CARLOS LOZADA, JOEY FOSTER AND END ZONE ATHLETICS, INC TOP THE STANDINGS FOR THE 2019 THOROUGHBRED MEET AT HARRAH’S LOUISIANA DOWNS

Bossier City, LA – The 2019 Thoroughbred racing season at Harrah’s Louisiana Downs, which got underway on May 4, concluded on Wednesday, September 25. The meet leaders, Carlos Lozada, Joey Foster and End Zone Athletics, Inc., were honored for their accomplishments on the final afternoon of the 84-day meet.

Both major racing events, Louisiana Cup Day on August 3 and Super Derby Day, which took place September 7, featured excellent fields. For the second year in a row, Hall of Fame conditioner Steve Asmussen won the richest race of the season, the Grade 3, $300,000 Super Derby with Rotation. The son of Tapit, bred and owned by Winchell Thoroughbreds, LLC, rallied strongly for his first graded stakes score under jockey Richard Eramia.

One of the most memorable events of the season was the creation of the Harrah’s Louisiana Downs Racing Hall of Fame. The ceremony took place on Saturday, July 13 with  John Franks; Edward J. DeBartolo, Sr.;  Frank L. Brothers; C.W. Walker; Ronald Ardoin, Larry Snyder; Sunday Silence andFree Spirits Joy inducted into the inaugural class.

Voting for one additional Hall of Fame member in several categories was offered to the fans and they elected trainer Bobby Barnett, jockey Calvin Borel; former general manager Tom Sweeney as well as the incomparable Alysheba as additional inductees.

Officials also introduced a new wager, Super Tuesday Pick 4, on Tuesday, June 25.  The wager teamed two Caesar’s Entertainment racetracks: Harrah’s Louisiana Downs and Indiana Grand Racing and Casino, which both offer Tuesday matinee racing programs. Two races each Tuesday from both racetracks were selected and offered to fans at a reduced takeout of 15%.

“We were thrilled to induct honor such outstanding horses and trailblazers into our Racing Hall of Fame,”said Eric Halstrom, Harrah’s Louisiana Downs vice president of operations.  “The fan vote was very well-received and we will certainly offer that again in 2020. It was also a great beginning for the Super Tuesday Pick 4, which gave us an opportunity to attract new fans as we teamed with the talented and innovative team at Indiana Grand.”

 

Carlos Lozada Wins His First Leading Rider Title

Carlos Lozada was dominant throughout the meet, topping a very competitive jockey colony to claim his first ever leading rider title. The 34-year-old native of Puerto Rico finished the meet with a record of 428 starts, 95 wins, 70 seconds and 52 thirds and purses of $1,076,410.

He began riding in the United States in 2007 after attending Puerto Rico’s Escuela Vocational Hipica, the famed jockey school with a noted list of riders, including Irad Ortiz, Jr, Jose Ortiz as well as 2018 Harrah’s Louisiana Downs top-ranked rider, Emanuel Nieves.

The soft-spoken rider was the 17th-ranked rider in 2018 at Louisiana Downs, but united with former jockey and highly successful agent, Ronald Ardoin, this year.

“There is no doubt that Ronald made a big difference for me,” said Lozada. “He works hard in the mornings and got me a lot of mounts. He won so many races in his career and was very helpful when I asked for advice.”

One of the biggest wins of the meet came on Super Derby Day when Lozada guided Sugarland Thoroughbreds LLC’s homebred Eskenformore to victory in the $60,000 River Cities at odds  of 30-1.  He had ridden the 6-year-old mare, trained by James Hodges, and explained his change of tactics in winning the turf feature.

“I rode her like I knew her,” stated Lozada. “I felt she needed to be closer to the lead and knew she had plenty left for the finish.”

Winning leading rider honors at Harrah’s Louisiana Downs meant a great deal to the devoted family man, supported by his wife, Eileen Quinones and their three sons: Anthony, Jean Carlos and Jandriel.

“I was a little nervous toward the end,” he acknowledged. “Providing for my family is most important to me, but I want to thank every owner and trainer who believed in me and gave me the opportunity to win my first title!”

Lozada will head to Delta Downs for their upcoming Thoroughbred meet, which gets underway on Tuesday, October 8.

It was also a very successful season for Joel Dominguez, who finished second with 91 trips to the winner’s circle, edging Lozada in purses, with mounts earning $1,091,671. Dominguez, who was third in the standings last year, is represented by retired rider Don Simington. Jockey Aubrie Green finished third with 54 victories; a solid step up from her seventh-place finish here in 2018.  Richard Eramia and Hector Del-Cid tied for fourth with 47 trips to the winner’s circle.

 

 

Joey Foster Wins His Third Louisiana Downs Leading Trainer

Benton, Louisiana horseman Joey Foster picked up his third leading trainer title at Harrah’s Louisiana Downs, winning 54 races from 218 starters to top his fellow conditioners this meet.

The very popular trainer won his first title here in 2016, repeating the feat in 2017 and finishing second to Karl Broberg last year. He saddled a mix of claiming and allowance horses throughout the meet, with standouts including Mizztic Tale, who won three of his four starts this meet for owners Brett Day and Kevin Spretz. Also, Play on Becky picked up her third victory of the season on Wednesday, September 25 for her breeder and owner Jim Horton.

“I want to thank each of my owners for their support,” said Foster. “They are the ones that put the show on; training horses is the easy part, but keeping great owners is key.”

Foster also acknowledged his wife, Cheryl, who he refers to as “the backbone” of the barn, and the hard work of assistant trainer, Amaniel Ortiz, affectionately known as “Shorty”.

The Foster trainees will head to Delta Downs as well as Fair Grounds. Foster cited Our Lost Love, a 2-year-old filly Louisiana-bred daughter of Half Ours, as one of his runners to watch. Bred and owned by Tri-Star Racing LLC, she broke her maiden impressively here on September 14.

“She ran a great race and earned an 83 Beyer (speed figure),” said Foster. “We will run her on Louisiana Champions Day (December 14) at Fair Grounds.”

Last year’s leading conditioner, Karl Broberg, finished second with 45 wins. Beverly Burress, who saddled 18 winners last year, finished the meet with 28 victories, including a stakes score with Run Rocket in the $60,000 A. L. (Red) Erwin on the Super Derby card. Steve Asmussen and Jorge Lara tied for fourth with 20 winners each.

 

Leading Owner Title Goes to End Zone Athletics, Inc.

End Zone Athletics, Inc. repeated as owner of the meet, and unlike last year, when the title went down to the final day, the national leader held a comfortable lead throughout the meet.  The highly successful partnership of Karl Broberg and Matt Johanson won 25 races this meet to earn leading owner honors.

“I want to thank Darwin Quevado, my assistant at Louisiana Downs for all he has done,” said Broberg.  “We used quite a few riders, but I was pleasantly surprised by Aubrie Green.”

Broberg confirmed that he will send a string to Delta Downs for their upcoming Thoroughbred meet and will also have a barn at Fair Grounds when their season gets underway.

Dream Walkin Farms, Inc. was second in the standings with 14 wins and horses owned by Ronnie P. Ward made 11 trips to the winner’s circle. Indian Creek Thoroughbred Farms, LLC and Penny Scarberry tied for fourth with ten wins in the 2019 Thoroughbred meet.

 

Harrah’s Louisiana Downs to Offer Training and Stall Space to Horsemen

Harrah’s Louisiana Downs is pleased to offer horsemen an opportunity to train and stable their Thoroughbreds during the months of October, November and December.

When the Evangeline Training Center closed in 2018, officials acknowledged that many Louisiana Thoroughbred trainers were in need of a facility to stable and train their racehorses.  The Bossier City-Shreveport metroplex offers convenient proximity for shipping to Delta Downs in Vinton, Louisiana; Fair Grounds in New Orleans; Remington Park in Oklahoma as well as upcoming live meets at Sam Houston Race Park and 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.

 

Quarter Horse Racing Returns to Harrah’s Louisiana Downs on January 4

The 2020 Quarter Horse dates for Harrah’s Louisiana Downs have been approved. The 46-day meet will commence on  Saturday, January 4 and continue through Wednesday, March 18.

 

About Harrah’s Louisiana Downs

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

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FORMER TRAINER, BILLY MCKEEVER, JR., KEEPS TRACK SURFACES IN TOP SHAPE AT HARRAH’S LOUISIANA DOWNS

Bossier City, LA – Billy McKeever, Jr. brings a unique skill set to his role as the highly-respected track superintendent at Harrah’s Louisiana Downs.

The 56-year-old was born in Shreveport and grew up in nearby Benton, Louisiana. His late father, Billy McKeever, Sr., was a very successful Louisiana-base trainer. McKeever followed that same path and trained  for six years, beginning in 2001, winning 59 races. His most prolific runner was Crowned King, who ran third in the 2003 Super Derby at Harrah’s Louisiana Downs.

In 2006, McKeever was evaluating the future of the Kentucky-bred Crowned King, who had won eight races and bankrolled over $580,000.

“He was six, and I was thinking it might be time to retire him,” recalled McKeever. “I started considering that maybe it was time for me to retire too.”

McKeever applied for the barn area supervisor job at Louisiana Downs and began in January, 2007. He worked closely with Brian Jabelmann, who was a consultant involved in the management of the track surfaces.

Jabelmann recommended McKeever for the job of track superintendent and he has held that position for the past 11 years.

McKeever is supported by a staff of 20 and each team member is fully committed to their assigned duties. Just one example is that two men have the first shift, beginning at 3:00 am to water the track before training begins at 6:00 am.

“Everybody in the department knows their job, but if we get five inches of rain, I don’t have to ask; the entire crew will be out there, opening additional weep holes and doing whatever has to be done to have the track ready for racing,” he explained.

To keep the Franks Turf Course green throughout one of the hottest summers in recent history was no easy feat. McKeever shared that he consulted with Scott Tolar of Evergreen Turf Solutions.

“This year we worked with Scott on a new fertilizer program, which really paid off,” said McKeever. “Of course, 28-30 loads of water each day was required, but the fertilizing program got us the best root I have seen.”

Another very important component of a safe track surface is creating the optimum composite for the main track. McKeever sends samples to Michael Depew, a respected “lab man” in Michigan.

Getting the correct mix of sand and clay is essential and the combination is different for the winter Quarter Horse meet versus the Thoroughbred meet, which runs from May through September.

McKeever is accessible to trainers, jockeys and track veterinarians and takes their feedback into account.

“Probably from training horses, I know that if I getting news about horses having joint or soft tissue injuries, changes might need to be made,” he added.

McKeever gives special thanks to the operations team at Louisiana Downs for approving the necessary funds to ensure safe track surfaces.

“Both Trent McIntosh, and now, Eric Halstrom have been incredibly supportive of spending money when needed,” stated McKeever. “I have gone to them explaining that we need to buy $75,000 worth of material and I get the necessary approval. To know they have the confidence in my judgement means a lot.”

Joey Foster, who is the current leading conditioner at Louisiana Downs, is one of many horsemen to give high marks to McKeever.

“Billy does an awesome job on both our dirt and turf tracks,” said Foster. “We have hardly had any rain, just a sprinkle during our hot summer, but the surfaces continue to be kind to our horses. Plus, we can go to Billy if we have concerns; he does a great job and is a very nice guy!”

And not that anyone would need further proof that horses are pretty important to McKeever, he shared that Crowned King, who is 19, is enjoying retirement on his farm in Benton!

 

 

Announcer John McGary Off to Zia Park This Week

Harrah’s Louisiana Downs track announcer John McGary will wrap up his duties in the booth on Wednesday, September 18. He will head to Zia Park in Hobbs, New Mexico to call the races for their 2019 live racing season which begins on Saturday, September 21. This will be the third season that McGary has traveled west to call their Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse races.

Stepping in for the final four days of the meet will be Brian Arrigoni, who serves as the racing analyst at Canterbury Park. Five years ago, Arrigoni was a fan, attending the races at the popular Minnesota racetrack, and introduced himself to Eric Halstrom, who was their General Manager and now serves as Vice President of Operations at Louisiana Downs. Halstrom was impressed with Arrigoni’s love of racing and hired him. He serves as one of the track’s handicappers and hosts their paddock preview show with a variety of co-hosts, including track announcer Paul Allen. The popular Allen calls play-by-play for the Minnesota Vikings on KFAN and is the voice of the Minnesota Vikings Radio Network. When Allen’s NFL duties took him away from the booth, Arrigoni called the Canterbury Park races on August 18.

“This is a very exciting for me,” said Arrigoni, who will make his first visit to Louisiana.  “I am very grateful to Eric for hiring me at Canterbury and offering me the opportunity to call the final four days of the Louisiana Downs meet.”

The two Minnesota Vikings fans will reunite with Arrigoni stepping in beginning Saturday.

“I’m very familiar with Brian’s abilities and his enthusiasm and love of racing,” said Halstrom. “He will be a great replacement for John during the last week of our meet. It will be an excellent way for him to get some experience and exposure as well.”

 

Memorable Week for Jockey Emanuel Nieves

Last year’s leading rider Emanuel Nieves was injured in a spill on May 7 and just returned to action at the end of August.  On Wednesday, September 17, he won the sixth race aboard Mizztic Tale for trainer Joey Foster and finished second on Swift Shock in the final race of the afternoon. The 26-year-old native of Puerto Rico had little time to celebrate his comeback victory as he quickly departed for the for the hospital where his wife, Milyorie went into labor with the couple’s first child. Ian Emanuel was born early this morning and all three are doing well!

 

Trainer, Jock Trainer, Jockey and Owner Standings

As of September 18, Joey Foster leads his fellow conditioners with 53 wins this season topping.  Karl Broberg who has won 45 races. Beverly Burress has saddled 28 winners and  Jorge Lara andSteve Asmussen are tied for fourth with 19 wins each.

Carlos Lozada continues to lead the jockey standings with 91 wins holding off Joel Dominguez by three win Aubrie Green has won 50 races to move up to third in the standings and Richard Eramiarounds out the top four in the standings with 47 winning mounts.

 End Zone Athletics, Inc. has built an insurmountable lead in the quest for owner honors with 25 wins. Dream Walkin Farms, Inc. is second with 13 winners and Ronnie P. Ward follows with 11 victories and Indian Creek Thoroughbred Farms, LLC rounds out the top four owners with ten winners since the meet began on May 4.

 

Final Week of the 2019 Thoroughbred Meet

Live racing will be conducted Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday and Saturday with a 3:15 p.m. (Central) post time through Wednesday, September 25.  The closing day of the season will include the presentation of the End of the Meet honors for the leading owner, trainer and jockey.

 

 

About Harrah’s Louisiana Downs

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

 

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MANY UNFORGETTABLE FIRSTS CELEBRATED ON SUPER DERBY 40 AT HARRAH’S LOUISIANA DOWNS

Full Fields, Exciting Finishes and Enthusiastic Crowds for the Marquee Day of the 2019 Thoroughbred Racing Season

 

Bossier City, LA – It was a very impressive win by Rotation, the champion of Saturday’s Grade 3, $300,000 Super Derby at Harrah’s Louisiana Downs. The colt by Tapit out of the Olympio mare Free Spin, bred and owned by Winchell Thoroughbreds, LLC, was the second consecutive winner of the championship for Hall of Fame conditioner Steve Asmussen, but there were plenty of firsts on the stakes-filled card.

Jockey Richard Eramia won  his first Super Derby and was thrilled with the performance of his colt, following his misfortune in last month’s Super Derby Prelude, in which Rotation stumbled to his knees out of the gate, almost unseating his rider. However, the gray colt showed his best form last Saturday, when he closed powerfully to win his first stakes score.

“It was a very special win for me,” said Eramia.  “I have always wanted to win the Super Derby. Louisiana Downs has been very good for my career; I have won a lot of races here and like both track surfaces.”

Born in Uruguay, Eramia, celebrated his 40th birthday on June 24. He began his United States riding career in 2005, and the Super Derby victory was just the fourth graded stakes of his career in which he has guided 2,337 horses to the finish line and amassed purses of $49.1 million. His previous Grade 3 wins came on Grand Contender and Comic Burst. His lone Grade 2 was in the 2012 Smile Sprint Handicap aboard Gantry at Calder Race Course.

“I’m still working on my first Grade 1,” Eramia said with a smile.

Eramia has returned to Remington Park, where he has won plenty of races, including his 2,000th career milestone .

Another rider, Devin Magnon, won the first stakes win of his career, guiding High on Gin to the upset in the $60,000 Happy Ticket. As reported by Bloodhorse, the victory marked the first black-type win for her sire, Fury Kapcori, She was bred in Florida by Deborah A. Silveira. High on Gin was a $7,500 purchase by Jerry Caroom from GOP Racing Stable Corporation’s consignment to the Ocala Breeders’ Sales June 2-Year-Olds and Horses of Racing Age Sale.

Trainer Carl J. Deville reports that his filly came out of The Happy Ticket  in good order and I under consideration for the $75,000 Our Dear Peggy on September 28 at Gulfstream Park.

“I was not surprised that she won her stakes debut last Saturday,” he said. “She’s a big, long filly; bred for the grass and definitely wants to route. Even when she broke her maiden, she came home fast and showed she wanted to go further.”

It was also the first time jockey Lane Luzzi had ever ridden at Louisiana Downs and he made the most of his debut by winning the $60,000 Sunday Silence with Deviant, trained by Danny Pish for owner Red Lane Thoroughbreds LLC.

Festivities included a Jockey Autograph signing to benefit the PDJF, Super Derby Hat Contest, handicapping seminar and children’s activities on the sunny day with temps over 100 degrees.

“Despite the heat, we had a very good turnout for Super Derby 40,” said Eric Halstrom, Harrah’s Louisiana Downs Vice President of Operations.  “We appreciate our fans, horsemen and the tremendous effort of each of our employees in making Super Derby 40 run so smoothly.”

 

Trainer, Jockey and Owner Standings

As of September 10, Joey Foster tops his fellow conditioners with 50 wins this season topping.  Karl Broberg with 45 victories. Beverly Burress has saddled 27 winners, including   Run Rocket in Saturday’s$60,000 A. L. (Red) Erwin, to take sold possession of third place. Horsemen Jorge Lara, Joe O. Duhon and Steve Asmussen have each won 18 races.

Carlos Lozada continues to lead the jockey standings with 88 wins, including a stakes victory by Eskenformore in the $60.000 River Citieson Saturday’s Super Derby card.  He guided the mare, who was sent off at odds of 30-1, to victory over nine rivals for owner/breeder Sugarland Thoroughbreds LLC.  Joel Dominguez is second with 85 trips to the winner’s circle and Richard Eramia, who won the Grade 3 Super Derby aboard Rotation is third with 47 wins. Aubrie Green has won 45 races to round out the top four in the standings. 

End Zone Athletics, Inc. has built an insurmountable lead in the quest for owner honors with 25 wins. Dream Walkin Farms, Inc. is second with 13 winners and Ronnie P. Ward  and Indian Creek Thoroughbred Farms, LLC are tied for third with ten wins each.

The leaders in each division will be honored on Wednesday, September 25, which is the final day of the 2019 Thoroughbred racing season.

 

 

About Harrah’s Louisiana Downs

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

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ROTATION RETURNS IN CHAMPIONSHIP FORM TO WIN THE GRADE 3, $300,000 SUPER DERBY AT HARRAH’S LOUISIANA DOWNS

Winchell Thoroughbreds LLC Homebred Recovers From Stumble in the Prelude

Bossier City, LA – When you don’t succeed at first, try again, and there was no better example of that adage than the performance of Rotation, the champion of today’s Grade 3, $300,000 Super Derby at Harrah’s Louisiana Downs.

The colt by Tapit out of the Olympio mare Free Spin, bred and owned by Winchell Thoroughbreds, LLC, was the favorite in last month’s $60,000 Super Derby Prelude.  He stumbled out of the gate, nearly unseating rider Richard Eramia, but recovered to finish fourth.

Today was a different story for the well-bred colt, who is a full brother to Tapiture. He broke from the rail, sitting off the pace set by rider Robby Albarado on Pirate’s Punch, who completed the first quarter in: 46.77 and the half-mile in :46.77. Eramia got his charge clear heading into the second turn and drew off. The final time over the fast main track was 1:43.70.

“Robby Albarado is a smart rider and controlled the pace,” said Eramia. “I got the exact trip I was hoping for. My horse stumbled last time, but really deserved to win. I want to thank Steve, the owners and everyone on the backside for doing a great job”

Hall of Fame conditioner Steve Asmussen won the 2018 Super Derby with longshot Limation for owner Michael Langford.  He was reached on the phone after the race, and was thrilled with the victory by Rotation and a game runner-up effort by his other entrant, Vangilder, who closed under C.J. McMahon for second.

“Rotation is a very handy horse,” said Asmussen. “It was tough to see the trouble he had in the Prelude. Referring to the incident as a stumble out of the gate is not doing it justice. It’s like calling the Grand Canyon a ditch! But to his credit and the team down there, including Misty Drinkwater and Ashley Trosclair, it all came together.”

“We are very proud of him,” he added.  “This was a significant win.”

Vangilder, winner of the $70,000 Charles Taylor Derby on July 20 at the Downs of Albuquerque for owner Chuck Hovitz rallied for second.

“Watching the replay of his last race, he sat off the pace and pounced home tremendously, said McMahon. “Rotation left a step behind me, which I thought he would. I sat in the pocket behind him and couldn’t have gotten a better trip.”

Pirate’s Punch, trained by Grant Forster, held on for third. The son of Shanghai Bobby, was making his stakes debut for the ownership group of Gulliver Racing LLC , Craig W. Drager and Dan Legan.  Albarado, who is just returning off a wrist injury suffered in June at Churchill Downs, won his first Super Derby in 2006 aboard Strong Contender and followed that with a win with  Departingseven years later.

Morning line favorite, Knicks Go owned by KRA Stud Farms, completed the superfecta. Trained by Ben Colebrook, he won the Grade 1, Claiborne Breeders’ Futurity at Keeneland. Dismissed by the betting public, he topped a full field of juveniles in gate-to-wire fashion at odds of 70-1.  This was the fifth graded stakes start for Knicks Go in 2019.

Prelude runner-up Trevilion, owned by Tigertail Ranch, ran fifth, followed byLeader of Men, owned by Walpole Racing LLC, who won the $60,000 Super Derby Prelude on August 3, and brought a four-race win streak at Louisiana Downs to the Super Derby.  Completing the order of finish was Adele B. Dilschneider‘s homebred Rescind;  Cabot, Paynt Battle and Fredonian.

Rotation returned $13.40 for the win and added $180,000 to his career earnings, which stand at $302,318.  Asmussen was not sure of the next start for both runners. 

The Super Derby, which had its first running in 1980, has a distinguished list of past champions, including four Kentucky Derby winners, four Preakness Stakes winners, five Belmont Stakes winners and seven Travers Stakes winners. Six previous Super Derby entrants have won the prestigious Breeders’ Cup Classic and three Super Derby winners, Tiznow, Sunday Silence and Alysheba have been voted the Eclipse Award as Horse of the Year, the industry’s highest award.

 

 

Smooth Sailing for In The Navy in the $60,000 Frank L. Brothers Stakes

One of the six turf stakes on the Super Derby card was renamed this year to honor New Orleans native Frank L. Brothers. “Frankie,” as he is known in the racing industry, began his highly successful career as a Thoroughbred trainer in Louisiana, winning nine leading trainer titles at Louisiana Downs and winning the 1998 Super Derby with Arch. He was inducted into the inaugural Harrah’s Louisiana Downs Racing Hall of Fame on July 13.

The mile and one-sixteenth Frank L. Brothers attracted an overflow field of turf specialists with three Louisiana-breds taking on open company, and it was Kendel D. Standlee’s In the Navy, who righted the ship this afternoon.  Trained by Scott Gelner, the 5-year-old son of Midshipman exited a second-place finish in last month’s Louisiana Cup Turf Classic.  Gelner enlisted the riding services of  Floyd Wethey, Jr., who took the lead and went gate to wire,  in fractions of :23.79, :47.92, 1:11.42, crossing the wire in 1:40.51.

“Scott told me to just let him do his thing and hopefully have something left for the finish,” said Wethey, who made the best of his first time riding at Louisiana Downs.  “He is a cool horse; I didn’t need to do a thing.”

The win was the seventh for In the Navy, who was sent off at odds of 7-1, returned $17.40 for the win. Late Night Mischief ran second under Tim Thornton, followed by $50,000 Louisiana Turf Cup Classic winner Theoryintopractice, also trained by Asmussen.  Kurilov, from the barn of Brad Cox, returned off a one-year layoff to complete the superfecta and Big Changes, who won the 2018 edition of the stakes, which was previously named the  Unbridled, was fifth.

 

 

High On Gin Serves Up the Upset in the $60,000 Happy Ticket 

The 33rd running of the $60,000 Happy Ticket, drew a field of ten fillies at the distance of seven and one-half furlongs on the Franks Turf Course.

Jerry Caroom’s High On Gin won her debut at Evangeline Downs on August 21 in a main track sprint on a sloppy track. Trainer Carl J. Deville was impressed with the first-time starter and decided to try her in stakes company and on the turf. With the lanky Devin Magnon in the irons, the filly by Fury Kapcori, got clear on the outside and began passing rivals. She drew off to a two-length victory in a final time of 1:30.21.

It was no surprise to her rider, who won the first race of his career.

“I’ve worked twenty horses for Carl this year and was always impressed with this filly,” said Magnon.

“I thank Jerry and each of my owners for giving me the opportunity to train for them,” added Deville.

Cedar Hill, the runner-up in the La Senorita, ran second under Lane Luzzi withEnvied, a daughter of American Pharoah completing the trifecta.  Deville also conditioned the fourth-place finisher, Thirstyamericangal, who outran her odds of 63-1 under Kerwin Clark.

 

Deviant Dominates in the $60,000 Sunday Silence

The 15th running of the $60,000 Sunday Silence showcased a completive group of ten juveniles competing seven and one-half furlongs on the Franks Turf Course. The race honors the prolific champion who won the 1989 Super Derby, Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes, and was inducted into the Harrah’s Louisiana Downs Racing Hall of Fame this year. 

Deviant, owned by Red Lane Thoroughbreds LLC, made the trip to Louisiana in pursuit of his second consecutive turf stakes victory. His most recent victory came on August 14 in the $75,000 El Joven at Retama Park. It was a winning effort for the juvenile, who drew off by a margin of 7 ¾ lengths under Lane Luzzi.

The son of veteran New York rider Mike Luzzi, made his first trip to Louisiana Downs and confidently guided the son of Daredevil to the wire. He moved from the rail to the far outside to launch his bid, with a final clocking of 1:29.96.

“He’s a real nice horse,” said Luzzi. “Hard to explain what makes him so good, other than he does everything you ask of him. The credit goes to Danny, who has worked with him from the beginning.”

Longshot Free Indeed battled gamely under rider Kerwin Clark, but had to settle for second. See Bee Salute, at 14-1, was third with Crimson Zipcompleting the superfecta.

 

 

Eskenformore Lights Up the Toteboard in the $60,000 River Cities

A full field of fillies and mares competed in the 33rd running of the $60,000 River Cities at the distance of a mile and one-sixteenth on the turf.

Sugarland Thoroughbreds LLC’s homebred Eskenformore pulled the upset at odds of 30-1 for trainer James Hodges. Leading Louisiana Downs rider Carlos Lozada guided the 6-year-old mare to victory by a margin of 1 ¾ lengths over Dagny.  Running third was Remember Daisy, who captured the $100,000 Louisiana Ladies Stakes at Fair Grounds last December before heading to Canterbury Park and most recently, Arlington Park in Chicago. Is Too, a 4-year-old daughter of Midshipmam could not replicate her effort  here last month in the $50,000 Louisiana Cup Distaff, finishing fourth under Colby Hernandez.

“She’s a nice mare,” stated Hodges. “She ran into trouble in her last race, but not today! She will run next at Fair Grounds on Louisiana Champions Day.”

 

Net a Bear Tops Louisiana-Bred Fillies in the $60,000 Elge Rasberry

The 24th running of the $60,000 Elge Rasberry drew a field of eight Louisiana-bred 3-year-old fillies and ran as the first stakes race of the Super Derby card.

Net a Bear sprang the upset for trainer Allen Landry and owner Maximo Lamarche and Federico Deltoro. The filly by Awesome Bet closed gamely in the final furlong under jockey Tim Thornton, covering a mile, over the firm Franks Turf Course in 1:36.45.

“I’ve worked her in the morning and knew she could run,” said Thornton.

Landry felt that the addition of blinkers helped his filly.

“She has always been a high strung filly,” stated Landry. “We hauled in and bandaged her really well before loading her. By the time we arrived, she had torn all of them off!”

Scootin Bayou ran second for trainer Kenneth Hargrave and rider Jose Guerrero. Irish Hustle was under Robby Albarado and Louisiana Legends Soiree champion Snowball, who was sent off as the favorite, completed the superfecta.

Net a Bear paid $23.00 for the victory; her second win in 11 starts.  Bred by Lora Pitre and Elaine Carroll, she will make her next start at Delta Downs, according to Landry.

 

 

First Stakes Victory for Run Rocket in the $60,000 A. L. (Red) Erwin

A full field of Louisiana-bred 3-year-old colts and geldings went to the gate for the $60,000 A. L. (Red) Erwin.

The son of Run Production is owned by Margaret Lanetta Haas, and had won three of his last four starts.Trainer Beverly Burress gave jockey Eguard Tejeraa leg up, and he took the lead at the top of the stretch, completing the mile turf test in 1:36.79.

It was a special moment for retired jockey Burress, who saddled just the second stakes winner of her career.

“Since we claimed him for $10,000, he’s done everything right for us,” she said. “He has been running really well; just shows his determination when he runs.”

Make Me Smile, a son of Star Guitar, ran second under Tim Thornton, followed by Bailey’s Power and Star Fitzstall.

Run Rocket was sent off as the favorite and returned $7.60 for the win and with his winner’s share of $36,000, doubled his lifetime earnings. He was bred by Israel Flores Horses, LLC.

 

 

About Harrah’s Louisiana Downs

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

 

 

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Run Rocket Earns First Stakes Victory in A.L. (Red) Erwin Stakes

Run Rocket_9-7-2019
Run Rocket pulls to the lead with Eguard Tejera aboard to win the A. L. (Red) Erwin stakes. Run Rocket is owned by Margaret Lanetta Haas and trained by Beverly Burress. Hodges Photography/Ann Switalski

A.L. (Red) Erwin Stakes
Louisiana Downs, 9-7-19, 8 furlongs, turf
Three-year-olds, Accredited Louisiana Bred Colts or Geldings

RUN ROCKET
Run Production–Hot Rocket
Breeder: Israel Flores Horse LLC
Owner: Margaret Lanetta Haas
Trainer: Beverly Burress
Jockey: Eguard Andres Tejera

2nd
Make Me Smile
Star Guitar–Blonde Bullet
Breeder: Aleta Camperlengo Overby
Owner: Robert Asaro and Greg Tramontin
Trainer: Keith G. Bourgeois
Jockey: Timothy Thornton

3rd
Bailey’s Power
Mister Dance–Baileys Affair
Breeder: Penny Scarberry
Owner: Penny Scarberry
Trainer: Jorge Lara
Jockey: Joel Dominguez

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Net A Bear Tops Louisiana Bred Fillies in the Elge Rasberry

Net A Bear_9-7-2019
Timothy Thornton takes the lead and wins the Elge Rasberry Stakes aboard Net a Bear. Net a Bear is owned by Maximo Lamarche and Federico Deltoro, trained by Allen Landry. Hodges photo.

Elge Rasberry Stakes
Louisiana Downs, 9-7-19, 8 furlongs (turf)
Three-year-old, Accredited Louisiana Bred, Fillies, $60,000

NET A BEAR
Awesome Bet–Edacious Reality
Breeder: Lora Pitre & Elaine Carroll
Owner: Maximo Lamarche and Federico Deltoro
Trainer: Allen Landry
Jockey: Timothy Thornton

2nd
Scootin Bayou
Guilt Trip–Zamiracle
Breeder: Beryl B. Lopez
Owner: Randall Hargrave
Trainer: Kenneth L. Hargrave
Jockey: Jose Andres Guerrero

3rd
Irish Hustle
Data Link–Rahfees Fairy
Breeder: J. Adcock & Hume Wornall
Trainer: W. Bret Calhoun
Jockey: Robby Albarado

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Eskenformore Takes $60,000 River Cities Stakes

Eskenformore_9-7-2019
Carlos Lozada pilots Eskenformore to victory in the 33rd running of the River Cities Stakes at Louisiana Downs. Hodges Photography / Ann Switalski

River Cities S.
Louisiana Downs, 9-7-19, 8.5 furlongs (turf)
Three-year-olds and upwards, fillies and mares, $60,000

ESKENFORMORE
Eskendereya–Madel
Breeder: Sugarland Thoroughbred, LLC (LA)
Owner: Sugarland Thoroughbreds LLC
Trainer: James E. Hodges
Jockey: Carlos Lozada

2nd
Dagny
Scrimshaw–Shezamarkedword
Breeder: Mr. & Mrs. Michael C. Danapas (TX)
Owner: Beyond Words Racing Stable (Michael Danapas)
Trainer: Joseph P. Smith
Jockey: Eguard Andres Tejera

3rd
Remember Daisy
Misremembered–Very Speightstown
Breeder: Al Ulwelling & Bill Ulwelling (LA)
Owner: Al and Bill Ulwelling
Trainer: Gary M. Scherer
Jockey: Timothy Thornton

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In The Navy Victorious Among Open Company in the Inaugural Frank L. Brothers Stakes

In The Navy_9-7-2019
The winner of the 40th Running of the Frank L. Brothers stakes is Floyd Wethey, Jr. riding In the Navy, owned by Kendel D. Standlee and trained by Scott Gelner. Hodges Photography / Ann Switalski

Frank L. Brothers Stakes
Louisiana Downs, 9-7-19, 8.5 furlongs (turf)
Three-year-olds and Upwards, $60,000

IN THE NAVY 
Midshipman–Southern Princess
Breeder: Ken Standlee (LA)
Owner: Kendel D. Standlee
Trainer: Scott Gelner
Jockey: Floyd Wethey, Jr.

2nd
Late Nite Mischief
Into Mischief–Tamboz
Breeder: Dell Ridge Farm, LLC (KY)
Owner: Late Nite Mischief Partnership
Trainer: Arthur L. Pike, III
Jockey: Timothy Thornton

3rd
Theoryintopractice
Into Mischief–Cayman Colada
Breeder: Cypress Bend Farm (LA)
Owner: Courtney Barousse
Trainer: Steven M. Asmussen
Jockey: Richard E. Eramia

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SIX COMPETITIVE UNDERCARD STAKES TO BE CONTESTED ON SUPER DERBY DAY AT HARRAH’S LOUISIANA DOWNS

The Grade 3, $300,000 Super Derby Headlines the Saturday, September 7th Card

 

Bossier City, LA – While the Grade 3, $300,000 Super Derby is the richest race of the Saturday, September 7 card at Harrah’s Louisiana Downs, six excellent undercard features will also be contested on the 13-race program. The marquee day of the 2019 Louisiana Downs Thoroughbred meet will get underway at a special post time of 12:00 pm(Central).

 

As announced in Monday’s press release, Knicks Go owned by KRA Stud Farms, has been installed as the 9-5 morning line favorite in the Super Derby.  The colt by Paynter out of the Outflanker mare Kosmo’s Buddy broke his maiden last July at Ellis Park and went on to a highly successful 2-year-old season for trainer Ben Colebrook. He attracted considerable attention last October when he pulled a huge upset in the Grade 1, Claiborne Breeders’ Futurity at Keeneland. Dismissed by the betting public, he topped a full field of juveniles in gate-to-wire fashion at odds of 70-1. He followed that with a game runner-up finish in the Grade 1, Sentient Breeders’ Cup Juvenile at Churchill Downs. The gray colt enters the Super Derby field with a career bankroll of $710,925 banked in 11 lifetime starts.  He will face nine rivals, including Super Derby Prelude winner Walpole Racing LLC’s Leader of Men in the 40th running of the Super Derby, which will run as the eleventh race, with an approximate post time of 5:07 pm (Central).

 

Six additional stakes have drawn full and competitive fields on Saturday’s card.

 

Brad Cox Trainees Top Excellent Field in the $60,000 Frank L. Brothers Stakes

One of the six turf stakes on the Super Derby card was renamed this year to honor New Orleans native Frank L. Brothers. “Frankie,” as he is known in the racing industry, began his highly successful career as a Thoroughbred trainer in Louisiana, winning nine leading trainer titles at Louisiana Downs and winning the 1998 Super Derby with Arch. He was inducted into the inaugural Harrah’s Louisiana Downs Racing Hall of Fame on July 13.

 

The mile and one-sixteenth Frank L. Brothers attracted an overflow field of turf specialists including Big Changes, who won the 2018 edition of the $60,000 Unbridled.  The Florida-bred son of Shipman owned by Steve Landers Racing, LLC, is the highest earner with $568,854 banked in 28 starts. Trained by Brad Cox, Big Changes has won five stakes with his last victory coming last January at Gulfstream Park in the $150,000 Sunshine Millions Turf Stakes. Jockey Colby Hernandez, who recently won the riding title at Evangeline Downs, has the call and will break from the far outside post.

 

Cox is also shipping in Kurilov (CHI), a 6-year-old son of Lookin at Lucky, who will make his return off a one-year layoff. He ran in the 2018 Woodward, a Grade 1 stakes at Saratoga and will break from the rail under jockey Diego Saenz.

 

The top two finishers in last month’s $50,000 Louisiana Turf Cup Classic will return to action. Theoryintopractice, owned by Courtney Barousse and trained by Steve Asmussen, came off the pace to edge In the Navy by a neck. Richard Eramia has the return call aboard the son of Into Mischief.  Kendel D. Standlee’s In the Navy, trained by Scott Gelner, is a 5-year-old sired by Midshipman who has hit the board in 10 of his 14 turf starts. Floyd Wethey, Jr. will ride.

 

The Frank L. Brothers will run as the tenth race on Saturday’s program.

 

Eleven Talented  Two-Year Fillies Assembled in the $60,000 Happy Ticket 

The 33rd running of the $60,000 Happy Ticket, drew a field of 11 fillies at the distance of seven and one-half furlongs on the Franks Turf Course. Just seven ran in last year’s edition of the race, but a very nice group of 11 fillies will compete in Saturday’s sixth race.

 

Steve Landers Racing LLC’s Taylor’s Josie exits three starts in Kentucky and will make her turf debut for trainer Brad Cox. Sired by Race Day, she broke her maiden at Churchill Downs on June 27 and will be ridden by Diego Saenz at odds of 3-1.

 

Breaking from the far outside post will be Tizsfrandella who is undefeated in two starts for owner/ trainer Justin Jeansonne. The daughter of Tizway has made two starts on the turf, breaking her maiden at Evangeline Downs on June 13 and capturing the $75,000 La Senorita at Retama Park on August 14. Jockey Thomas Pompell rode the bay filly in both events and has the return call.

 

“There looks to be quite a bit of speed in the race,” said Jeansonne, who welcomed the birth of his daughter on August 16. “Tommy has done a great job of getting this filly to relax, so hopefully he can take back and make a late run. She’s bred to go two turns; it’s been a great run so far.”

 

Trainer Ben Colebrook will also ship in Envied, a filly by Triple Crown winner American Pharoah, who broke her maiden at Ellis Park on July 5. Colby Hernandez will guide her in her second start and stakes debut.  Cedar Hall, who ran second in the La Senorita, makes her first start at Louisiana Downs for trainer Danny Pish. This will be the third stakes appearance by the daughter of Bayern, who will be ridden by Lane Luzzi.

 

Deviant Seeks His Second Turf Stakes Win in the $60,000 Sunday Silence

The eighth race of the afternoon  is the $60,000 Sunday Silence with ten juveniles competing seven and one-half furlongs on the Franks Turf Course. This is the 15th edition of the race named in honor of the prolific champion who won the 1989 Super Derby, Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes, and was inducted into the Harrah’s Louisiana Downs Racing Hall of Fame this year.

 

Deviant, owned by Red Lane Thoroughbreds LLC, will be aiming for his second consecutive turf stakes victory. The colt by Daredevil made three main track starts in Kentucky before making his turf debut in the $75,000 El Joven at Retama Park. It was a winning effort for the juvenile, who drew off by a margin of 7 ¾ lengths under Lane Luzzi. The son of veteran New York rider Mike Luzzi, will ride the 5-2 morning line favorite.

 

Deviant will face several 2-year-olds who recently broke their maiden, including Violator from the barn of Steve Asmussen.  The Ontario-bred son of Violence won his second career start at Ellis Park for Winchell Thoroughbredsand Willis Horton Racing and will be ridden by Richard Eramia. Louisiana-bred Outofmybind broke his maiden here on July 30 for owner Richard Ringo. Jockey Joel Dominguez rode the son of Bind to a seven-length win and will remain in the irons for trainer James Hodges.

 

Asmussen also sends in Valiant Defender, who ran second to Deviant in the El Joven. The Kentucky-bred son of Stay Thirsty will make his third career start for H.V.Farms, Ltd with rider C. J. McMahon in the saddle.

 

Is Too Goes for Her Third Stakes in a Row in the $60,000 River Cities

A full field of fillies and mares will compete in the 33rd running of the $60,000 River Cities at the distance of a mile and one-sixteenth on the turf.

 

Is Too, a 4-year-old daughter of Midshipman, owned by Barrone Farms LLC, returns to the Franks Turf Course in pursuit of her third consecutive stakes. She was an impressive winner here last month in the $50,000 Louisiana Cup Distaff.  Trained by for trainer Edward Johnston, Is Too has won six of her 15 career starts and is especially suited to the turf with three victories in four starts. She will reunite with regular pilot Colby Hernandez.

 

Also certain to attract plenty of attention is Remember Daisy, who captured the $100,000 Louisiana Ladies Stakes at Fair Grounds last December before heading to Canterbury Park and most recently, Arlington Park in Chicago. She ran sixth in the Grade 1, Beverly D for owner Al and Bill Ulwelling. Trainer Gary Scherer has given the call to jockey Tim Thornton.  Also shipping in from Arlington Park is Ruffina, a 4-year-old daughter of Street Cry who is trained by Brad Cox. Diego Saenz will ride the bay filly, who has won three of her six turf starts. She will make her Louisiana Downs debut in the River Cities.

 

The River Cities is carded as the ninth race of the Super Derby program.

 

Nine Louisiana-Bred Fillies Take to the Turf in the $60,000 Elge Rasberry

The 24th running of the $60,000 Elge Rasberry drew a field of nine Louisiana-bred 3-year-old fillies.  Snowball,owned by Tin Roof Farms LLC has been installed as the 5-2 choice in the one-mile turf feature.

 

The daughter of Apriority won the $75,000 Soiree on Louisiana Legends Night at Evangeline Downs on May 25. Trained by Sam Breaux,  the gray filly will be ridden by Diego Saenz and will break from post position seven. She has hit the board in seven of her 12 starts with earnings of $114,820 to date.

 

Randall Hargrave’s Scootin Bayou has faired well this season at Louisiana Downs, winning two turf races in front-running fashion under jockey Jose Guerrero. The filly by Guilt Trip will make her stakes debut for trainer Kenneth L. Hargrave. Other notable entrants include Net a Bear, runner-up in the Louisiana Legends Soiree for trainer Allen Landry and Irish Hustle, who exits a six-length main track allowance score on August 10 at Evangeline Downs. She is trained by Bret Calhoun, who has named Robby Albarardo to ride the daughter of Data Link.

 

Luck of the Draw Leads the Field in the $60,000 A. L. (Red) Erwin

An overflow field of Louisiana-bred 3-year-old colts and geldings will take to the Franks Turf

Course in the $60,000 A. L. (Red) Erwin.  Luck of the Draw will make his Louisiana Downs

debut for owner Ten Strike Racing and trainer Matt Shirer.  The gelded son of Lookin at Lucky

broke his maiden last December at Fair Grounds and competed in two turf races at Arlington Park

most recently.  Jockey Colby Hernandez will pilot the 7-2 morning line choice.

 

Another promising 3-year-old is Star Fitzstall, a son of Star Guitar, bred and owned by Brittlyn Stable, Inc. He has won two of his five starts, including back-to-back main track events at Delaware Park for conditioner Jose Camejo. Rider Marcelino Pedroza has the call on Star Fitzstall, who makes his turf debut on Saturday.

 

Another son of Star Guitar, Make Me Smile, broke his maiden on the turf on July 18 at Evangeline Downs and followed that up with an allowance win one month later. Trainer Keith Bourgeois has given the call to Tim Thornton. Tigertail Ranch’s homebred Hampton Roads will aim for his third career win under jockey Diego Saenz. The son of Lone Star Special is conditioned by Victor Arceneaux and ran fourth in a turf allowance here on July 6.

 

 

Super Derby Festivities Set for Saturday, September 7

Several promotions and special events are planned for Super Derby 40 so that both racing fans and families will have an enjoyable afternoon at the racetrack.

 

Watch and wager on the Super Derby Card in the air-conditioned comfort of the Harrah’s Club. An All You Can Eat Buffet offering for $39.99 per person will be available, beginning at 11:00 am. Reservations are strongly encouraged and can be made by calling 318-752-6367. An upscale buffet, thee  Super Derby 40 in the Sky, will also be available for $49.99 per person. Contact Jennifer Sokol at (318) 741-2512 as reservations are required.

 

At 10:30 am, a Jockey Meet and Greet and Autograph Signing will take place in the Harrah’s Louisiana Downs main entrance area. A photo of the riders will be available for $5.00 with the proceeds to benefit the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund (PDJF).

 

Louisiana Downs track announcer John McGary and regional racing publicist Martha Claussen will team up for a pre-race handicapping preview at 11:00 am in the Inside Rail, located on the first floor of the grandstand. They will offer detailed analysis of the Grade 3, $300,000 Super Derby as well as their selections for each of the races on the Super Derby card.

 

Rachel McLaughlin, racing production manager and on-air talent at Indiana Grand, also one of the Caesars Entertainment horse racing properties, will make an appearance at Harrah’s Louisiana Downs on Saturday, September 7 for Super Derby 40.  She will conduct select paddock previews and post-race stakes interviews and offer selections for the entire card.

 

Family activities will get underway at 11:00 am, a Children’s Area will open on the Racing Apron.  Face Painting is available for an additional charge. Children can join in the fun with the Super Derby Stilt Walkers and Hula Hoop Stars! Food Trucks from across the region will be serving up great local bites for purchase.

 

Also at 12:00 pm, registration begins for the Super Derby Ladies Hat Contest. Hats will be judged in three categories: Spirit of Louisiana, Classic and Most Original. The winners will receive $100 cash.

 

The Food Truck Face-Off  will take place after the 3rd race. Competitors will have five minutes to scarf down some of the yummiest foods available for purchase on the Racing Apron. Seven popular local celebrities and three participants from the crowd will compete to win, not only bragging rights, but $250 in cash.

 

Super Derby 40 $5 Free Bet

Racing fans can swipe their Caesars Rewards card at the racing kiosks for a $5.00 Free Bet that can be redeemed on Saturday, September 14, 2019.

 

After the 6th Race Harrah’s Louisiana Downs Super Derby 40 Opening Ceremony will include a Proclamation by Bossier City Mayor Lorenz Walker, posting of the colors by the Bossier Sheriff’s Young Marines and The National Anthem performed by Billie Joe, Real Country Reality Singing Competition artist.

 

About Harrah’s Louisiana Downs

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

 

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KNICKS GO TAKES ON NINE RIVALS IN THE GRADE 3, $300,000 SUPER DERBY AT HARRAH’S LOUISIANA DOWNS

Seven Stakes Races Will be Contested on the Super Derby Program Saturday, September 7

 

Bossier City, LA – A quality field of 3-year-olds will run in Super Derby 40 at Harrah’s Louisiana Downs, on Saturday, September 7. The marquee day of the 2019 Louisiana Downs Thoroughbred meet will get underway at a special post time of 12:00 pm (Central).

 

Leading the field is Knicks Go owned by KRA Stud Farms, who has been installed as the 9-5 morning line favorite.  The colt by Paynter out of the Outflanker mare Kosmo’s Buddy broke his maiden last July at Ellis Park and went on to a highly successful 2-year-old season for trainer Ben Colebrook. He attracted considerable attention last October when he pulled a huge upset in the Grade 1, Claiborne Breeders’ Futurity at Keeneland. Dismissed by the betting public, he topped a full field of juveniles in gate-to-wire fashion at odds of 70-1. He followed that with a game runner-up finish in the Grade 1, Sentient Breeders’ Cup Juvenile at Churchill Downs. The gray colt enters the Super Derby field with a career bankroll of $710,925 banked in 11 lifetime starts.

 

“He was very precocious early in his career,” said Colebrook.  “I was not surprised he won the (Claiborne) Breeders’ Futurity; maybe more with the ease that he won the race. I believed he was better than his 70-1 odds, and he validated that in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile. It was a thrill to win my first Grade 1 at Keeneland.”

 

Knicks Go has competed in four graded stakes in 2019 and most recently, ran second in the Ellis Park Derby on August 11.

 

“When he turned three, it took him a while to get back on track,” stated Colebrook. “But he has faced some tough horses, including Mr Money, who is the one of best 3-year-olds in the country. The Super Derby is a good spot for him; we are excited to be coming on Saturday.”

 

Colebrook confirmed that Knicks Go will leave Kentucky on Thursday and will be ridden by Colby Hernandez, who clinched the riding title at the recently concluded 2019 Evangeline Downs Thoroughbred meet with 95 wins.

“He’s never ridden for me before, but he’s one of the top riders in Louisiana and I know his brother (Brian) very well,” added Colebrook.

 

Hall of Fame conditioner Steve Asmussen is currently the second-leading money earning trainer in North America.  Last year, he ran two horses in the Super Derby and won with longshot Limation for owner Michael Langford.  He has two entrants again in this edition of the race:  Rotation,  a colt by Tapit, bred and owned by Winchell Thoroughbreds, LLC and Vangilder, winner of the $70,000 Charles Taylor Derby on July 20 at the Downs of Albuquerque for owner Chuck Hovitz.

 

Rotation was the favorite in the Super Derby Prelude, but stumbled out of the gate, almost unseating jockey Richard Eramia, but gamely battled to complete the superfecta.

 

“He grabbed himself pretty badly, but thankfully, is fully healed,” said Asmussen. “We had options for Vangilder, but thought this would be a good spot for him.”

 

Eramia returns aboard Rotation and Asmussen has give the call on Vangilder, a Kentucky-bred son of Paynter, to C. J. McMahon. He was the winning rider aboard 2016 Super Derby champion Texas Chrome.

 

Trainer Al Stall, Jr, who has won three previous editions of the Super Derby, will test stakes company for the first time with Adele B. Dilschneider‘s homebred Rescind. The lightly raced son of Blame broke his maiden and won a $19,000 allowance here on August 12. One of the most successful conditioners in Louisiana, Stall will be seeking his fourth victory in the Super Derby. He won the prestigious race in 2008 with My Pal Charlie and again two years later with ApartDeparting was the third winner for the New Orleans native in 2013.

 

Leader of Men, owned by Walpole Racing LLC won the $60,000 Super Derby Prelude on August 3, which was his fourth consecutive victory at Louisiana Downs. He stretched out to a mile and one-sixteenth for the first time, advancing comfortably to win his first career stakes in a final time of 1:46.96. The victory was celebrated by owner Kevin Walpole and his wife, Amy who reside in Haughton, Louisiana. His regular jockey, Hector Del-Cid will retain the mount. The bay gelding,  who was a May 28thfoal, is described as a “big kid, who is finally getting the hang of his job” by trainer Jodie Hodges.

 

“He goes to the track every morning,” said Hodges. “He loves what he does; we’re as pleased as punch with our horse.”

 

Four additional runners from the Super Derby Prelude are also entered in the Super Derby.  They include Trevilion, owned by Tigertail Ranch and trained by Victor Arcenaeux, who ran second; Paynt Battle, the third-place finisher for Norman Stables, LLC and conditioner Lonnie Briley as well as Golden Tooth Ranch, LP’s Fredonian, who ran fifth in the mile and one-sixteenth main track event.

 

The field also includes Cabot, a son of Will Take Charge who will make his second stakes start for owners Alex and JoAnn Lieblong. Trained by Ron Moquett, Cabot will be ridden by Marcelino Pedroza, who is currently the leading rider at Indiana Grand Race Course.

 

Trainer Grant Forster will send Pirate’s Punch, a son of Shanghai Bobby, who will make his stakes debut for the ownership group of Gulliver Racing LLC , Craig W. Drager and Dan Legan.  Veteran jockey Robby Albarado, who is just returning off a wrist injury suffered in June at Churchill Downs, has the mount. The victory would be the third Super Derby score for Albarado, who won his first Super Derby in 2006 aboard Strong Contender and followed that with a win with  Departing seven years later.

 

The Super Derby, which had its first running in 1980, has a distinguished list of past champions, including four Kentucky Derby winners, four Preakness Stakes winners, five Belmont Stakes winners and seven Travers Stakes winners. Six previous Super Derby entrants have won the prestigious Breeders’ Cup Classic and three Super Derby winners, Tiznow, Sunday Silence and Alysheba have been voted the Eclipse Award as Horse of the Year, the industry’s highest award.

 

“We were very pleased with the field entered for this year’s Super Derby,” said David Heitzmann, Louisiana Downs director of racing and racing secretary. “Our thanks go to both national and our Louisiana-based horsemen for their support and we look forward to an outstanding day of racing.”

 

Six Undercard Stakes Set for Super Derby Day

In addition to the Super Derby, six additional stakes will be contested on Saturday. A press release on the entrants for the following features will be sent tomorrow:

 

$60,000 Frank L. Brothers                              3 YO & Up                             1 1/16 miles (T)

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

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

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

$60,000 A. L. (Red) Erwin                             3 YO LA-Bred                        One Mile (T)

$60,000 Elge Rasberry                                   3 YO Fillies, LA-Bred            One Mile (T)

 

Super Derby Festivities Set for Saturday, September 7

Several promotions and special events are planned for Super Derby 40 so that both racing fans and families will have an enjoyable afternoon at the racetrack.

 

Watch and wager on the Super Derby Card in the air-conditioned comfort of the Harrah’s Club. An All You Can Eat Buffetoffering for $39.99 per person will be available, beginning at 11:00 am. Reservations are strongly encouraged and can be made by calling 318-752-6367. An upscale buffet, thee  Super Derby 40 in the Sky, will also be available for $49.99 per person. Contact Jennifer Sokol at (318) 741-2512 as reservations are required.

 

At 10:30 am, a Jockey Meet and Greet and Autograph Signing will take place in the Harrah’s Louisiana Downs main entrance area. A photo of the riders will be available for $5.00 with the proceeds to benefit the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund(PDJF).

 

Louisiana Downs track announcer John McGary and regional racing publicist Martha Claussen will team up for a pre-race handicapping preview at 11:00 am in the Inside Rail, located on the first floor of the grandstand. They will offer detailed analysis of the Grade 3, $300,000 Super Derby as well as their selections for each of the races on the Super Derby card.

 

Rachel McLaughlin, racing production manager and on-air talent at Indiana Grand, also one of the Caesars Entertainment horse racing properties, will make an appearance at Harrah’s Louisiana Downs on Saturday, September 7 for Super Derby 40.  She will conduct select paddock previews and post-race stakes interviews and offer selections for the entire card.

 

Family activities will get underway at 11:00 am, a Children’s Area will open on the Racing Apron.  Face Painting is available for an additional charge. Children can join in the fun with the Super Derby Stilt Walkers and Hula Hoop Stars! Food Trucks from across the region will be serving up great local bites for purchase.

 

Also at 12:00 pm, registration begins for the Super Derby Ladies Hat Contest. Hats will be judged in three categories: Spirit of Louisiana, Classic and Most Original. The winners will receive $100 cash.

 

The Food Truck Face-Off  will take place after the 3rd race. Competitors will have five minutes to scarf down some of the yummiest foods available for purchase on the Racing Apron. Seven popular local celebrities and three participants from the crowd will compete to win, not only bragging rights, but $250 in cash.

 

Super Derby 40 $5 Free Bet

Racing fans can swipe their Caesars Rewards card at the racing kiosks for a $5.00 Free Bet that can be redeemed on Saturday, September 14, 2019.

 

After the 6th Race Harrah’s Louisiana Downs Super Derby 40 Opening Ceremony will include a Proclamation by Bossier City Mayor Lorenz Walker, posting of the colors by the Bossier Sheriff’s Young Marines and The National Anthem performed by Billie Joe, Real Country Reality Singing Competition artist.

 

 

About Harrah’s Louisiana Downs

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

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