SPECTATORS ALLOWED TO ATTEND LIVE RACING AT HARRAH’S LOUISIANA DOWNS

Opening Day for the 2020 Thoroughbred Meet is Saturday, June 6

 

Bossier City, LA – The 2020 Thoroughbred racing season at Harrah’s Louisiana Downs gets underway on Saturday, June 6 with excellent news for racing fans. While the onsite casino was opened on May 18, restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic were still in place prohibiting attendance for live racing and simulcast wagering.

 

Governor John Bel Edwards announced that Louisiana is ready to move to Phase 2 of the White House’s reopening strategy. He signed the executive order late on Thursday, June 4 with guidance being issued to individual industries and businesses via the OpenSafely.la.gov website. In Phase 2, churches, places of worship and many more businesses will be able to operate at 50 percent capacity with social distancing, masks for public-facing employees and increased sanitation. In addition, the state strongly recommends that businesses consider offering temperature checks before a person can enter and posting the symptoms of COVID-19 outside with a request that symptomatic individuals not enter.

 

The Governor was advised by public health experts that Louisiana has seen decreasing reports of COVID-like illness, decreasing new case counts especially as a percentage of tests administered, and decreasing hospitalizations in almost every area of the state. A few areas of concern still exist, but through contact tracing and frequent testing, the state is able to quickly track increases and work to prevent large outbreaks.

 

“We have been in daily communication with the Governor’s office and were hopeful that we would be able to welcome racing fans to Harrah’s Louisiana Downs,” said David Heitzmann, Director of Racing. “Our opening day card drew very well, and we look forward to a very successful kick off to our 2020 Thoroughbred racing season.”

 

Patrons will be required to enter via a specially marked designated entrance and temperature checks will be conducted. Face masks are not required, but recommended. Only trainers, grooms and jockeys will be permitted in the saddling paddock and no more than six individuals will be allowed in the winner’s circle following their race, based on social distancing recommendations.  Further information can be found on the Harrah’s Louisiana Downs website.

 

The 64-day meet will run Saturday, Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday through September 23. Post time will be 3:05 pm (Central).

 

 

Pick 6 Jackpot Added to the Wagering Options

Racing fans will have plenty of exotic wagering options for the upcoming meet. Rolling daily doubles and Pick 3 wagers will begin on the first race. A Pick 4 wager will be offered on the last four races of the program as well as a Pick 5, covering the final five races. Also, a new Pick 6 Jackpot, with a minimum bet of .10 cents, beginning on the second race of the card, has been added. The final race of the day will have a Super High Five wager providing there is a seven horse field (or higher) entered.

 

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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THE 2020 THOROUGHBRED RACING SEASON AT HARRAH’S LOUISIANA DOWNS GETS UNDERWAY ON SATURDAY, JUNE 6

Saturday, Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday Racing with 3:05 pm (CT) Post Time

 

Bossier City, LA – The 2020 Thoroughbred racing season at Harrah’s Louisiana Downs will commence on Saturday, June 6. The 64-day meet will run Saturday, Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday through September 23. Post time will be 3:05 pm (Central).

 

The meet will be run spectator-free, until further notice, in accordance with sanctions by Governor John Bel EdwardsHarrah’s Louisiana Downs remains in constant communication with the Louisiana Department of Health on procedures and protocols to ensure the safety of horses, horsemen and essential employees.

 

Joey Foster Hopes to Defend His Trainer Title

Benton, Louisiana horseman Joey Foster set up shop in Louisiana back in 1992 and continues to be one of the top trainers at Harrah’s Louisiana Downs. The very popular conditioner won his first title here in 2016, repeating the feat in 2017 and finishing second to Karl Broberg in 2018. He won 54 races last year here, adding another title.

He and his brigade of exercise riders have been prominent in morning works and Foster is hoping to get off to a good start when the Thoroughbred meet begins on Saturday.

“I might need some practice,” said Foster, who saddled his last racehorse in March at Fair Grounds. “We are all in the same boat; just need to take it one day at a time.”

Last year’s winners at Harrah’s Louisiana Downs included a mix of claiming and allowance horses, but his stakes stock is on the rise, topped by Our Lost Love, a Louisiana-bred daughter of Half Ours. Bred and owned by Tri-Star Racing LLC, she broke her maiden impressively here on September 14 before stepping up in class. She earned her first black-type victory on December 29 at Fair Grounds in the $100,000 Louisiana Futurity and won the $70,000 Take Charge Brandi at Delta Downs two months later.

“She’s doing well; we’re just looking for a race for her,” said Foster. “We’ve got some new stock for this meet, and great support from our owners.”

Heading into Saturday’s opening day card, Foster has five horses entered and looks poised to clinch his 800thcareer win.

Karl Broberg, finished second to Foster last year with 45 wins. Former jockey Beverly Burress finished the meet with 28 victories and Steve Asmussen and Jorge Lara tied for fourth with 20 winners each. Each will be back in action, joined by H. B. Johnson, James “Sweet” Hodges, Patti Turner, Ronnie Ward, Kathleen Mordenti and Steven Duke.

The backside is bustling with several new horsemen who have been granted stalls for the 2020 live racing season.Scott Gelner Brett Brinkman, Eduardo Rodriguez, Angel Cordero, Sarah Delany, F. Dewaine Loy, Becky LeBlanc, Eric Heitzmann and Shane Wilson are among the conditioners who will be stabled here.

“We were pleased with the interest of new outfits requesting stalls this meet at Harrah’s Louisiana Downs,” said David Heitzmann, Director of Racing. “It has been a very challenging time in our industry, and we cannot say enough about the resilience of our Louisiana horsemen. We appreciate their loyalty and look forward to presenting a very competitive racing program.”

 

Competitive Jockey Colony Ready for Action

There will be a battle from start to finish for leading rider honors as several solid veterans will return to the jockey colony this season.

Carlos Lozada was dominant throughout the 2019 meet as he earned his first leading rider title. The 35-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 gave credit to his agent, Ronald Ardoin, Louisiana Downs Hall of Fame jockey, who won 5,226 races in his illustrious career.

“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 was very helpful when I asked for advice.”

Previous title holders Emanuel Nieves and Gerardo Mora will ride as well as up and coming jockey Joel Dominguez, who finished second last year with 91 trips to the winner’s circle.

Jockey Aubrie Green finished third in the standings last year with 54 victories. Born in Idaho, the mother of three is improving in just her fifth year riding professionally. Green capped off 2019 campaign with a victory aboard Pound For Pound in the $150,000 Louisiana Champions Day Classic at Fair Grounds. It was her biggest win to date, and she received plenty of well-deserved recognition for her skills in the saddle.

“Winning that race was surreal and a huge accomplishment for me,” she admitted.

However, her 2020 did not begin on a high note. She suffered an ankle injury that required extensive tendon surgery and just began working horses the second week of May at Harrah’s Louisiana Downs.

“I’m really excited to be back,” stated Green. “I have some great trainers who continue to support me and look forward to riding for Shane Wilson and Eric Heitzmann, who will run here this meet. It looks like I will also pick up a few for Joey Foster; he is a great trainer; hilarious too!”

Green is hoping that restrictions will be lifted in the near future so that fans can enjoy live racing.

“It’s important that we continue to grow our industry,” she added. “I grew up in a small town and never got a chance to go to the races. So, when I see a kid watching a race, I always try to talk to them and give them a set of goggles.”

 

 

Wagering Format

Racing fans will have plenty of exotic wagering options for the upcoming meet. Rolling daily doubles and Pick 3 wagers will begin on the first race. A Pick 4 wager will be offered on the last four races of the program as well as a Pick 5, covering the final five races. Also, a new Pick 6 Jackpot, with a minimum bet of .10 cents, beginning on the second race of the card, has been added. The final race of the day will have a Super High Five wager providing there is a seven horse field (or higher) entered.

 

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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June Calendar of Events from the LTBA

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

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

 

June 1
•       LTBA Board of Directors Ballots
to be mailed out

June 5

  • Equine Sales Company of Louisiana, Consignor Select Yearling and Two-Year-Old Sale Consignment Deadline
  • Evangeline Downs RACING BEGINS

June 6

  • Louisiana Downs RACING BEGINS

June 9-12

  • OBS Spring Sale of Two-Year-Olds In Training, Ocala, FL

June 14

  • Flag Day

June 15

  • Texas Summer Yearling and Horses of Racing Age Consignment Deadline

June 16

  • LTBA Board of Directors Meeting

June 21

  • Fathers Day

June 30 

  • Louisiana Futurity payments due

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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Equine Sales Company Announces a Reduction in RNA Commissions

EQUINE SALES COMPANY

Announces 

a Reduction in RNA

Commissions over $50k

 for 

2020 Consignor Select

Yearling & 2 Year Old Sale

Important Announcement:
In an effort to better accommodate our Consignors and Breeders during these unprecedented circumstances,  the Board of Directors of
Equine Sales Company
has voted in favor of reducing the “Reserve Not Achieved” (RNA) commission on any amount over $50,000 from 5% to 2.5 %.
Also Please Make Note of the fast approaching entry deadline.
Deadline for Entries:
JUNE 5, 2020
Consign Now!!
 
For any questions or to submit contracts
Please Contact Sales Director,
Foster Bridewell for assistance.
2020 Consignor Select Yearling 
Sale Date has been changed to:
Thursday, August 20, 2020
***********************
You can visit our website:  www.equinesalescompany.com
or you can contact Equine Sales Company
or call:  337-678-3024 to speak to our Sales Director:
Foster Bridewell
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LTBA to Resume Regular Hours Beginning Tuesday, May 26

Beginning Tuesday, May 26, Louisiana Thoroughbred Breeders Association is resuming regular office hours. Staff will be at the Fair Grounds office from 8 a.m. till 4 p.m. to handle all LTBA business.

For the safety of our members as well as our staff, the door will remain locked. The vast majority of any LTBA business can be handled by phone or over the internet.

We ask that anyone needing to come into the office to complete LTBA business, please call first. 504-947-4676. In the effort to practice safe “social distancing” and reduce potential COVID-19 exposure, our staff will be working on a rotational basis. A phone call will insure that the person you need to see will be in.

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Boyd Gaming Commences Property Reopening Process

Properties in Louisiana, Mississippi to Resume Operations This Week

LAS VEGAS, May 18, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Boyd Gaming Corporation (NYSE: BYD) today announced plans to resume operations at seven properties in Louisiana and Mississippi, pending receipt of final regulatory approvals.

On Wednesday, May 20, Boyd Gaming plans to reopen three Louisiana properties: Delta Downs Racetrack Casino Hotel, Evangeline Downs Racetrack Casino Hotel and Treasure Chest Casino.  On Thursday, May 21, the Company will reopen its two Mississippi properties: IP Casino Resort Spa in Biloxi and Sam’s Town Hotel & Gambling Hall in Tunica.

The following week, Boyd Gaming plans to resume operations at two additional properties in Louisiana: Amelia Belle Casino and Sam’s Town Shreveport.

These will be the first Boyd Gaming properties to reopen following the closure of all Company properties nationwide in mid-March, following state mandates aimed at preventing the spread of COVID-19.  Upon reopening, the properties will operate with limited amenities and capacity restrictions in compliance with state and local requirements.

“As we begin the process of reopening our properties nationwide, the health and safety of our customers, our team members and our communities will be our highest priority,” said Keith Smith, President and Chief Executive Officer of Boyd Gaming.  “Across the country, we are implementing comprehensive safety protocols approved by local, state and federal health officials. We are optimistic that we will be able to reopen most of our properties over the next several weeks, and we look forward to offering our guests a safe and enjoyable entertainment experience.”

Upon reopening, all Boyd Gaming properties will practice “Boyd Clean,” a set of comprehensive protocols aimed at protecting the health and safety of our team members and guests.  These protocols include:

  • Mandatory face coverings and temperature checks for all team members;
  • Social distancing requirements and capacity restrictions across all customer and team member areas, including casino floors and restaurants;
  • Enhanced cleaning and sanitation of all high-touch surfaces, including door handles, gaming machines, table games, handrails and elevator buttons;
  • Increased placement of hand sanitizer dispensers throughout our properties;
  • Required training for all team members on our safety protocols.

For additional information on the Boyd Clean initiative, visit www.boydgaming.com.

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Boyd Gaming Applies for Evangeline Downs Race Dates

Company requested 50 dates for delayed Thoroughbred meet.

Fifty dates for Thoroughbred racing at Evangeline Downs have been requested by track owner Boyd Gaming, the Louisiana Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association announced May 15.

The Opelousas, La., racecourse was originally set to open for its Thoroughbred season April 8 and race through Aug. 29, but the track has remained closed because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The revised schedule submitted to the Louisiana State Racing Commission lists June 5 as the new opening date, with racing four days a week on a Wednesday-through-Saturday basis. Closing day would remain the same.

Boyd Gaming management applied for 14 days of Thoroughbred racing in June, 19 days in July, and 17 days in August at Evangeline.

May 16 marked the first day horses stabled outside Evangeline Downs and Delta Downs were welcomed back through the stable gates at the two tracks. Since mid-March, no new horses were allowed to enter the racetracks. The horses already stabled there were allowed to remain in place after Boyd Gaming reversed course after originally telling horsemen March 16 they had 48 hours to vacate the premises. Horses resumed training April 13 for the first time since the lockdown after Louisiana District Court judge Sharon Wilson on April 9 dissolved a temporary restraining order obtained by Boyd Gaming that resulted in no racehorse training.

“We’ve had some positive steps in the last month,” said Benard Chatters, the president of the Louisiana HBPA and a trainer at Evangeline Downs. “We were able to get the horses back training, and then today we were able to bring some of the horses back to the racetrack that had been locked out. The regular workout people were back, the outriders were back, and it was a really joyous and refreshing day for me.”

Chatters, who was at Evangeline on Saturday morning, said people were eager to get their horses back to the racetrack, including trainers who ship their horses in for workouts on the track.

Racing has not taken place in Louisiana since Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots ended its meet about a week early March 21.

 

Read BloodHorse Article

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Commission Approves Louisiana Downs to Open June 6

Money from the canceled Super Derby (G3) will be directed toward overnight purses.

 

Louisiana Downs received authorization by the Louisiana State Racing Commission during a May 5 teleconference to begin its Thoroughbred meet June 6 and continue until Sept. 23. The commission also approved the cancellation of the track’s lone graded race, the Super Derby (G3), which carried a $300,000 purse last year.

“We decided to take care of the local horsemen and put all that money toward overnight purses,” David Heitzmann, director of racing at Louisiana Downs, said in an interview after the commission meeting.

Purses in Louisiana are heavily subsidized by revenue from racetrack casinos, which have been suspended due to the global COVID-19 pandemic. Determinations are still being made regarding the track’s purse structure, according to Heitzmann.

Read BloodHorse Article

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Survey: Equine Industry Economic Impact of COVID-19

The LSU AgCenter and University of Florida are interested in how the stay at home order due to COVID-19 is affecting your business and what economic impact it is having on the equine industry.

Please take a few minutes and complete the short (3 minute) survey.

Please Share!

http://lsu.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_9sh5QCupVkuc40l

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