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Fair Grounds Announces 2020-21 Racing and Stakes Schedule

“Road to the Derby” Series Highlighted on Fair Grounds’
76-Day, 2020-21 Thoroughbred Racing Schedule

2020-21 STAKES SCHEDULE worth $7.13 MILLION

NEW ORLEANS (October 8, 2020) – Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots has announced that 51 stakes worth a combined $7.055 million will be offered during the upcoming 76-day 2020-21 Thoroughbred racing season, which is set to begin Thanksgiving Day, Thursday, November 26.

“We are proud to once again continue our growth and support of the Thoroughbred racing industry with our purse allocations and this diverse and dynamic stakes schedule” said Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots president Doug Shipley. “We look forward to our 149th racing season and the continuation of bringing many of the best horsemen and jockeys from around the world to enjoy the high caliber racing at Fair Grounds in New Orleans.”

The “Louisiana Derby Day” card on March 20 will feature eight stakes worth a total of $2.425 million, including the 108th running of the Grade II $1 million Twinspires.com Louisiana Derby for 3-year-olds.

Previously run over nine furlongs on dirt, the distance of Louisiana Derby was extended to 1 3/16ths miles last season. The third and final local prep on the Road to the Grade I $3 million Kentucky Derby Presented by Woodford Reserve, the race is worth 100-40-20-10 points to the top four finishers. Run at 1 1/16 miles, the 53rd running of the Grade II $400,000 Twinspires.com Fair Grounds Oaks for 3-year-old fillies offers the same number of points en route to the Grade I $1.25 million Longines Kentucky Oaks.

“Lengthening the distances of all three of our Road to the Derby races proved to be quite popular with the horsemen,” said Fair Grounds racing secretary Scott Jones. “The Lecomte drew 14 entries, the Risen Star had 23 entries and was split into two divisions, and the Louisiana Derby had an overflow field. Our progressive schedule of 3-year-old races for both the boys and girls gives horsemen a great opportunity to develop their horses and compete for excellent purses.”

A pair of nine furlong, high-impact stakes for older horses are also scheduled on the Louisiana Derby Day program – the Grade II $400,000 New Orleans Classic and the Grade II $300,000 Muniz Memorial Stakes, to be run over the Stall-Wilson Turf Course. In addition, four undercard stakes are slated for the lucrative card, including the $100,000 Tom Benson Memorial for older fillies and mares at 1 1/16 miles on grass and a trio of Louisiana-bred events – the $75,000 Costa Rising Stakes, a 5½-furlong turf sprint, the $75,000 Crescent City Derby for 3-year-old males at 1 1/16 miles and the $75,000 Crescent City Oaks for females at 1 mile and 70 yards.

On January 16, the “Road to the Derby Kickoff Day presented by Hotel Monteleone” features a pair of key 3-year-old events — the Grade III $200,000 Lecomte Stakes, which was extended from a mile to 1 1/16 miles last season, and the $150,000 Silverbulletday Stakes for fillies at 1 mile and 70 yards. The top four finishers in each race receive 10-4-2-1 points on the Road to the Kentucky Derby and Oaks respectively.

Four stakes for older horses will also be presented on the January 16 program, including the $125,000 Louisiana Stakes, which was elevated to Grade III status and received a $25,000 purse increase, at 1 1/16 miles, the $125,000 Colonel E.R. Bradley Stakes at 1 1/16 miles over the Stall-Wilson Turf Course, the $100,000 Duncan F. Kenner Stakes at 5 1/2 furlongs on the turf and the $100,000 Marie G. Krantz Memorial Stakes for fillies and mares at 1 1/16 miles on grass.

On February 13, “Louisiana Derby Preview Day presented by Lamarque Ford-Lincoln” features a pair of key 3-year-old stakes — the Grade II $400,000 Risen Star Stakes presented by Lamarque Ford-Lincoln, which was extended from 1 1/16 to 1 1/8 miles last season, and the Grade II $300,000 Rachel Alexandra Stakes presented by Fasig-Tipton, for fillies to be contested over 1 1/16 miles. The top four finishers receive 50-20-10-5 points on the Road to the Kentucky Derby and Oaks respectively.

The Rachel Alexandra has produced the last two of the last three Kentucky Oaks winners in Monomoy Girl and Serengeti Empress and 2014 victress Untapable also took down the Run for the Lilies. Our 2020 third place finisher Swiss Skydiver has gone on to win five graded stakes, including the Alabama (G1) in advance of a runner-up finish in in the Oaks, and the Preakness (G1) against the boys. With such a stellar history of recent participants, Fair Grounds remains hopeful the Rachel Alexandra will soon achieve Grade I status is deserves.

Four stakes for older horses will also be presented on the February 13 program — the Grade III $200,000 Mineshaft Stakes at 1 1/16 miles, the Grade III $150,000 Fair Grounds Stakes for at nine furlongs on turf, the $100,000 Colonel Power Stakes at 5½ furlongs on turf and the $100,000 Albert M. Stall Memorial Stakes for fillies and mares at 1 1/16 miles on turf.

The December 19 “Santa Super Saturday presented by Coca-Cola” card offers a six-pack of $75,000 stakes. Four of the races are for older horses — the Tenacious Stakes at 1 1/16ths miles, the Richard R. Scherer Memorial Stakes at 5 ½ furlongs on turf, the Blushing K.D. for fillies and mares at 1 1/16 miles on turf, and the Buddy Diliberto Stakes at 1 1/16 miles on turf. The other two are six furlong events for juveniles – the Sugar Bowl Stakes for the boys and the Letellier Memorial Stakes for the girls.

Louisiana Champions Day presented by Acadian Ambulance will be held on December 14. With the races run over various divisions and distances on both dirt and turf, the program features ten stakes restricted to Louisiana-breds. Each Louisiana Champions Day stakes is worth $100,000 with the exception of the Louisiana Champions Day Classic, which carries a $150,000 purse.

The purse for the opening day Thanksgiving Classic for older male sprinters has been increased $25,000 to $125,000. The $60,000 Shantel Lanerie, to be run on March 21, has been repurposed as a route race for older Louisiana-bred fillies and mares.

The 76-day, 2020-2021 Fair Grounds racing season runs through Sunday, March 28. Regular post time will be 1 p.m. CT. The exceptions are Louisiana Derby Preview Day (February 13 at noon CT) and Louisiana Derby Day (March 20 at 11 a.m. CT).

Condition Book #1 

Pocket Calendar & Stakes Schedule 

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Louisiana-Bred Program Changes Bylaws to Grow Foal Crop

A bylaw change eliminated requiring breeding back to Louisiana-based stallions.

 

The Louisiana Thoroughbred Breeders Association’s board of directors made two bylaws changes last week it hopes will make the state’s breeding incentive program more attractive to breeders outside its borders and bolster the population of accredited Louisiana-bred foals.

One change allows resident Louisiana mares to be bred to a stallion outside the state for consecutive years and still permits the resulting foals to become accredited Louisiana-breds. Previously, breeders could send a mare to an out-of-state stallion, but that foal could not be an accredited Louisiana-bred unless the mare was bred back to a Louisiana-based stallion.

Under the new rule, breeders may have access to better stallions, but the resulting foals by out-of-state stallions will be eligible to receive half of any breeder’s award incentive money. A Louisiana-bred foal by a Louisiana-registered stallion is eligible to receive full breeder’s awards, which are 20% of total purses earned for horses that finish 1-2-3 in any race in Louisiana or 1-2-3 in any stakes race outside Louisiana (purse capped at $200,000).

The other change applies to nonresident mares being bred to Louisiana stallions. They now only need to remain in Louisiana for 90 days or at least until Aug. 1 and then can be returned to an out-of-state breeder’s farm until they get close to foaling. Prior to the rule change, a mare would have had to stay in Louisiana and deliver her Louisiana-sired foal for it to be eligible as a Louisiana-bred.

Read BloodHorse Article

 

 

 

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Fair Grounds Must Pay Record Fine in Clean Water Act Settlement

By T. D. Thornton

In an attempt to resolve years of federal Clean Water Act (CWA) violations at its Fair Grounds racetrack in New Orleans, Churchill Downs Louisiana Horseracing Company, LLC, has agreed to pay a $2.7 million penalty–the largest civil fine ever paid by a concentrated animal feeding operation in a CWA matter.

Under the terms of the settlement announced Sept. 29 by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of Justice (DOJ), the limited liability company that runs Fair Grounds must also implement $5.6 million in operational changes and construction projects to eliminate the unauthorized discharges of manure, urine, and wastewater from the track’s stable area.

 

Read TDN Article

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October Calendar of Events

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

Brought to you by Louisiana Thoroughbred Breeders AssociationWhispering Oaks Farm and  Equine Sales CompanyClick images to link to more information

Oct 1

  • 2020-21 Membership Dues are now past due. Fees are now $85.
  • Louisiana Champions Day Early Bird Nominations are due
  • LTBA Board of Directors Meeting, 12:00 noon Boutin’s, Carencro

Oct  12

  • Columbus Day

Oct 15

  • Louisiana Horse Stallion Register Stallion Submissions are due
  • Louisiana Horse Stallion Register Farm and Service Directory submissions are due along with payment

Oct 16

  • Consignment Deadline. Equine Sales Company Open Yearling and Mixed Sale for Thoroughbreds and Quarter Horses. NEW Sale Date, Nov. 21

Oct  17

  • Fair Grounds, Deadline for Stall Application

Oct 26

  • Fair Grounds, Barn Area Opens

Oct 31

  • Halloween

 

Would you like to sponsor a newsletter? Reach @ 2,500 readers.

Please contact Linda 985-386-0360, linda@louisianabred.com or Roger 504-947-4676, roger@louisianabred.com for cost and availability.

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

 

Any questions or need more info call

Roger A. Heitzmann III, Secretary/Treasurer

Louisiana Thoroughbred Breeders Association

504-947-4676

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Hall Of Famer Delahoussaye Views Friday’s ‘Eddie D’ From Afar

by

 

A certified all-time great and longtime member of Racing’s Hall of Fame, Eddie Delahoussaye, for whom Friday’s main event at Santa Anita, the Grade 2, $200,000 Eddie D Stakes, is named, will not be on-hand to present the winner’s trophy along with his wife Juanita.

“With all the Covid stuff going on, we just weren’t able to make it out this year,” said the popular Cajun native from his home in Lafayette, La. “At my age (69), you never know what you’re gonna get! Hopefully things will get back to normal and we can make the trip again next year.”

Retired due to injury in 2003, Delahoussaye, 69, who has worked part time as a blood stock agent and has dabbled in racehorse ownership himself, is in the process of taking on a new role—that of racing commissioner with the state of Louisiana. Although he won’t be officially sworn in until the Louisiana state legislature reconvenes in June, he’s serving in the role of apprentice commissioner in the interim.

Read Paulick Report Article

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DELTA DOWNS WORKS TOWARD REVISED SCHEDULE FOR 2020-21 THOROUGHBRED SEASON

REPAIRS TO RACETRACK UNDERWAY AFTER HURRICANE LAURA

September 28, 2020

VINTON, LA – Delta Downs Racetrack Casino Hotel today announced that it is working toward a revised start date for its 2020-21 Thoroughbred season, following delays caused by heavy damage to the track from Hurricane Laura on August 27.

Based on the progress of repairs to date, Delta Downs believes it will be able to allow horses to move back on the grounds and start training by late October and begin live racing in late November.

This year’s meet was originally scheduled to run from October 6, 2020 to February 27, 2021 for a total of 84 race days. The end of the season may now be revised and extended along with a change in the total number of race days, pending approval from the Louisiana Racing Commission

Steve Kuypers, Vice President & General Manager of Delta Downs, said: “Boyd Gaming and Delta Downs are committed to hosting a successful 2020-21 Thoroughbred meet here in Vinton, Louisiana.”

As work continues and repairs are completed, Delta Downs will provide further information about when horses will be allowed to be stabled on the backside, when the track plans to begin its season, and the new schedule for live racing. This information will be posted to the Delta Downs website at www.deltadownsracing.com.

Delta Downs Racetrack Casino Hotel, a property of Boyd Gaming Corporation (NYSE:BYD), features exciting casino action, live horse racing and fun dining experiences. Delta Downs is located in Vinton, Louisiana on Delta Downs Drive. From Lake Charles, take Exit 7 and from Texas, take Exit 4.

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Delta Downs Looks to Open Delayed Meet in Late November

Stabling and tracking could begin by late October.

Delta Downs, which postponed its race meet when damaged by Hurricane Laura, could begin racing in late November, according to a company spokesman. Delta had been scheduled for its regular Thoroughbred season for 84 days from Oct. 6-Feb. 27.

Track officials are hoping to open its backstretch for training by late October, said David Strow, the vice president of corporate communications for Boyd Gaming, the track owner.

Hurricane Laura, a Category 4 storm, brought devastating winds causing damage or destruction to barns, the backside dining room, the track toteboard, its data/computer room, and its safety rail and starting gate, Strow said.

“The damage was fairly extensive. The good news is we are making great progress in our repairs, and we’re confident we can have the horses return in late October,” he said.

Boyd is working with the Louisiana State Racing Commission to extend the meet beyond its originally planned ending, though specific dates and the length of the season are still to be determined, according to Strow.

Delta Downs reopened its casino Sept. 16.

For more, Read BloodHorse Article

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STEVE ASMUSSEN TOPS BOTH THE TRAINER AND OWNER STANDINGS FOR THE 2020 THOROUGHBRED MEET AT HARRAH’S LOUISIANA DOWNS

Jockey Joel Dominguez Clinches His First Leading Rider Title

 

Bossier City, LA – The 2020 Thoroughbred racing season at Harrah’s Louisiana Downs, which got underway one month late due to COVID-19, wrapped up on Saturday, September 26. Eleven races were contested today: three from Tuesday, September 22 and eight races from the Wednesday, September 23 card which were canceled due to heavy rain from Tropical Storm Beta.

 

Steve Asmussen Wins Both Leading Trainer and Owner Titles

Steve Asmussen. Coady Photography

It’s been quite a summer for Hall of Fame conditioner Steve Asmussen who claimed both leading trainer and owner of the meet titles at Harrah’s Louisiana Downs.

As a trainer, Asmussen started 124 runners, winning 41 races and adding 22 seconds and 23 thirds. He sent a combination of maidens, claimers and allowance entrants, doing well on both the main track and Franks Turf Course. Rue Lala, owned by William and Corinne Heiligbrodt in partnership with Spendthrift Farm LLC, broke her maiden here impressively on September 5 and wheeled back in the $50,000 Louisiana Cup Juvenile Fillies, finishing a game second to multiple stakes winner Mirabeau.

“She is a very nice Louisiana-bred,” said Asmussen. “The Heiligbrodts were one of my first owners and their support means a great deal to me.”

Asmussen credited the racing officials at Louisiana Downs as well as the track surfaces.

“Louisiana Downs stepped up when other tracks were trying to figure out when they might be able to open,” stated Asmussen. “They have excellent track surfaces, which is one of the reasons we support Louisiana Downs and are proud of this accomplishment.”

For the second year in a row, Karl Broberg, finished second with 38 wins. However, Broberg did edge Asmussen in purses with his runners banking $448,275 over $423,440 earned by Asmussen’s string.  Shane Wilson who had not stabled at Louisiana Downs for the past eight years, won 32 races and 2019 leading conditioner Joey Foster rounded out the top four, saddling 24 winners.

Asmussen was able to top his fellow owners with 19 wins from 52 starts. His horses won 37% of their starts with earnings of $147,835.

Wayne T. Davis finished second in the owner standings with 17 wins. His horses earned $188,405 and are conditioned by Shane Wilson. End Zone Athletics, Inc. won 16 of their 75 starts with Tri-Star Racing LLC and M and M Racing finishing in a tie for fourth with nine victories each.

September has been not only successful, but historical for Asmussen as on Friday, September 17, he won his 9,000th career victory with Troy Ounce at Remington Park. He is now second to Dale Baird, who holds the North American record for training wins with 9,445. Over the summer, Asmussen has won races at Saratoga, Churchill Downs, Ellis Park, Kentucky Downs, Lone Star Park, Remington Park and Harrah’s Louisiana Downs.

“I believe I won one previous title at Louisiana Downs, but it might have been a year that the Fair Grounds meet was run in Shreveport,” he said.

Asmussen credits assistants Mitch Dennison, who coordinated the Louisiana Downs entries and other duties from his Kentucky base and Misty Drinkwater, who is in her second year of handling the day-to-day duties at Harrah’s Louisiana Downs.

“Misty deserves a great deal of credit,” added Asmussen. “She is extremely organized and does a fabulous job with our Louisiana runners.”

 

Joel Dominguez Wins His First Leading Rider Title

Joel Dominguez. Hodges Photography.

Jockey Joel Dominguez has made the most of his four-year tenure at Harrah’s Louisiana Downs.
The 30-year-old native of Durango, Mexico began in 2017 as an apprentice, winning 31 races that year and returning in 2018, losing his bug, but finishing third in the standings as he transitioned to the journeyman ranks. He improved to second last year, but powered to the lead early in the 2020 meet and built an unsurpassable lead over his fellow riders. Dominguez completed the meet with a record of 71 wins, 59 seconds, 50 thirds and $903,325 in purses.

He rode first call for Steve Asmussen this season, who he galloped for in Kentucky when he first came to the United States. His highlights this meet included winning four races on the July 25 card, which included three wins for Asmussen and one for trainer James “Sweet” Hodges.

On Saturday, September 19, Dominguez won two of the six Louisiana Cup Stakes, coming from off the pace aboard Budro Talking for Keith Austin in the Turf Classic and finishing the card with an upset aboard Saltee Stark from the barn of Joe O. Duhon in the Louisiana Cup Sprint.

“I want to thank Steve and all the trainers who put me on mounts,” said Dominguez. “When I was in Kentucky, I worked for Steve and trainer Neil Howard. Steve began to trust me galloping some of his top horses; I remember the first time I worked Rachel Alexandra. That was very special and gave me so much confidence! Neil helped me get my license and we still stay in touch.”

Dominguez paid his dues in Kentucky and his work ethic is applauded by Asmussen.

“Joel is an excellent horseman and has turned into a great jockey,” he said.

Dominguez’ agent is former jockey, Don Simington and the two have a strong bond.

“Don gives me great advice and feedback,” explained Dominguez. “I admire that he is the first one to arrive in the morning and the last to leave. Trainers know him well and he works hard to book me on good horses.”

Dominguez extended his gratitude to his wife Janet, and sons, Andy and Joel Jr. and expressed his thanks to others.

“I also want to thank the Louisiana Downs racing office staff for their hard work as well as my valet Oscar Lara,” added Dominguez. “Mitch and Misty have been great to work with and I appreciate the hard work of all the grooms, hot walkers and exercise riders.  I would not have won this title without so many people helping me!”

Last year’s top jockey Carlos Lozada finished with 40 wins, tying for second in the standings with Jose Andres Guerrero. Next was Jack Gilligan with 37 victories and Gerardo Mora, who won 35 races.

Dominguez will ride next at Delta Downs when their 2020-2021 Thoroughbred season gets underway.

“We thank each of our horsemen for their support since the live racing season began on June 6,” said David Heitzmann, Director of Racing at Harrah’s Louisiana Downs. “This has been a very challenging year due to COVID-19 and a very volatile Hurricane season which has impacted so many people in our state. We look forward to a much better 2021 for our racing industry.”

 

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 through March.

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.

 

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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