THE 2018 THOROUGHBRED RACING MEET AT HARRAH’S LOUISIANA DOWNS WRAPPED ON WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 26

Emanuel Nieves, Karl Broberg and End Zone Athletics, Inc. Earn Titles

 

Bossier City, LA – The 2018 Thoroughbred racing season at Harrah’s Louisiana Downs concluded on Wednesday, September 26.  The 84-day meet, which got underway on May 5, offered live cards on its Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday racing schedule.

 

Both major racing events, Louisiana Cup Day on Saturday, August 4 and Super Derby Day, featured excellent fields and were well received by both horsemen and horseplayers here and across the country. Limation, winner of the Grade 3, $300,000 Super Derby for Hall of Fame conditioner Steve Asmussen, will run in Sunday’s Grade 3, $400,000 Remington Park Derby.

 

Louisiana Downs handled $64,565,651 throughout the meet, versus $67,290,466 in the 2017 live Thoroughbred racing season. While there was a decline of 4% in total handle, there were several positives, including an increase of 12% on Super Derby Day with horseplayers wagering $1,943,318 million this year, versus $1,737,269 in 2017.  With carryovers on both the Pick 5 and Pick 6 wagers the handle on the final day of the meet was the largest at Harrah’s Louisiana Downs since the 2016 Super Derby. Also,an increase of 3.2% was noted on handle per race, with an average of $109,619 wagered per race this year, compared to $106,136 last year.

 

“We are encouraged by the increase in our per race handle and the momentum that we saw at the end of the meet, highlighted by the very strong closing day handle, “said Eric Halstrom, Director of Operations. “It remains difficult to attract horses to Northwest Louisiana, and the reduction in the number of races we ran in 2018 is a reflection of that. We will work hard in the months to come to build momentum with both horsemen and patrons for our 2019 live racing season. ”

 

 

Emanuel Nieves Wins His First Louisiana Downs Leading Rider Title

Emanuel Nieves had an exceptional season, topping a very competitive jockey colony to claim his first ever leading rider title. The 25-year-old native of Puerto Rico finished the meet with a record of 420 starts, 85 wins, 76 seconds and 70 thirds and purses of $1,074,804.

 

Nieves began riding in 2012, and has ridden in each of the four Louisiana racetracks for the past six years. He finished sixth in the standings last year, but his business grew significantly in 2018 due to the allegiance of many horsemen and his agent, Ronald Ardoin, who was one of the most successful jockeys in Louisiana.

 

“He’s won over 5,000 races,” said Nieves. ““Ronald has such good relationships with horsemen and has helped me so much.”

 

In the money at a very respectable 55% clip,, Nieves’ lone stakes win this season was aboard Cabo’s Rumor owned by Northpointe Thoroughbreds in the $60,000 Louisiana Cup Juvenile on August 4.

 

Cabo’s Rumor is trained by Steve Duke, and Nieves had tremendous backing from a multitude of horsemen including Joey Foster, Al Stall, Jr., Karl Broberg, H. B. Johnson, Joe Duhon, Beverly Burress, Jose Camejo, Sarah Delany, Joe McKellar, Ray Shumake, Tommy Ives, Jody Hodges and Michael McEachern.

 

“I could not have gotten this far without the support of so many great horsemen,” said Nieves. “I work hard every day and am very thankful the opportunity to ride so many good horses.”

 

He finished the meet with tremendous confidence, piloting six winners this week, including his 500th career victory aboard Princesa Pomasane on Monday’s card.

 

Next up for Nieves is Delta Downs for their meet which gets underway on October 17. But first he will make a trip to Puerto Rico, where he rides three races Friday at Hipodromo Camarero.

 

“It will be a wonderful trip home,” stated Nieves. “I’ll ride on Friday, but Saturday there will be a big party with family and friends! Then back to Louisiana where I will work horses at Delta Downs on Wednesday!”

 

It was also a very successful season for Gerardo Mora, who finished second with 67 trips to the winner’s circle. Mora, who is also represented by Ardoin, was last year’s leading rider. Joel Dominguez won 66 races to finish a close third in the standings, followed by Jose Guerrero, who piloted 43 winners.

 

 

Karl Broberg Honored as Leading Trainer

Karl Broberg added another title to his fast growing list, winning 31 races from 101 starters to top his fellow conditioners this meet.

This showing caps his dominant year in Louisiana, when he began the year with 83 wins at Delta Downs to capture his seventh consecutive leading trainer award. On August 28, he picked up his eighth training title at Evangeline Downs with 59 wins from 190 starters.

This was the second leading trainer title at Harrah’s Louisiana Downs for Broberg, who has been training since 2009, and is currently ranked eighth in win on the Equibase North American trainer list.

“I’m shocked that we were able to win the title here,” said Broberg. “We sent in a few horses and had some success, so added a few more. While many of the horses were owned by End Zone Athletics, Inc., I was blessed with some quality owners this meet, for which I am thankful.”

Broberg, who is prominent at several racetracks in the region, acknowledged the hard work of assistant trainer, Kevin Martin, who ran the Louisiana Downs string.

“Maybe his worst attribute is that he is so well-liked,” quipped Broberg. “Our “good cop-bad cop” continues to work well!”

Joey Foster, who won the training title last year, finished second with 26 wins. Al Stall, Jr. won 22 races this meet and H. B. Johnson, Beverly Burress and Jorge Lara each saddled 18 winners.

 

Leading Owner Title Goes to End Zone Athletics, Inc.

The very tight battle for leading owner honors concluded on Tuesday afternoon when End Zone Athletics, Inc. won with Sun And Sand to clinch the title.

 

The highly successful partnership of Karl Broberg and Matt Johanson has reigned supreme on a national level and in the Texas-Louisiana region for many years and won 15 races this meet to earn leading owner honors.

 

End Zone Athletics, Inc. has led the nation in wins for the last three years, and currently tops all North American owners, according to Equibase, in 2018. They won the title at Delta Downs earlier this year for the sixth time in the last seven years. They also won leading owner honors earlier this year at Sam Houston Race Park. Since 2007, End Zone Athletics, Inc. has started 4,195 Thoroughbreds, winning 1,110 races and earnings of $14.573,256.

 

“Matt and I have been partners since we were roommates in college,” said Broberg. “We have had tremendous success in the claiming game.”

 

Dream Walkin Farms, Inc. followed closely with 14 wins and horses owned by Patti Turner made 13 trips to the winner’s circle. Indian Creek Thoroughbred Farms, LLC was fourth with ten wins and Beverly Burress won nine races in the 2018 Thoroughbred meet.

 

Training and Stall Space Offered to Horsemen Beginning November 15

Harrah’s Louisiana Downs is pleased to offer horsemen an opportunity to train and stable their Thoroughbreds during the upcoming Fall and Winter months.

 

With the recent closing of the Evangeline Training Center, officials acknowledge that many Louisiana Thoroughbred trainers are in need of a facility to stable and train their racehorses.  Harrah’s Louisiana Downs is now accepting stall applications to accommodate horsemen from November 15 – March 19.

 

The track will be open for training six days a week with full amenities including a clocker, outrider and ambulance service.  Security in the stable area will be provided 24 hours a day, seven days each week. Located in the Bossier City-Shreveport metroplex, Harrah’s Louisiana Downs is located in convenient proximity for shipping to Delta Downs in Vinton, Louisiana; Fair Grounds in New Orleans and the upcoming live season at Oaklawn Park in Hot Springs, Arkansas.

 

Space and availability for Thoroughbreds is limited and will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis. Horsemen are encouraged to contact David Heitzmann, Harrah’s Louisiana Downs Director of Racing at (318) 741-2511 or (318) 741-2512 for rates and information.

 

 

About Harrah’s Louisiana Downs

Located near Shreveport in Bossier City, Louisiana, Louisiana Downs opened in 1974 and was purchased by Caesars Entertainment in December, 2002. With annual Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse racing seasons, the track is committed to presenting the highest quality racing programs paired with its 150,000 square foot entertainment complex offering casino gambling, dining and plasma screen televisions for sports and simulcast racing.

HARRAH’S LOUISIANA DOWNS THOROUGHBRED MEET TO CONCLUDE ON WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 26

Pick 6 Carryover of $263,695 Heading Into Tuesday, September 25

 

Bossier City, LA – There are just two more days remaining in the 2018 Thoroughbred season at Harrah’s Louisiana Downs. Post time for Tuesday, September 25 and Wednesday, September 26, which is the meet’s final day, is 3:15 p.m. (Central).

 

Horseplayers will have an excellent incentive for handicapping the remaining cards with two carryovers heading into Tuesday afternoon’s racing.  The Pick 6 carryover is $263,695 and there is also a carryover of $76,155 in the Pick 5. Both must be paid out in full on Wednesday, September 26 if they are not hit today!

 

Trainer, Jockey and Owner Standings

Harrah’s Louisiana Downs will honor the leading trainer, jockey and owner on Wednesday afternoon with close battles in both the trainer and owner standings.

 

However, Emanuel Nieves has locked up the leading rider honors already, winning three more races on Monday’s card to firmly cement his ranking in the very competitive jockey colony. This will be the first leading rider title for the 25-year-old native of Puerto Rico, who heads into Tuesday’s matinee with 82 wins. Last year’s leading jockey Gerardo Mora had been steadily making his way up the ladder, but remains in second place with 67 trips to the winner’s circle; just one more than Joel Dominguez.

 

“I am so excited about winning my first leading jockey title,” said Nieves, who is just one win away from his 500th career victory. “Since the article came out about me (on August 14), I have had over 400 calls wishing me good luck. So many people from Puerto Rico and here in the United States have shown their support. It’s been amazing!”

 

With just two days remaining, Karl Broberg tops the trainer standings with 28 wins. Last year’s leading trainer, Joey Foster follows closely with 26 winners. Horses trained by Al Stall, Jr. have won 22 races with Jorge Lara rounding out the top four conditioners with 18 wins.

 

Dream Walkin Farms, Inc. and End Zone Athletics, Inc. are tied for leading owner honors with 14 wins. Patti Turner is next with 12 victories and Beverly Burress and Indian Creek Thoroughbred Farms, LLC follow with nine wins each.

 

Diego Saenz Approaching his 2,000th Career Win

Jockey Diego Saenz is just 8 wins away from his 2,000th career victory. The 39-year-old rider is named on just five horses for Tuesday and Wednesday, so the milestone will most likely occur at Delta Downs when their meet opens October 17. He has won four leading rider titles at the Vinton, Louisiana racetrack.

 

Training and Stall Space Offered to Horsemen Beginning November 15

Harrah’s Louisiana Downs is pleased to offer horsemen an opportunity to train and stable their Thoroughbreds during the upcoming Fall and Winter months.

 

With the recent closing of the Evangeline Training Center, officials acknowledge that many Louisiana Thoroughbred trainers are in need of a facility to stable and train their racehorses.  Harrah’s Louisiana Downs is now accepting stall applications to accommodate horsemen from November 15 – March 19.

 

The track will be open for training six days a week with full amenities including a clocker, outrider and ambulance service.  Security in the stable area will be provided 24 hours a day, seven days each week. Located in the Bossier City-Shreveport metroplex, Harrah’s Louisiana Downs is located in convenient proximity for shipping to Delta Downs in Vinton, Louisiana; Fair Grounds in New Orleans and the upcoming live season at Oaklawn Park in Hot Springs, Arkansas.

 

“Harrah’s Louisiana Downs recognizes the hardship placed on horsemen in Louisiana with the lack of available stall space and training centers,” said Eric Halstrom, Harrah’s Louisiana Downs Vice President of Operations. “We are pleased to offer a secure stable area and one of the best surfaces in the country for training. Our location, in close proximity to Louisiana interstate travel, is convenient for horses shipping to multiple racetracks.”

 

Space and availability for Thoroughbreds is limited and will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis. Horsemen are encouraged to contact David Heitzmann, Harrah’s Louisiana Downs Director of Racing at (318) 741-2511 or (318) 741-2512 for rates and information.

 

About Harrah’s Louisiana Downs

Located near Shreveport in Bossier City, Louisiana, Louisiana Downs opened in 1974 and was purchased by Caesars Entertainment in December, 2002. With annual Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse racing seasons, the track is committed to presenting the highest quality racing programs paired with its 150,000 square foot entertainment complex offering casino gambling, dining and plasma screen televisions for sports and simulcast racing.

 

HARRAH’S LOUISIANA DOWNS TO OFFER FALL/WINTER STALL ACCOMMODATIONS AND TRAINING FOR THOROUGHBREDS

Bossier City, LA – Harrah’s Louisiana Downs is pleased to offer horsemen an opportunity to train and stable their Thoroughbreds during the upcoming Fall and Winter months.

 

With the recent closing of the Evangeline Training Center, officials acknowledge that many Louisiana Thoroughbred trainers are in need of a facility to stable and train their racehorses.  Harrah’s Louisiana Downs is now accepting stall applications to accommodate horsemen from November 15 – March 19.

 

The track will be open for training six days a week with full amenities including a clocker, outrider and ambulance service.  Security in the stable area will be provided 24 hours a day, seven days each week. Located in the Bossier City-Shreveport metroplex, Harrah’s Louisiana Downs is located in convenient proximity for shipping to Delta Downs in Vinton, Louisiana; Fair Grounds in New Orleans and the upcoming live season at Oaklawn Park in Hot Springs, Arkansas.

 

“Harrah’s Louisiana Downs recognizes the hardship placed on horsemen in Louisiana with the lack of available stall space and training centers,” said Eric Halstrom, Harrah’s Louisiana Downs Vice President of Operations. “We are pleased to offer a secure stable area and one of the best surfaces in the country for training. Our location, in close proximity to Louisiana interstate travel, is convenient for horses shipping to multiple racetracks.”

 

Space and availability for Thoroughbreds is limited and will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis. Horsemen are encouraged to contact David Heitzmann, Harrah’s Louisiana Downs Director of Racing at (318) 741-2511 or

(318) 741-2512 for rates and information.

 

 

About Harrah’s Louisiana Downs

Located near Shreveport in Bossier City, Louisiana, Louisiana Downs opened in 1974 and was purchased by Caesars Entertainment in December, 2002. With annual Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse racing seasons, the track is committed to presenting the highest quality racing programs paired with its 150,000 square foot entertainment complex offering casino gambling, dining and plasma screen televisions for sports and simulcast racing.

OWNER STATON FLURRY HAS A SPECIAL PLACE IN HIS HEART FOR HARRAH’S LOUISIANA DOWNS

Flurry and Tor Con Six
Staton Flurry and Tor Con Six. Hodges Photography.

Bossier City, LA – Thoroughbred owner Staton Flurry will never forget winning the 2017 Super Derby at Harrah’s Louisiana Downs with Mr. Misunderstood.

 

Last September, the marquee stakes for 3-year-olds was run on the Franks Turf Course at the distance of a mile and one-sixteenth. Trained by Brad Cox, the gelded son of Archarcharch, shipped in undefeated on the turf, and punched his ticket to the Super Derby with a win in the $60,000 Prelude, which was also run on the turf in 2017.

 

Flurry, 28, is a passionate Thoroughbred owner from Hot Springs, Arkansas. His family’s Flurry Racing Stables, LLC has campaigned a quality group of stakes winners at Oaklawn Park and Louisiana Downs. . Flurry’s first stakes winner Little Miss Flurry captured the 2014 Razorback Futurity. But Mr. Misunderstood has vaulted to the top of the ladder with an incredible record of 11 wins from 19 starts. Since winning the Super Derby, the dark bay gelding won five stakes including the Grade 2 Wise Dan at Churchill Downs. Purchased for $130,000, he currently boasts earnings of $707,854.

 

Flurry made the trip back to Louisiana Downs this week to see three of his horses who are trained by Karl Broberg.  On Monday afternoon, Tor Con Six, a 4-year-old son of Half Ours ran in a starter optional claiming sprint, and despite coming into the race off three wins, struggled and finished fifth.

 

“That was a little disappointing as he had been doing great,” said Flurry. “His rider (Gerardo Mora) said he just spit the bit.”

 

Tuesday it was Golden Driller in the second, a $21,000 maiden at six and one-half furlongs. The 3-year-old by Caleb’s Posse was injured last October at Remington Park. Flurry sent him to Louisiana Downs last month and looked forward to a solid return off the layoff. With Mora aboard, he caught the leader Three Time Charmer, briefly took the lead, before losing by a nose.

 

Wednesday marks the debut of Mathieu, a 2-year-old Louisiana-bred son of Custom For Carlos, out of the Vindication mare Laughing Saint. He has posted several solid works for the six furlong main track event and will be ridden by  Jose Guererro.

 

“We’ve babied him along,” said Flurry. “He has settled down since being gelded and I have come over to see a few of his works, and am looking forward to watching him run on Wednesday.”

 

Flurry debated on several names for the 2-year-old, finally settling on Mathieu in honor of Louisiana native Tyrann Mathieu, an All American football player. He played for LSU and is now a safety for the Houston Texans.

 

Next up for Mr. Misunderstood is the $1,000,000 Shadwell Mile at Keeneland on October 6 with the Grade 1, Breeders’ Cup Mile on the radar for Flurry and Cox.

 

“Winning the Super Derby at Louisiana Downs was a cool starting spot for Mr. Misunderstood,” stated Flurry. “We thought we really might have something, but to think that he may be two races away from earning a million dollars is pretty amazing.”

 

Memorial Service for Trainer Dana Whited Set for Saturday, September 22

Harrah’s Louisiana Downs is saddened to confirm the passing of trainer Dana Whited. Her sister, Gina Nagy Wilson confirmed that Whited died on Friday, September 14 from heart failure.

 

The 52 year-old horsewoman was born in Dodge City, Kansas and has been a respected member of the Louisiana racing industry since 2012. According to Equibase statistics, Whited saddled 851 horses, with a record of  94 win; 107seconds and 102 thirds. She won 18 races this year on the Louisiana circuit.

 

A memorial service will be held in the Harrah’s Louisiana Downs winner’s circle this Saturday, September 22 at 7:00 pm. The public is invited to pay their respects.

 

“Dana was so much more than a trainer; she was a friend to everyone,” said Chaplain Jimmy Sistrunk. “This was a shock for our racing community as Dana looked out for so many people and served as a mentor to anyone she could help.  She will be greatly missed.”

 

Announcer John McGary Off to Zia Park This Week

Harrah’s Louisiana Downs track announcer John McGary will wrap up his duties in the booth on Wednesday, September 19. He will head to Zia Park in Hobbs, New Mexico to call the races for their 2018 live racing season which begins on Saturday, September 22.

 

Announcer Mike Persichino will fill in for McGary for the final four days of the meet. He began calling races in 1999 with appearances in Utah, Arizona, California and Oregon. Persichino has been the voice of Wyoming Downs since 2014 and called the final two weeks of the Harrah’s Louisiana Downs Thoroughbred meet last September.

 

Trainer, Jockey and Owner Standings

As of September 18, Karl Broberg tops the trainer standings with 25 wins. Last year’s leading trainer, Joey Foster follows closely with 24 winners and horses trained by Al Stall, Jr. have won 22 races.  Jorge Lara, Beverly Burress, Jose Camejo and Danny Pish have each saddled 17 winners this meet.

 

Emanuel Nieves won eight races last week and continues to lead the rider standings with 75 wins. Last year’s leading jockey Gerardo Mora has been steadily making his way up the ladder and is now in second place with 65 victories. Joel Dominguez is third with 64 trips to the winner’s circle and Hector Del-Cid and Jose Guererro have each won 40 races.

 

Dream Walkin Farms, Inc. and End Zone Athletics, Inc. are tied for leading owner honors with 14 wins. Patti Turner is next with 12 victories and Beverly Burress and Indian Creek Thoroughbred Farms, LLC follow with nine wins each.

 

The winners of each division will be honored on Wednesday, September 26, which is the final day of the 2018 Thoroughbred racing season.

 

Diego Saenz Approaching his 2,000th Career Win

Jockey Diego Saenz is just 9 wins away from his 2,000th career victory. The 39-year-old rider won one race on the Monday, September 17thcard, piloting My Prophet for trainer Eduardo Ramirez.

Saenz is named on 15 horses this week. Once the Harrah’s Louisiana Downs meet wraps, he will head to Delta Downs when their meet opens October 17. He has won four leading rider titles at the Vinton, Louisiana racetrack.

 

Wednesday and Saturday Race Day Promotions

Louisiana Downs offers value for racing fans each Wednesday with Dollar Day. They will be able to enjoy $1 hot dogs, $1 beer at the Paddock as well as $1 programs. Saturday’s weekly promotion is the Family Four Pack featuring four hot dogs, four sodas, a program, and a box seat for four at the affordable price of just $16.

 

The Total Rewards program is free for horseplayers. With the swipe of their card each Saturday, members will receive valuable incentives.  These include:

  • Play $250 or more to receive a 5X multiplier
  • Play $1,000 or more to receive a 7X multiplier
  • Play $5,000 or more to receive a 10X multiplier

Participant’s multiplier cannot exceed a total balance of more than one hundred thousand (100,000) Reward Credits during one promotional day after the multiplier is applied.

 

Post Times and Stakes Schedule

Live racing will be conducted Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday and Saturday with a 3:15 p.m. (Central) post time through Wednesday, September 26.

 

About Harrah’s Louisiana Downs

Located near Shreveport in Bossier City, Louisiana, Louisiana Downs opened in 1974 and was purchased by Caesars Entertainment in December, 2002. With annual Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse racing seasons, the track is committed to presenting the highest quality racing programs paired with its 150,000 square foot entertainment complex offering casino gambling, dining and plasma screen televisions for sports and simulcast racing.

 

FAMILY SUPPORT FUELS THE GROWING STABLE OF TRAINER SCOTT GELNER AT HARRAH’S LOUISIANA DOWNS

Scott Gelner
Scott Gelner. Coady Photography.

Bossier City, LA – Trainer Scott Gelner is a busy man! He is currently running horses at Harrah’s Louisiana Downs and on Saturday, sends Norman Stables, LLC’s Taylor’s Spirit to Churchill Downs to run in the Grade 2, $200,000 Pocahontas. Shaun Bridgmohan will pilot the Kentucky-bred daughter of Algorithms, who is undefeated in three starts for Gelner. She stretched out successfully in the $60,000 Happy Ticket here on September 2 and will have to go an extra sixteenth of a mile Saturday.

“She’s a nice filly and has handled everything well so far,” he said.

Gelner will not make the trip to Kentucky as he and his wife, Felicia, will renew their vows on Saturday.  They look forward to welcoming family members; many of whom could not make it to Louisiana for their wedding a decade ago.

“They couldn’t get here because of the hurricane,” explained Gelner.

He has eight stalls at Churchill Downs; will have 40 at Delta Downs when their fall season begins and 24-30 at Fair Grounds when the New Orleans track opens in November. Plus, Gelner plans to send 12 to Sam Houston Race Park for their 2019 Thoroughbred meet.

“I was at Sam Houston back in 1994 as an assistant to my dad, John Charles Gelner,” he said.

Gelner has a very nice filly named Yes Gorgeous, who was also a stakes winner on Super Derby Day. He owns and trains the 3-year-old filly by Mass Media out of a mare named Isn’t She Gorgeous. He purchased Yes Gorgeous for a mere $1,700 at the Louisiana Mixed Sale.

“I trained her mama for a few races,” said Gelner. “She had a few problems, but overcame them with her big heart. When I saw this filly at the sale, I wasn’t sure what kind of  career she would have.”

But in what has to be one of the most pleasant surprises, Yes Gorgeous has been a treasure for Gelner. Her victory in the $60,000 Elge Rasberry on September 2 was her fourth in 17 starts. She has run second nine times and has already earned $208,455.

“You always dream about a sale purchase fulfilling your expectations,” said Gelner. “This filly is just a blessing from God for me and my family. She has handled everything we have ever asked: turf, dirt, even running against the boys.”

His father, John Charles Gelner, had a productive three-decade career in Texas and Louisiana. Both parents are deceased, and their loss is very difficult for Gelner. When Yes Gorgeous won in the driving rain on Super Derby day, Gelner wept following her victory.

“I really missed both my mom and dad that day,” said Gelner. “I knew they were with me and the rain just felt like their tears of joy.”

Gelner also trains In the Navy, owned by Kendel D. Standlee, who captured his fifth career win on August 4 in the $60,000 Louisiana Turf Cup Classic.

“He’s just a great turf horse,” said Gelner. “I am proud of the fact that he has won on each of the Louisiana turf courses.”

Both In The Navy and Yes Gorgeous will be pointed to Fair Grounds.

Gelner acknowledges the support of his owners, including Robbie and Mark Norman, Kendel Standlee, Red Rose Racing and Ty Smith for A.J. Foyt.

“Owners and good help are important to be successful in racing,” stated Gelner.

Gelner is currently the eighth-leading trainer at Harrah’s Louisiana Downs. Purses were increased by $2,000 a race, effective September 8 through the end of the meet, and Gelner expressed his appreciation.

“It’s a big help,” he stated. “Louisiana Downs has stepped up to help the horsemen. We appreciate their efforts, for sure.”

The growth of Gelner’s stable this year has been significant and 2018 is on track to be the most fruitful since he branched out on his own in 2006.

Born in Cameron, Texas, Gelner and his wife, Felicia reside in Lafayette, Louisiana with their three children.

He pauses to reflect on this year and how he will manage his growing operation.

“Quite honestly, I trust in God,” he said. “He has always guided me in the right direction. Faith in God and the love of my family is what keeps me on track.”

 

 Trainer, Jockey and Owner Standings

As of September 10, Karl Broberg tops the trainer standings with 23 wins. Last year’s leading trainer, Joey Foster is on a roll with 21 winners. Al Stall, Jr. follows with 20 victories and  Jorge Lara has saddled 17 winners this meet.

Emanuel Nieves tops the rider standings with 67 wins, but last year’s leading jockey Gerardo Mora has been steadily making his way up the ladder and is now in second place with 64 victories.

Joel Dominguez is third with 61 trips to the winner’s circle and Hector Del-Cid and Richard Eramia have each won 38 races.

Dream Walkin Farms, Inc. and End Zone Athletics, Inc. are tied for leading owner honors with 13 wins. Patti Turner is next with 12 victories and Beverly Burress and Indian Creek Thoroughbred Farms, LLC follow with eight wins each.

 

Diego Saenz Approaching his 2,000th Career Win

Jockey Diego Saenz is just 11 wins away from his 2,000th career victory. The 39-year-old rider won four of the seven features on the Super Derby card. He piloted Limation for owner Michael Langford in the Grade 3, $300,000 Super Derby, which was the first graded stakes of his career.

Saenz is named on six horses this week. Once the Harrah’s Louisiana Downs meet wraps, he will head to Delta Downs when their meet opens October 17. He has won four leading rider titles at the Vinton, Louisiana racetrack.

 

Wednesday and Saturday Race Day Promotions

Louisiana Downs offers value for racing fans each Wednesday with Dollar Day. They will be able to enjoy $1 hot dogs, $1 beer at the Paddock as well as $1 programs. Saturday’s weekly promotion is the Family Four Pack featuring four hot dogs, four sodas, a program, and a box seat for four at the affordable price of just $16.

 

The Total Rewards program is free for horseplayers. With the swipe of their card each Saturday, members will receive valuable incentives.  These include:

  • Play $250 or more to receive a 5X multiplier
  • Play $1,000 or more to receive a 7X multiplier
  • Play $5,000 or more to receive a 10X multiplier

Participant’s multiplier cannot exceed a total balance of more than one hundred thousand (100,000) Reward Credits during one promotional day after the multiplier is applied.

 

 

Post Times and Stakes Schedule

Live racing will be conducted Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday and Saturday with a 3:15 p.m.(Central) post time through September 26.

 

About Harrah’s Louisiana Downs

Located near Shreveport in Bossier City, Louisiana, Louisiana Downs opened in 1974 and was purchased by Caesars Entertainment in December, 2002. With annual Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse racing seasons, the track is committed to presenting the highest quality racing programs paired with its 150,000 square foot entertainment complex offering casino gambling, dining and plasma screen televisions for sports and simulcast racing.

 

Purse Increase Announced for the Final Three Weeks of the 2018 HARRAH’S LOUISIANA DOWNS Thoroughbred Meet

harrahs logo

Bossier City, LA – Harrah’s Louisiana Downs is pleased to announce its third purse increase of the 2018 Thoroughbred racing season. Effective Saturday, September 8, an additional $2,000 will be added for all races published in the condition book.  

Harrah’s Louisiana Downs had previously acknowledged an increase in overnight race purses which went into effect on June 30.  All overnight races, up to and including $12,500, were increased by $1,500. All other purses were raised by $1,000.  On July 19, purses for each of the six stakes for accredited Louisiana-breds on Louisiana Cup Day were increased by $10,000. That announcement was made in partnership with the Louisiana Thoroughbred Breeders Association (LTBA). 

“Harrah’s Louisiana Downs is pleased to announce a purse increase for the remainder of the 2018 Thoroughbred meet,” said David Heitzmann, Harrah’s Louisiana Downs Directory of Racing. “Our Louisiana horsemen have been extremely loyal and steadfast in their support of our live racing season. We are glad to be able to reward them and create added opportunities for Louisiana racing.” 

The 84-day Thoroughbred meet began on Saturday, May 5 and will continue through Wednesday, September 26.  Live racing takes place Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday and Saturday with a 3:15 p.m. (Central) post time. For more information on the current racing season and special events, visit https://www.caesars.com/harrahs-louisiana-downs/racing. 

About Harrah’s Louisiana Downs

Located near Shreveport in Bossier City, Louisiana, Louisiana Downs opened in 1974 and was purchased by Caesars Entertainment in December, 2002. With annual Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse racing seasons, the track is committed to presenting the highest quality racing programs paired with its 150,000 square foot entertainment complex offering casino gambling, dining and plasma screen televisions for sports and simulcast racing. 

Harrah's rainbow
Hodges Photography

HARRAH’S LOUISIANA DOWNS OFFICIALS PLEASED WITH SUNDAY’S SUPER DERBY DAY

 

Diego Saenz-2018
Diego Saenz. Hodges Photography

Bossier City, LA – Super Derby 39 at Harrah’s Louisiana Downs on Sunday, September 2 was successful on many levels.  The 13-race card featured seven stakes races, highlighted by the  Grade 3, $300,000 Super Derby.

 

A field of nine competed with top horsemen Tom Amoss, Al Stall, Jr., Brad Cox and Hall of Fame conditioner Steve Asmussen sending in quality 3-year-olds for the 39th running of the prestigious championship.

 

It was Michael Lankford’s Limation who pulled off a stunning upset in Super Derby 39 at odds of 26-1 and despite a heavy downpour earlier in the afternoon, the richest race of the 2018 Thoroughbred season went off under sunny skies.

 

Officials reported a 12% increase in handle from the 2017 Super Derby card, which also showcased 13 races.
“We were very pleased with the quality of racing on Super Derby Day,” said David Heitzmann, Harrah’s Louisiana Downs director of racing. “The response from some of the nation’s most respected horsemen surpassed our expectations and despite the lone afternoon shower, we presented a very competitive race card.”

 

Promotions, special events and hospitality in the suite level added to the overall festive nature of Super Derby 39.

 

“It was a great day overall and would not have been possible without the efforts of the hard-working racing office staff and entire team at Harrah’s Louisiana Downs,” added Heitzmann.

 

First Graded Stakes for Jockey Diego Saenz

Horseplayers should never ignore jockey Diego Saenz on Super Derby Day. Last year, the 39-year-old rider won three of the seven stakes on the program. He set the bar even higher on Sunday, winning four of the seven features, and notching the first graded stakes of his career.

 

His stakes wins on Sunday’s card included Bermuda Star, owned by Brittlyn Stable, Inc.in the $60,000 River Cities; Yes Gorgeous in the $60,000 Elge Rasberry for owner and trainer Scott Gelner and Ice City Ghost and homebred by Dream Walkin Farms, Inc., who scored the upset in the $60,000 Sunday Silence. Ice City Ghost paid $42.20, but that was not the biggest longshot of the Super Derby card for Saenz!

That came in the eleventh race of the afternoon when Saenz rode Limation, for owner Michael Langford in the Super Derby. Considered an outsider by the betting public, Saenz had studied his form and had a pretty good idea what kind of a trip the son of Alternation would need. The Kentucky-bred colt was saddled by Asmussen’s longtime assistant Darren Fleming.

 

“For me, I just threw out his last race, and was hoping to give him a clear trip and keep his face clean,” explained Saenz. “Darren never seemed nervous and that gave me confidence.”

 

Saenz was content to stay off the early speed and had plenty of horse left when he rounded the far turn. He got clear at the top of the lane, crossing the wire in 1:43.91, by a margin of 5 ¾ lengths over the top betting choice, Lone Sailor.

 

“I had my horse where he needed to be and when we hit the quarter pole, he just drew off,” he said.

 

It was the first Super Derby and very first graded stakes for Saenz, and a pretty nice win payout of $56.40 for the many Louisiana horseplayers who have faith in the top Louisiana jockey.

 

“I won a $300,000 turf stakes with Heitai at Evangeline Downs, but this was my first grade 3,” he said. “I’ve been riding at Louisiana Downs since 2004; this was my very first Super Derby mount. It felt pretty good to win such an important race.”

 

Saenz had three mounts on Monday’s Labor Day racing card, scoring an allowance victory aboard Harlons Commision.  He took a minute to reflect upon his Super Derby 39 success.

 

“I am very grateful to Steve for giving me the opportunity to ride Limation,” said Saenz. “I also want to thank trainers Carl Deville, Scott Gelner, Victor Arceneaux and my agent, Louis Coco, who works very hard for me.”

 

Saenz, who was born in Chihuahua, Mexico, has been riding professionally since 2004 and has won 1,987 wins from 10,198 starts in his 15-year career.

 

He and his wife have three children and reside in Carencro, a suburb of Lafayette, Louisiana. Saenz will head to Delta Downs when their meet opens October 17. He has won four leading rider titles at the Vinton, Louisiana racetrack.

 

Update on Super Derby Winner Limation

Limation, winner of Sunday’s Grade 3, $300,000 Super Derby at Louisiana Downs came out of the race in good order and has returned to trainer Steve Asmussen’s barn at Remington Park.

“I expect the Oklahoma Derby to be next for him,” the Hall of Fame conditioner told Mary Rampellini of the Daily Racing Form.

According to Rampellini, the Kentucky-bred son of Alternation will be pointed to the Grade 3, $400,000 Oklahoma Derby at Remington Park on September. 30. Mike Langford, owner of Limation  also campaigns 2017 Oklahoma Derby champion, Untrapped.

 

Weiner Dog Races Set for Saturday, September 8

Rain on Labor Day forced the cancelation of the popular Weiner Dog Races, but Harrah’s Louisiana Downs has rescheduled the entertaining event for Saturday, September 8.  Family-friendly activities will get underway at 11:00 amwith the first Wiener Dog race at noon. The championship is scheduled for 2:00 pm.

 

Live Thoroughbred action follows at its regular time of 3:15 pm.

 

 

About Harrah’s Louisiana Downs

Located near Shreveport in Bossier City, Louisiana, Louisiana Downs opened in 1974 and was purchased by Caesars Entertainment in December 2002. With annual Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse racing seasons, the track is committed to presenting the highest quality racing programs paired with its 150,000 square foot entertainment complex offering casino gambling, dining and plasma screen televisions for sports and simulcast racing.

Battle At Sea Impressive in the $60,000 A. L. (Red) Erwin

Battle At Sea-2Sept2018
Battle At Sea ridden by Colby Hernandez wins the Red Erwin Stakes. Hodges Photography

A.L. (Red) Erwin Stakes
Louisiana Downs, 9-2-18, 8.32 furlongs, $60,000
Three Year Old Accredited Louisiana Bred Colts or Geldings

BATTLE AT SEA
Into Mischief–Mystery At Sea
Breeder: Clear Creek Stud Llc
Owner: Three Diamonds Farm
Trainer: Michael J. Make
Jockey: Colby J. Hernandez

2nd
Big Boy Dave Rex
Ruler’s Court–Dream Day
Breeder: J. E. Nichols
Owner: Beverly Burress
Trainer: Beverly Burress
Jockey: Juan A. Larrosa

3rd
Greeley Went West
El Corredor–So Well Read
Breeder: Tom Curtis & Wayne Simpson
Owner: Phyllis J. Hodges and Randolph Schneider
Trainer: James E. Hodges
Jockey: Gerardo Mora

Louisiana-bred 3-year-old colts and geldings competed in the $60,000 A. L. (Red) Erwin. The feature was moved to the main track after heavy rainfall hit Bossier City at 2:25 pm this afternoon.

Trainer Mike Maker sent in Battle At Sea a son of Into Mischief for Three Diamonds Farm. This was the fifth stakes of the year for the bay colt, who made his last start in the Ellis Park Derby on August 12.

Assistant Miguel Castellanos gave jockey Colby Hernandez a leg up, and he prevailed as the heavy favorite, covering a mile and 70 yards on the sloppy track in 1:44.07

“First off, I want to thank Mike and the owners for giving me the opportunity to ride this horse,” said Hernandez. “He broke sharp and is a pretty tough horse. I didn’t want to get in his way. I called on him at the quarter-pole and he went on with it.”

Longshot Big Boy Dave Rex ran second under Juan Larrosa, followed by Greeley Went West and General Tone.

Battle At Sea returned $3.20 for the win. This was the third career win for the Louisiana-bred  colt, and his second on an off track.

Yes Gorgeous Tops Louisiana-Bred Fillies in the $60,000 Elge Rasberry

Yes Gorgeous_9-2-2018
Undaunted by sudden downpour Yes Gorgeous and jockey Diego Saenz win the $60,000 Elge Rasberry Stakes at Louisiana Downs. Hodges Photography / Ann Switalski

Elge Rasberry Stakes
Louisiana Downs, 9-2-18, 8 furlongs, turf, $60,000
Three Year Old Accredited Louisiana Bred Fillies

YES GORGEOUS
Mass Media–Isn’t She Gorgeous
Breeder: J. Adcock & Montgomery Equine Center
Owner: Scott Gelner
Trainer: Scott Gelner
Jockey: Diego Saenz

2nd
Savvy Shipman
Midshipman–Fresh
Breeder: Scrivener Stables
Owner: Scrivener Stables
Trainer: Michael J. Maker
Jockey: Colby J. Hernandez

3rd
Bionic Butterfly
Custom for Carlos–Pentatonic
Breeder: Relentless Racing LLC
Owner: Whispering Oaks Farm LLC
Trainer: Steven B. Flint
Jockey: Florent Geroux

The 24th running of the $60,000 Elge Rasberry drew a field of ten Louisiana-bred 3-year-old fillies. The heavy rainfall, which had been expected in Sunday’s forecast, hit as the field headed into the starting gate. Fortunately, it did not deter Yes Gorgeous, who handled the adverse conditions with little difficulty.

Owned and trained by Scott Gelner, the filly by Mass Media has been a model of consistency. Other than her first two career efforts, she has never missed a check.  She was unpressured under jockey Diego Saenz, covering the first quarter in :24.17 and the half-mile in :48.94 and finishing in 1:37.54.

“She is just a blessing from God for me and my family,” stated Gelner. “She has handled everything we have ever asked: turf, dirt, even running against the boys. I never have to tell Diego what to do; he always knows, and we couldn’t be more proud of her.”

Scrivener Stables’ Savvy Shipman, ran second by two lengths for trainer Mike Maker and rider Colby Hernandez. Bionic Butterfly, trained by Steve Flint, who has been a solid allowance level performer at Evangeline Downs for Whispering Oaks Farm, LLC, was third under Florent Geroux with Fleet Halo completing the superfecta.

Yes Gorgeous paid $6.40 for the victory; her fourth in 17 starts.  Her career bankroll now stands at $208,455. Gelner reported that they will give her a break and she is slated to return on Louisiana Champions Day at Fair Grounds.

Bermuda Star Wins Her Second Stake of the Meet, the $60,000 River Cities

Bermuda Star_9-2-2018
Bermuda Star with jockey Diego Saenz gets a head in front of Hachi and jockey Florent Geroux to capture the 33rd running of the River Cities Stakes at Louisiana Downs. Hodges Photography / Ann Switalski

River Cities Stakes
Louisiana Downs, 9-2-18, 8.5 furlongs, turf, $60,000
Three Year Olds and Upwards, Fillies and Mares

BERMUDA STAR
Star Guitar–Bermuda Bride
Breeder: Tom Curtis & Wayne Simpson (LA)
Owner: Brittlyn Stable, Inc.
Trainer: Victor Arceneaux
Jockey: Diego Saenz

2nd
Hachi (CHI)
Seeking the Dia–Habibti (CHI)
Breeder: Haras Don Alberto (CHI)
Owner: Don Alberto Stable
Trainer: Brad H. Cox
Jockey: Florent Geroux

3rd
Holiday’s Angel
Harlan’s Holiday–Senorita Corredora
Breeder: Elm Racing, LLC (KY)
Owner: Keene Thoroughbreds LLC
Trainer: Allen Milligan
Jockey: Eguard A. Tejera

 

It was another rousing finish by Bermuda Star, owned by Brittlyn Stable, Inc.to take the 33rd running of the $60,000 River Cities.

The daughter of Star Guitar won the $60,000 Louisiana Cup Distaff, run here on August 4.That race was run over a firm turf course, but due to a major downpour, the turf condition was changed to yielding.  Rider Diego Saenz has the return call for trainer Victor Arceneaux, dueling with  Hachi (CHI) and winning in a final time of 1:44.35. 

“I was really concerned with the condition of the turf course,” said Arceneaux. “I told Diego if she was not comfortable to pull her up, but all of the sudden, she went to running and the rest was history. I want to thank Wayne Simpson and Tom Curtis for breeding this horse.”

Hachi (CHI), a 5-year-old stakes-placed mare ran second under jockey Florent Geroux as the 7-5 morning-line choice.  Brad Cox trains the Chilean import for breeder and owner Don Alberto Stable.  Holiday’s Angel with Eguard Tejera up, ran third. Completing the superfecta was Calumet Farms’ Susie Bee.

This was the sixth career win for Bermuda Star ($8.40), who was sent off as the second choice in the wagering.