin Smith, post 11, ML 20-1).


Recency Key to Turf Championship

Oldies but goodies try to remain prominent

Two horses on the rise look to offer peak performances in the 31st running of the Louisiana Champions Day Turf.

Making his second career start in the Turf, Carlea’s Dream (post 3, ML 3-1) seems sharper than ever, posting two of his fastest lifetime speed figures in recent starts. Three wins out of four tries at the race’s distance of 1 1/16 miles on turf, the gelded son of Lea trained by Karen Jacks should be involved early and often keeping close to his front-running fow, Mangelsen. SInce Ron Faucheux claimed this 5-year old gelding, he has done nothing but find his form and post faster speed figures. The Big Band Sound gelding loves the turf and loves to send it back into his foe’s faces. Mangelsen (ML 4-1) has one way to go and the rail draw keeps it simple for regular rider, Marcelino Pedroza Jr.

Programmed between the two likely favorites in post 2 Highland Creek. Sprint to route, dirt to turf would be the path taken to glory if Allied Racing owned and Bret Calhoun trainee can win the Turf. A dominant press and pass winner off a summer layoff last out over 6 ½ furlongs at Delta Downs, jockey Adam Beschizza might choose to send along with Mangelsen but likely will follow. J Adock & Neil McFadden bred gelded son of Broken Vow is cross-entered in the Louisiana Champions Classic.

With four wins out of seven starts, another contender is Who Took the Money, After an awkward start in the Churchill Downs slop last out and a slow start at Indiana Downs before that, this Bret Calhoun 3-year old looks to get back to breaking sharp and winning in the homestretch. Always a bit of a headcase, this Allied Racing Stable owned and bred gelding is 3 for 3 at Fair Grounds, and he will break from post 5. He too is cross-entered in the Classic. .

Rounding out the field is last out winner Jeb’s Lucky Eight (trained by Frank Pennino, ridden by James Graham, post 4, ML 20-1); the always fortunate Mr. Four Sevens (Courtney Dandridge Jr, ridden by Jose Riquelme, post 6, ML 20-1); Louisiana stalwart Trey’s Midnite Moon (trained by Bunky Richards, ridden by Aubrie Green, post 7, ML 15-1); Get Them Justin (trained Sturges Ducoing, ridden by Angel Suarez, post 8, ML 15 -1); I’m a Cowboy Too (trained by Gary Scherer, ridden by Mitchell Murrill, post 9, ML 15-1); the third from Bret Calhoun, late kicker Budro Talking (ridden by Emmanuel Nieves, post 10, ML 8-1); Britts a Closer (trained by David Gomez, ridden by Colby Hernandez, post 11, 6-1); and Jaci’s Royalty (trained by Cortland Harrison, ridden by Declan Carroll, post 12, ML 12-1).

Three Quarter Horse Stakes Kick Off Champions Day Card

Lightemupwithcharm targets third victory in the Quarter Horse Classic

Copy provided by Martha Claussen, who has served as publicity director at Sam Houston Race Park for ten years. She continues to be active in writing, fan education and Quarter Horse racing publicity in Louisiana, Texas, Indiana and other regions in North America.

The first feature on the Louisiana Champions Day card is the $100,000 Classic (RG2) and two-time defending champion Lightemupwithcharm (post 6 at 12-1) with Luciano Duenez), takes on eight rivals.  Each of the three Quarter Horse stakes will be run at different distances; the opening feature will be contested at the “classic” test for Quarter Horses, as 440 yards; which measures a quarter of a mile.

Trained by Willie Simien, Jr., Lightemupwithcharm is proven at this distance, but the 7-year-old gelding will have tough competition from several 4-year-old stakes winners. Veteran conditioner Kenneth Roberts Sr. sends out Lifeinthefastlanes, a very accomplished mare, who exits a victory in the 400-yard Opelousas Stakes last month at Evangeline Downs. She repelled the late bid of Apollitical B Snow, who has won four of his six starts this year for trainer Rosendo Valdez, Jr. His father, Rosendo, has topped the owner standings at each Louisiana Downs, Delta Downs and Evangeline Downs this year.

How about the success of jockey Everardo Rodriguez, who has the call aboard Apollitical B Snow? He leads all North American Quarter Horse riders in wins in 2021 and will compete against his two younger brothers in the Classic. Jose will guide Jose O. Barron’s Maggies Runaway from the far outside post and Leonardo, the youngest of the trio, has the call aboard Hezjessmagic for owner Elizando Racing.

The Classic field from the rail out: Paul Rigdon’s Jrs Coronas Toast (12-1 with (Juan C. Garcia); Two entrants owned by Rosendo Valdez: Eyeondaprize (4-1 with Noe Castaneda); Apollitical B Snow (8-5 with Everardo Rodriguez); Paragon Farms LLC’s Lifeinthefastlanes (5-2 with David Alvarez); Preston Jourdan’s Tuckers Prize (10-1 with Ubaldo Luna); Saul Dorado’s Lightemupwithcharm (12-1 with Luciano Duenez); Elsa Mendoza’s Heza Bell Perry Jr (15-1 with Mario Trujillo); Elizando Racing’s Hezjessmagic (20-1 with Leonardo Rodriguez) and Jose O. Barron’s Maggies Runaway (20-1 with Jose Rodriguez).


Full Field Set for the Quarter Horse Juvenile


The $100,000 Juvenile (RG2), run at 350 yards, is always a highly competitive race for 2-year-olds. Ruse Ranch LLC ‘s Kk Sandra Patriot is the lone futurity winner in the 12-horse field. The daughter of Game Patriot broke her maiden when she captured the first official futurity of the year on March 6 at Louisiana Downs. Trained by Josue Huitron, Kk Sandra Patriot will break from the rail in the 350-yard event, in hopes of securing her second victory this year.

Several juveniles who competed in the $827,000 Lee Berwick Memorial Futurity (RG1) at Delta Downs on July 31, will make their Fair Grounds debut. They include Tdz Royal Runaway, who finished third for breeder/ owner Tony Doughtie. Trained by Kenneth Roberts, Sr., the son of Sir Runaway Dash exits a trial for the 400-yard LQHBA Louisiana Million and has earned $139,126 in seven starts. Railroad Jimmy, owned by GR Stables LLC, ran fourth at odds of 28-1. Roberto Madrigal trains the son of Freighttrain B. In addition, Jess Louisiana, a Jess Louisiana Blue gelding owned by Jose U. Oviedo, who finished seventh under Luciano Duenez.  The Lee Berwick offers the second highest purse for Louisiana-bred 2-year-old Quarter Horses, next to next weekend’s LQHBA Louisiana Million at Evangeline Downs.

Others to watch include Amazing Blood who finished third in the $382,000 LQHBA Sale Futurity on October 30 at Evangeline Downs. Owned by Jose Alfonso Ramos, he is sired by Apollitical Blood and will make his eighth start for trainer Miguel Rodriguez. Soft on the Freight, a filly by Freighttrain B, finished seventh in that final for trainer Luis Martinez.

There are also late blooming juveniles making their stakes debut, most notably Return The Queen who brings a three-race win streak for owner Dale Rogers and trainer Trey Ellis.

The Louisiana Juvenile in post position order: Ruse Ranch LLC’s Kk Sandra Patriot (12-1 with Arturo Alvarez);  Jose U. Oviedo’s Jess Louisiana  (12-1 with Luciano Duenez); Tony Doughtie’s Tdz Royal Runaway (7-2 with David Alvarez); Dale Rogers’  Return The Queen (8-1 with Juan Garcia, Jr),; GR Stables LLC’s Railroad Jimmy (10-1 with Rolando Cabrera); BMAQ Racing LLC’s Sheza Knockoutcartel (12-1 with Bryan Candanosa);  Miguel Hernandez’ Gamefaceprize (9-2 with Jose Rodriguez); Jesus Villarreal’s Soft On the Freight (12-1 with Guadalupe Lucio, Jr); Jose Alfonso Ramos’ Amazing Blood (12-1 with Leonardo Rodriguez);  Penny Meyers’ Kp Prospect (8-1 with Ubaldo Luna);  Jeronimo Silver’s Quid Pro Quo (8-1 with Bobby Ransom) and Rosendo Valdez’ Jess Sweet Enough (8-1 with Everardo Rodriguez).


Three Offspring of Quarter Horse Stallion Tee Cos Vie in the Quarter Horse Derby


The final Quarter Horse stakes on the card is the $100,000 Quarter Horse Derby (RG3) with ten 3-year-olds competing at 400 yards.

One year ago, Ought to Go Tee pulled a mild upset to win the $100,000 Louisiana Champions Day Quarter Horse Juvenile Stakes (RG2). The gelded son of  Tee Cos, who ran third in the 2011 All American Futurity (G1),  scored a three-quarter length victory for trainer Fernando Lopez and owner Jose U. Oviedo. The bay gelding will make his sixth start of his 3-year-old season under rider Rolando Cabrera.

Another son of Tee Cos, Tee Britt will travel to Fair Grounds for trainer Cody McDaniel. She was a Quarter Horse jockey in Texas and Louisiana for 15 years and has been training since 2019. Tee Britt, owned by Ground Shakers Race Team LLP, is her most successful runner to date, with a runner-up finish in the Retama Park Derby on July 31 and earnings of  $96,053.

The third Derby contender sired by Tee Cos is Tee Zo, a filly, owned by Joseph Landreneau, who will make her 15th career start for trainer Lanny Keith.

Rosendo Valdez, Jr. will saddle Dirtwater Dash, who ran third in the $197,000 Firecracker Derby last July at Delta Downs. The gelded son of Sir Runaway Dash has won six of his seven starts this year and will be ridden by Everardo Rodriguez from the far outside post.

Other entrants looking for their first stakes score of 2021 include Jettin Cartel, owned by Rogelio Marquez, Jr. and trained by Hector Alcala. Sired by Carters Cartel, he won back-to-back races at the claiming level at Delta Downs prior to a third-place finish in an allowance at Evangeline Downs on October 7. Pete Scarmardo’s Apollitical Chais exits an impressive 440-yard allowance score on October 22 at Evangeline Downs for trainer Kenneth Roberts, Sr. The son of Apollitical Blood was a $33,000 LQHBA Yearling Sale purchase and completed his 2-year-old campaign with a win the LQHBA Louisiana Million Invitational one year ago.

The field for the Louisiana Day QH Derby, from the rail: Rogelio Marquez, Jr.’s Jetttin Cartel  (8-1 with David Alvarez); Reydesel Rangel’s Bayou Kue (12-1 with Guadalupe Lucio, Jr);  Pete Scarmardo’s Apollitical Chais (6-1 with Ubaldo Luna);  JP Quarter Horses’ Cason (6-1 with Noe Castaneda); Fausto G. Mendoza’s Get It Done Babe (20-1 with Leonardo Rodriguez);  Joseph Landreneau’s Tee Zo (10-1 with Arturo Alvarez);  Ground Shakers Race Team LLP’s Tee Britt (6-1 with Claudio Aguilar); Darrin and Norman Ladner’s One Fast Cajun (10-1 with Bryan Candanosa);  Jose U. Oviedo’s Ought to Go Tee (9-2-with Rolando Cabrera) and  Rosendo Valdez’ Dirt Water Dash (5-2 with Everardo Rodriguez).