DELTA DOWNS SET TO BEGIN 2018-19 THOROUGHBRED SEASON

– DIODORO AND POMPELL TOP LIST OF NEW FACES FOR THE 84-DAY MEETING –

 

 

VINTON, LA. – Delta Downs Racetrack Casino & Hotel will kick off its 2018-19 Thoroughbred season on Wednesday, October 17. The 84-day stand will feature live racing Wednesdays through Saturdays with first post time set for 5:25 pm Central Time each night.

 

During the new season, Delta Downs will offer a stakes schedule that features 28 races and a total of $2.175 million in total purse money.

 

The stakes activity kicks off on opening weekend with the $100,000 Magnolia and the $50,000 My Trusty Cat taking place on Friday, October 19. On Saturday, the track will host the $100,000 Gold Cup and the $50,000 Jean Lafitte Stakes. The Magnolia and Gold Cup races are each restricted to Louisiana-bred horses.

 

The richest program of the year will happen on Saturday, February 9 when the track hosts another edition of Louisiana Premier Night. The exciting card will feature some of the best Louisiana-breds competing in 10 stakes races worth total purse money of $895,000. The headliner on Louisiana Premier Night is the $150,000 Louisiana Premier Night Championship for 4-year-olds and up competing at 1-1/16 miles.

 

The leading horsemen from last year at Delta Downs are expected to vie for top honors once again this season. Diego Saenz will be seeking his fifth leading rider title while Karl Broberg will compete for this eighth consecutive leading trainer title during the meet. Broberg has been the leading trainer in North America by wins for four consecutive years and currently leads all conditioners in 2018 with over 400 winners thus far.

 

End Zone Athletics Inc., which is made up of the team of Karl Broberg and Matt Johanson, will attempt to win their fourth straight and seventh overall leading owner title this season at Delta Downs.

 

There will also be a few new faces at Delta Downs. Most notable are jockey Thomas Pompell and trainer Robertino Diodoro. Pompell is a journeyman rider who has notched over 2,500 wins during his career which began in 1996. Diodoro has been training since 1995 and has saddled over 2,000 winners. His horses have earned just over $32 million.

 

For more information about racing at Delta Downs visit the track’s website at www.deltadownsracing.com. Fans can also get information about through Facebook by visiting the page ‘Delta Downs Racing’. The track’s Twitter handle is @deltaracing.

 

Delta Downs Racetrack Casino and 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.

More than 130 Head Consigned to Equine Sales Company Open Yearling and Mixed Sale

Equine Sales Company has announced a catalog of 134 head for its upcoming Opening Yearling and Mixed Sale to be held Sunday, October 28, at 12 noon in Opelousas, Louisiana. The sale company is still accepting supplements, so the catalog is likely to grow before the auction.

The yearling session will include 55 head and will be immediately followed by the mixed session with weanlings, 2-year-olds and broodmares. Many of the broodmares will sell in-foal.

This sale comes on the heels of the Consignor Select Yearling Sale last month, which was one of the most successful auctions since the sale company was founded in 2012. The September sale posted big increases over last year with gross sales of nearly $2 million.

“We had a great auction last month so we hope that will carryover to this sale,” said Foster Bridewell, sales director. “The catalog for this sale is smaller than last year but it has plenty of quality and should provide options for just about every buyer.”

 

The online catalog is available at www.equinesalescompany.com.

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.

 

Lone Star Special Moving to Cherokee Ridge Farm in Carencro

 

lone-star-special-copyAfter standing at The Horse Of Course in Benton Louisiana since 2016, Lone Star Special is moving to Cherokee Ridge Farm in Carencro for the 2019 breeding season in order to be more centrally located for Louisiana Breeders.

Lone Star Special (Malabar Gold-Sunshine Special) is an Unbridled line stallion who is among an elite number of stallions that moves his mare up. Only 32 % of all sires have a lifetime AEI higher than their mares CI. Lone Star Special has an AEI of 1.49 vs his mare’s CI of 1.11. His statistics of 66% winners, $71,209 average earnings per starter, 16% blacktype horses and 17% two-year-old winners, compete with leading national sires.

Lone Star Special is the sire of two Graded Stakes horses, both accredited Louisiana-breds.

Recently retired to the breeding shied, G2 Super Derby winner Mobile Bay ran from ages three to six, hitting the board in 21 of 29 lifetime starts. He won eleven stakes, often showing speed in route races of 1 1/16 to 1 1/8 miles, including the G2 Super Derby, open company stakes such as the Sunland Park Handicap, the Maxxam Gold Cup and the Zia Park Derby, as well Louisiana Bred Stakes including the Louisiana Champions Day Classic at the Fair Grounds twice.  He placed in another five stakes including the G3 Oklahoma Derby. His Lifetime earnings of $1,246,440 rank him 4th among all-time Leading Accredited Louisiana Bred Runners. A multiple Accredited Louisiana Bred Champion, Mobile Bay was named 2015 3YO Colt or Gelding and Horse of the Year, 2016 Older Male and Horse of the Year, and 2017 Older Male.

Multiple stakes winner, Wheatfield ran 2nd in the ’17 G2 Inside Information Stakes at Gulfstream. She was named 2016 4YO & Up Louisiana Bred Champion Filly or Mare. She has earned black type in 11 stakes events, many against open company, and currently has $391,603 in lifetime earnings.

While changing locations to Bill Langford’s Cherokee Ridge Farm in Carencro, Lone Star Special’s 2019 fee will remain reasonable at $2,500 according to owner, Tigertail Ranch’s Irwin Olian. 

“From a very small group of foals, Lone Star Special has done remarkably well.  He has demonstrated the ability to throw runners capable of competing at the national level in Graded Stakes as well as other highly professional runners including four other stakes horses,” says Tigertail Ranch’s Irwin Olian. “His ability to move up his mares puts him in very rare company among Louisiana sires and suggests there will be a lot more good things to come from him in the future”

“We are grateful for the excellent work that John Doherty has done managing Lone Star Special in north Louisiana, but feel it is important to expose him to a broader group of mares in central and south Louisiana.  We are very excited about moving him to Cherokee Ridge Farm where he will be under the able management of Bill Langford. We hope Louisiana breeders will recognize the unique opportunity that Lone Star Special represents to get a top class racehorse and support him as he deserves.”

Equine Sales Company Posts Big Gains for Consignor Select Sale

Equine Sales Company’s Consignor Select Yearling Sale, held Thursday, September 6, in Opelousas, Louisiana, recorded significant increases in gross sales and average price compared to last year’s auction, which itself posted big increases over the prior year. All told, 150 of 206 yearlings sold this year for a total of $1,949,900 with an average of $12,999 and median of $6,000. A total of 138 of 193 head sold last year.
This year’s figures marked an 19.2% increase in gross sales from last year’s $1,636,400 and a 9.6% jump in average from $11,858. This year’s median of $6,000 was down from last year’s $7,000, and this year’s buyback rate was 27.2% compared to 28.5% last year.
“We had a very strong sale last year, so we were extremely pleased to exceed those numbers this year,” said Foster Bridewell, sales director. “The fact that we had 10 horses go for $50,000 or more proves that our consignors really brought some quality stock and that our buyers stepped up to get those individuals.
“There’s a lot of money to run for in Louisiana, and Louisiana-breds have proven again and again that they can win anywhere, most recently with Classy John, who sold here as a 2-year-old for $12,000, winning an $85,000 maiden special at Saratoga last month by daylight.”
The sale was highlighted by two Louisiana-bred colts who hit six figures, topped by a February foal from the first crop of multiple Grade 1 winner Palace. Consigned by 4M Ranch, agent, the colt went to J. Stevens Bloodstock, agent, for $105,000. He is out of the winning Kafwain mare Sheer Speed, whose first starter, by Redding Colliery, is a two-time winner.
Close behind the sale-topper was a March foal by Grade 1 winner and first-crop sire Lea who sold for $100,000 from Red River Farm, agent, to Carl Moore Management LLC. The colt is out the unraced Corinthian daughter Beat the Street, who is the dam of four winners from as many to race including stakes winner Kylie’s Cutie and stakes-placed Blue Ribbon Girl.
Full results of the sale are available at www.equinesalescompany.com.

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