LOUISIANA DOWNS AMENDS WEEKEND POST TIMES FOR THE 2022 THOROUGHBRED LIVE RACING SEASON EFFECTIVE SATURDAY, MAY 21

First Race Will Begin on 1:45 pm(Central) Saturday and Sunday

 

Bossier City, LA – Louisiana Downs kicked off its annual Thoroughbred meet on Saturday, May 7 with perfect weather and a packed house.

New owner Kevin Preston and Mitch Dennison, Louisiana Downs General Manager of Racing, are pleased with the tremendous support from the horsemen and racing fans and look forward to another excellent turnout for Saturday’s live racing and simulcast of the 147th Preakness Stakes.

“We were thrilled with our opening day crowd here for both live racing and the simulcast of the Kentucky Derby,” said Mitch Dennison, Louisiana Downs General Manager of Racing. “From our suite level to the apron, fans were having a great time and told our team members that they would be back on a regular basis. We are committed to making  Louisiana Downs a top sports and entertainment destination, and opening day surpassed our expectations. We are excited to build on this momentum in the months to come.”

Trainer Joey Foster, who resides in nearby Benton, Louisiana, has been a very loyal supporter of  his home track and applauds the efforts of Preston, Dennison and the entire team.

“I’m 110% behind them,” said Foster. “Mitch is a horseman and is on the backside every morning making sure things are going well. We have an excellent turf course and the main track is well-managed and kind to our young horses. Kevin has big plans and with Sports wagering and Historical racing machines, there will be more revenue for the horsemen. They have the wheels in motion and we are seeing the light at the end of the tunnel!”

Preakness Festivities Planned for Saturday, May 21

The 147th Preakness Stakes in Baltimore Maryland will take place on Saturday, May 21. Louisiana Downs will simulcast each of the races from Pimlico Race Course. The nine horse field will not include Kentucky Derby winner Rich Strike, but Derby runner-up Epicenter as well Kentucky Oaks winner Secret Oath, are two of the quality 3-year-olds expected draw considerable attention. Louisiana Downs will celebrate the second leg of racing’s Triple Crown with live racing, and Family fun events including Bounce Houses, Face Painting as well as several of the top Food Trucks in the Metroplex. Additionally, there will be a Swipe2Win promotion at the Racing Promotional kiosks beginning at 11am. Guests can win free wagers, bonus points, and more!

Post Time to Be Moved to 1:45 PM for  Saturday and Sunday Beginning May 21

A modification to the weekend post times for the 2022 Thoroughbred meet will go into effect this Saturday. The first race will begin at 1:45 pm (Central) on Saturday and Sunday and remain at 3:05 pm for the Monday and Tuesday cards. Projected post times are as follows:

 

SATURDAY AND SUNDAY POST TIMES , FIRST POST:  1:45 PM (CST)

Race 1- 1:45 pm

Race 2- 2:13 pm

Race 3- 2:41 pm

Race 4- 3:09 pm

Race 5- 3:37 pm

Race 6- 4:05 pm

Race 7- 4:33 pm

MONDAY AND TUESDAY POST TIMES , FIRST POST:  3:05 PM (CST)

Race 1 3:05pm

Race 2 3:33pm

Race 3 4:01pm

Race 4 4:28pm

Race 5 4:55pm

Race 6 5:22 pm

Race 7 5:49pm

 

Gino Buccola Joins Louisiana Downs as Racing Analyst

Louisiana Downs is pleased to welcome Gino Buccola as their on-air analyst, joining track announcer John McGary to preview each  of the live Thoroughbred races. He will offer his pre-race selections, post-race analysis as well as  Pick 4 plays. The California native was an analyst at TVG before branching out on his own and coordinating a variety of racing and sports experts to appear on his popular and entertaining That’s What G Said Podcast.

Exotic Animal Racing Returns on Monday, May 30

Memorial Day will mark the return of the wildly popular Exotic Animal Races, featuring Ostrich, Camel and Zebra races as well as Thoroughbred races to entertain fans of all ages. Family activities on the trackside apron begin at 11:00 am with Face Painting, a Bounce House, Water Slide and more!  Some of the top Food trucks in the Shreveport/BossierCity metroplex will be onsite throughout the afternoon. For more information, visit ladowns.com.

Trainer and  Jockey Standings

Shane Wilson, who was honored as 2021 Louisiana Down leading trainer, is off to a great start with seven wins. Joey Foster and Greg Tracy are tied for second in the standings with six wins each and Hall of Fame conditioner Steve Asmussen follows with four victories to date.  Jose Guerrero has the early lead in the rider standings with nine wins since the meet began on May 7. Last year’s leading jockey Carlos Lozada is second with eight trips to the winner’s circle, followed by Emanuel Nieves (seven wins) and Joel Dominguez (five victories). Another prominent addition to the Louisiana Downs jockey colony is Calvin Borel. The Louisiana native has won 5,265 races in his 39-year career, but is most famous for his rail-skimming ride aboard Mine That Bird in the 2009 Kentucky Derby.

Louisiana Downs Racing Dates and Post Time

The 2022 Thoroughbred meet at Louisiana Downs got underway on Saturday, May 7. The 84-day live racing season will run Saturday, Sunday, Monday and Tuesday through September 27. Post time on Saturday and Sunday is 1:45 pm (Central) and 3:05 pm on Monday and Tuesday. For details on simulcasting and special events, visit ladowns.com.

About Louisiana Downs

Located near Shreveport in Bossier City, Louisiana, Louisiana Downs opened in 1974 and is now owned by Rubico Acquisition Corporation. 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.

JOCKEY JANSEN MELANCON FINDING SUCCESS ACROSS STATE LINES AT SAM HOUSTON RACE PARK

Solid Meet for the Son of Top Louisiana Jockey Gerard Melancon

 

HOUSTON, TX- In the business world, there are countless stories about family-owned businesses transitioning between generations. In the racing industry, training mantles have been passed down between parent and child with tremendous success. But obstacles are plentiful when the son of an elite jockey chooses to pursue that same career path.

 

Father and son jockeys, Gerard and jansen Melancon. Coady Photography.

Thoroughbred jockey Jansen Melancon is a prime example. The 33-year-old rider is the son of one of the top riders in the country, Gerard Melancon. Known affectionately as Gee-Money, Gerard has won 5,048 career races and with his outgoing personality and bevy of top trainers in his hip pocket, seems destined to ride for many more years.

 

His son, Jansen, shipped his tack to Sam Houston Race Park in January and is currently tenth in the standings. He returns to action this week off a notable showing last weekend. He guided Gold Declaration to a driving runner-up finish at odds of 34-1 for trainer Terry Eoff on Friday, February 18. On the Texas Preview card, he scored an adroit stakes win aboard Chief Brady in the $75,000 Jim’s Orbit. Melancon, riding for horseman Dallas Keen, found an opening on the rail and confidently navigated the 3-year-old to the wire.  It’s difficult for members of the Sam Houston jockey colony to command attention with veterans Stewart Elliott and Ry Eikleberry winning races for top horsemen Steve Asmussen and Karl Broberg. But last weekend, racing fans in Houston and across the country, saw the talent of Jansen Melancon.

Jansen began riding in 2008 and has won 761 races from over 7,300 starts and purses of $14.2 million. Becoming a professional jockey was all he ever dreamed about, and he always had the support of his father.

“He never discouraged me, ever,” stated Jansen. “He always wanted me to be happy.”

But for many years, being the son of Gerard Melancon, created imposing obstacles. Annette Melancon, wife of Gerard, and mother to sons Jonas and Jansen, remembers it well.

“People would tell Jansen that he had big shoes to fill or call him ‘little G’ referencing the well-known tag of “Gee Money,” she recalled. “It was difficult for him.”

Jansen had a tough time with it, but soldiered on as he made the rounds, picking up mounts for a number of horsemen.

“When I first got going, Joey Foster was one of the trainers who stuck his neck out for me,” he said. “Throughout my career, I’ve never ridden first call for a barn; I’ve always had mounts for many horsemen, and I appreciate each of them.”

Jansen faced challenges for many years; there were wins, but he was far from an overnight success. Alcohol played too much of a role in his life and he chose to face his addiction.

“I have been sober for two years now and have never felt better,” he explained.

Jansen always had the support from his parents and his wife, Brooke. They live just a subdivision away from them in Scott, Louisiana, with their 6-year-old son, Emmitt.

Gerard Melancon watches pretty much all of Jansen’s races and was thrilled with his three-bagger here on January 15.

“That was a great night for Jansen,” said his proud dad. “He’s always had a hard time riding under me in Louisiana. Hopefully he will pick up some owners and trainers because he has so much talent and he just needs opportunities!”

Jansen is in agreement with Gerard on that front.

“A lot of the trainers knew me as a kid,” said Jansen. “The comparisons to my dad were ongoing, but  riding in a different circuit, I am Jansen, not G’s son.”

On Saturday, February 19, Gerard won the finale at Delta Downs aboard Frank the Mayor for trainer Keith Charles. That evening, he and Annette settled into their recliners to watch Jansen ride the Texas Preview Night card at Sam Houston Race Park. Jansen piloted Chief Brady in the $75,000 Jim’s Orbit, who had won his debut in January for trainer Dallas Keen. He was stepping up against in stakes company, but Jansen settled the 3-year-old colt on the backstretch before finding room on the rail. The son of Bradester responded gamely and drew off to a three-length victory at odds, rewarding his fans with a $13.20 win payout.

“He’s never had dirt in his face, but took it well,”  said Jansen. “He was moving nicely and dragging me along; I saw the rail open and took the opportunity.”

 

Keen had no hesitation is giving Melancon the return call.

 

“Jansen is a talented rider,” stated Keen. “He shows up in the mornings and listens when I tell him about what the horses like and do not like. He won by six lengths on Chief Brady in his debut and made an impressive move up the rail in the Jim’s Orbit.”

 

In addition to impressing Keen and racing fans last Saturday, Melancon drew rave reviews from his parents.

“Gerard was whooping and hollering watching Jansen win that stakes,” said Annette. “It was exciting; we were very proud of him!”

Jansen has ridden against his father many times in Louisiana and is destined for repeat duels in the future. His  approach is that they are just two jockeys trying to cross the finish line first.

“When I am in the starting gate, it doesn’t matter who I am riding against,” said Jansen. “It’s just me and the horse trying to win the race.”

He will ride at Sam Houston Race Park until the 2022 Thoroughbred season wraps on Saturday, April 9.  Jansen and his agent, Bubba Wood have several options open about his next stop.

“I feel I have never worked a day in my life,” he explained. “It’s still fun. There’s no freer feeling than being on the back of the horse.”

About Sam Houston Race Park

Sam Houston Race Park is Houston’s premier racing and entertainment facility, located just 15 miles from downtown Houston. Owned by Penn National Gaming. Inc., the racetrack, which opened in 1994, offers a variety of attractions including a Suite Level featuring luxurious suites overlooking the racetrack, The Pavilion Centre, and award-winning dining options at the Winner’s Circle Restaurant and the Jockey Club. For more information on upcoming live racing, shows, events and tickets, please visit www.shrp.com.

 

TTA Releases Video Honoring 2020 Texas Champions and Human Award Winners

The Texas Thoroughbred Association has released an online video honoring the 2020 Texas Champions and human award winners. Traditionally the TTA would have an in-person awards ceremony, but one will not be held this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  

 

“While we are disappointed in not having an awards ceremony this year, we are proud of the accomplishments of Texas-breds and Texas horsemen last year, and we are pleased to honor them with this video,” said Mary Ruyle, executive director of the TTA. “Congratulations go out to all the award winners.” 

 

The 2020 Texas Champion horses were previously announced, and those horses are highlighted in the video along with four human award winners that were not previously announced. The video can be viewed on the TTA’s Facebook page and at https://youtu.be/9f3C63Mrk6A.

 

The T.I. “Pops” Harkins Award for lifetime achievement was awarded to Jim “Mattress Mack” McIngvale and Joe Straus Jr.  

 

McIngvale has found great success in both the business world and on the racetrack. His Houston-based Gallery Furniture has sponsored numerous stakes races over the years and frequently features racing-related promotions, including one involving the 2021 Kentucky Derby that helped raise the profile of the sport to non-racing fans. He won the Breeders’ Cup Sprint with Runhappy and now stands the stallion and often sponsors racing events to promote him. He is also a noted philanthropist and has supported numerous charitable efforts within and beyond the world of racing. 

 

Straus is one of the founding fathers of modern Texas horse racing. He was instrumental in the passage of pari-mutuel wagering laws in the state and is a co-founder of Retama Park near San Antonio. Straus also serves as chairman of the Texas Horse Racing Hall of Fame, of which he is also an inductee. Also a successful breeder and owner, Straus has worked hard to ensure a level playing field for horsemen and served on the Texas A&M Target 2000 committee and spearheaded efforts for the Texas Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory to serve as the lead agency to test competition racehorses. 

 

The Allen Bogan Memorial Award for TTA member of the year was awarded to Bill Tracy and Martha Claussen.  

 

Tracy is a longtime TTA member and Texas horseman who worked at JEH Stallion Station in New Mexico and Oak Tree Ranch in Bandera, Texas, and presently is farm manager at Mike Grossman’s Eureka Thoroughbred Farm in Fredericksburg, Texas. He has served on the TTA board for a combined total of nearly 20 years, and he has also served on the board of the TTA’s Paddock Foundation and as president of the Texas Thoroughbred Educational Fund. In his work to support TTA and Texas racing, he has testified before the Texas Racing Commission and spent numerous hours working with legislators to highlight the importance of horse racing to our state. 

 

Claussen has worked to promote Texas horse racing for nearly 25 years after being hired as publicity director at Sam Houston Race Park in 1997. Since then, she has distributed countless news releases and photos to better inform the media and general public about the special people and horses in our sport. While many news releases just list out basic information, Claussen always goes the extra mile to include quotes from the winning connections and other details to recognize the effort it takes to win a stakes race. She is among the most active and recognized voices on social media when it comes to Texas horse racing, and she is a familiar face nationwide from her frequent winner’s circle interviews. 

 

Following is the complete list of the previously announced 2020 champion horses: 

 

2-Year-Old Filly: Con Lima (by Commissioner) • Owner: Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners, Graffeo, Joseph F., Del Toro, Eric Nikolaus and Johnson, Troy • Breeder: Lisa Kuhlmann 

2-Year-Old Colt/Gelding: Hulen (by Tapiture) • Owner: L. William and Corinne Heiligbrodt, Madaket Stables LLC and Spendthrift Farm LLC • Breeder: Keith Asmussen 

3-Year-Old Filly: Boerne (by Fed Biz) • Owner: De Luca and Sons Stable • Breeder: Randi and Eric Moreau-Sipiere 

3-Year-Old Colt/Gelding: Gold Pilot (by My Golden Song) • Owner: Wayne Sanders and Larry Hirsch • Breeder: Ronald and Margaret Ellerbee 

Older Filly/Mare: Ima Discreet Lady (by Discreet Cat) • Owner: Duane Coker and Raymond Todd White • Breeder: Larry S. Huntsinger 

Co-Champion Older Horse: Sunlit Song (by My Golden Song) • Owner: Carolyn Barnett and Becky Harding • Breeder: Carolyn Barnett 

Texas Champion Claimer: Meme Jo (by Too Much Bling) • Owner: John L. Pierce II • Breeder: Jeanne Bruce 

Champion Broodmare: My Silver Song (by My Golden Song) 

Horse of the Year and Co-Champion Older Horse: Redatory (by Oratory) • Owner/Breeder: James Wessel 

LOUISIANA DOWNS ANNOUNCES MANDATORY PICK 5 PAYOUT ON LOUISIANA CUP DAY SATURDAY, AUGUST 21

Bossier City, LA – Louisiana Downs has received approval from the Louisiana State Racing Commission (LSRC) to offer a mandatory payout on their Pick 5 Wager, which will cover races three through seven on Louisiana Cup Day,  Saturday, August 21.

 

There will be carryover of $349,763 heading into Louisiana Cup Day. First post is 2:45 pm (Central) for the seven-race card which features six stakes for accredited Louisiana-breds with purses of $50,000 each.  The Pick 5, which is offered daily for a minimum wager of .50 cents, covers the following races:

 

Race 3     $50,000 Louisiana Cup Distaff

Race 4     $50,000 Louisiana Cup Juvenile

Race 5     $50,000 Louisiana Cup Sprint

Race 6     $50,000 Louisiana Cup Turf Classic

Race 7     $50,000 Louisiana Cup Filly and Mare Sprint

 

“We approached the racing commission last week when the Pick 5 carryover began to grow,” said David Heitzmann, Louisiana Downs Director of Racing. “Louisiana Cup Day is an exceptional showcase for Louisiana Thoroughbreds and offers black-type purses for the breeders as well as excellent wagering opportunities for our horseplayers. We look forward to a great afternoon!”

 

Louisiana Downs track announcer John McGary and regional racing publicist Martha Claussen will conduct a free handicapping seminar at 1:00 pm in the Inside Rail, located on the first floor of the grandstand. They will offer analysis and their selections for each of the races and Pick 5 on the Louisiana Cup Day card. In addition, contributing handicappers Rachel McLaughlin of Indiana Grand, NHC Hall of Fame champion Trey Stiles and Nick Tammaro, an eight-time NHC qualifier and morning-line oddsmaker, will share their Pick 5 tickets on Twitter.

 

QUALITY FIELDS ASSEMBLED FOR THE SIX LOUISIANA CUP DAY STAKES ON SATURDAY, AUGUST 21 AT LOUISIANA DOWNS

 Louisiana Thoroughbred Breeders Association (LTBA) Will Draw for Two Scholarships

 

Bossier City, LA – The annual Louisiana Cup Day at Louisiana Downs will take place  Saturday, August 21.  First post is 2:45 pm (Central) for the seven-race card which will feature six stakes for accredited Louisiana-breds with purses of $50,000 each.

 

The stakes action, which gets underway in the second race of the card, features a mix of multiple-stakes winning Louisiana champions and as well as a showcase for the rising stars of the Pelican state.  Here is a preview of the contentious Louisiana Cup stakes.

 

Charged Temp Leads the Field in the $50,000 Louisiana Cup Juvenile Fillies

Stakes action gets underway in the second race, the $50,000 Louisiana Cup Juvenile Fillies. Eight accredited 2-year-old Louisiana-bred fillies will compete at six furlongs.

 

Brittlyn Stable, Inc’s homebred Charged Temp makes her first start in Louisiana after breaking her maiden on July 10 at Monmouth Park and followed that with a sixth-place finish in the $75,000 Colleen B on the turf. Jose Camejo trains the daughter of Star Guitar, three-time Louisiana Stallion of the Year. She will break from the far outside post under 2020 leading Louisiana Downs jockey rider Joel Dominguez.

 

Also making her Louisiana debut will be Streak of Silver who won the $100,000 Texas Thoroughbred Futurity on July 10 at Lone Star Park. Owned by Carl Moore Management, LLC, the daughter of Graydar was bred in Louisiana by  Larry Romero & Cradle Song Farm. Trainer Karen Jacks retains the riding services of  Lindey Wade, who currently tops the jockey standings at Canterbury Park, to pilot the gray filly.

 

“She’s built like a 4-year-old gelding and has matured a lot,” said Jacks. “We think highly of this filly, who is classy and smart.”

 

Current Louisiana leading freshman sires will be well-represented in this feature with Gerald Bruno Jr.’s Free Like a Girl representing the state’s top ranked first-crop stallion El Deal. Trained by Chasey Deville Pomier, she will make her fifth start off a solid maiden-breaking score last month at Evangeline Downs.

Iron Fist, who ranks just below El Deal with four winners  this year, has sired two entrants in the field:  Iron Banner, trained by Brett Brinkman for owner Menard Thoroughbreds LLC and Buckley Bunny, bred and owned by Whispering Oaks Farm, LLC.  Trainer Steve Flint was impressed with her victory on June 5 at Evangeline Downs.

 

“She’s tough like (tennis superstar) Serena Williams,” said Flint of Buckley Bunny. “She showed dominance in her training, so much so, that I ran her against the boys in her first out. She hit the gate, but still won on a muddy track!”

 

Diego Saenz has the return call aboard Buckley Bunny at odds of 6-1.

 

Net a Bear and Offspring Renew Their Rivalry in the $50,000 Louisiana Cup Distaff

The first turf  stakes of the card, the $50,000 Louisiana Cup Distaff, drew seven fillies and mares who will travel a mile and one-sixteenth over the Franks Turf Course.

 

Net a Bear, a 5-year-old filly by Awesome Bet out of the Eddington mare Edacious Reality, owned by Maximo Lamarche and Federico Deltoro, is the 3-2 morning line favorite. She is also a multiple-stakes winner for breeders Lora Pitre and Elaine Carroll with victories in the 2019 Elge Rasberry at Louisiana Downs and Louisiana Champions Day Turf at Fair Grounds and most recently the $60,000 Opelousas Stakes at Evangeline Downs on July 2.

 

Trainer Allen Landry will give a leg up to Tim Thornton aboard the six-time winner who has earned $322,070 in 25 starts.

 

“I always remind people not to forget about Net a Bear,” stated Landry. “She is a quality mare who always puts on a good performance.”

 

Trainer Edward Johnston, who won the last two editions of the Distaff with Is Too reported that the daughter of Midshipman, who won seven races for Baronne Farms LLC,  is retired and in foal. However, he looks forward to a good effort from Offspring for breeder/ owner Oak Tree Stable. The 5-year-old mare by Into Mischief won the Red Camelia at Fair Grounds on March 6 as well as the Louisiana Legends Turf Distaff, which was run off the turf on June 5. Diego Saenz will guide the 2-1 second choice. Offspring and Net a Bear have faced each other four times this year and are tied with two wins each.

 

“It’s tough when some of these races come off the turf as she is better on the grass,” said Johnston. “She’s a very smart mare and Diego and I have had quite a bit of success together.”

 

Recent Louisiana Downs winners Fort Polk and My Little Jen are also among the contenders in the Louisiana Cup Distaff, which will run as the third race on the card.

 

 

True Deal Takes on Eight Rivals in the $50,000 Louisiana Cup Juvenile

The fourth race of the afternoon is the $50,000 Louisiana Cup Juvenile for Louisiana-bred 2-year-old colts and geldings.  A field of nine will compete at six furlongs on the main track.

 

Morning line favoritism goes to Norman Stables LLC True Deal, a colt by True Deal out of the Big Brown mare Hilarious Brown. He ran second in his Evangeline Downs debut on June 5 and won by three lengths in his second start one month later. Trainer Lonnie Briley teams with rider Joe Stokes for the colt’s first stakes appearance.

 

Whispering Hill Farms homebred Feisty Fist broke his maiden at first asking over a sloppy track on May 20 at Evangeline Downs. The gelded son of Iron First prepped for this with a bullet five furlong drill ten days ago and trainer Steve Flint is high on his juvenile.

 

“Winning on a sloppy track is one thing; that was a monsoon,” stated Flint. “He ran a very good race and with his pedigree, we know he can go further. His work (on August 6) was phenomenal. We look for a very good effort from him.”

 

The field also includes Autumns Strong Man, a colt by Strong Mandate, owned and bred by Autumn Hill Farms Racing Stables, Inc. He closed for a victory here on July 13 in a $22,000 maiden special weight for trainer Gary Husak. Jockey Emanuel Nieves has the call and will break from post position four. Tambourine Star will make his second career start for Brittlyn Stable, Inc. after running a game second on June 20 at Monmouth Park. The son of Star Guitar is trained by Jose Camejo and will be ridden by Joel Dominguez.

 

Post time for the Louisiana Cup Juvenile will be 4:03 pm (Central).

 

 

Trainer Ron Faucheaux Loaded for the $50,000 Louisiana Cup Sprint  

The $50,000 Louisiana Cup Sprint promises to be a very exciting race on several levels. The six furlong main track feature attracted 11 notable Louisiana-bred sprinters, including the ageless and very popular Monte Man.

 

Still going strong as an 8-year-old, the son of Custom For Carlos, bred by Val Murrell, is a multiple-stakes winner was claimed for just $5,000 by Ivery Sisters Racing. He has returned for the past three runnings of the Sprint, following his victory in the 2018 running of the race. He ran third last year and returns to Louisiana Downs with a record of 17 wins from 48 starts and $728,723 in earnings. Trainer Ron Faucheaux marvels at the staying power of the veteran.

 

“He’s still very consistent and even though his numbers may have regressed, he still has so much fight in him,” said Faucheaux. “He ran a huge race at Fair Grounds on Champions Day and his recent races haven’t taken a lot out of him.”

 

Jockey Gerard Melancon, who won his 5,000th career win on June 10 at Evangeline Downs, will guide the bay gelding at odds of 7-2.

 

Louisiana native Faucheux, who has been training since 2009, has three additional entrants in the Sprint.  Bertie’s Galaxy was the 2020 Louisiana Cup Spring runner-up for owner Allen Cassedy. The 5-year son of Greeley’s Galaxy won the $70,000 Louisiana Legends Sprint on June 5 at Evangeline Downs and an allowance prep three weeks later. Diego Saenz will ride.

 

“He won the Louisiana Legends very impressively and drew off to another nice win after that,” added Faucheaux. “I expect another good effort on Saturday.”

 

His other two entrants are Winalot Racing LLC’s  Half Again, a full brother to Ours to Run, who will make his stakes debut under Juan Vargas and Afleet Ascent, owned by Lane Cortez.

 

Owner/trainer Allen Landry has a very capable sprinter in Chu Chu’s Legacy, a son of Bind, who won the 2020 Louisiana Cup Juvenile and was an impressive winner in the $70,000 Cheval over a sloppy track on June 5 at Evangeline Downs. Jockey Joe Stokes continues a very successful association with Landry and will break from post six.

 

Landry’s wife Sandra named the colt after Chu Perez who worked for the couple as a groom and passed away last year. The modest $4,000 Equine Sales Mixed Sale purchase enters the Sprint with earning of $176,350 in nine starts.

 

 

Carlea’s Dream Faces 10 in Wide Open Edition of the $50,000 Louisiana Cup Turf Classic

The $50,000 Louisiana Turf Cup Classic attracted eleven runners going a mile and one-sixteenth over the Franks Turf Course. Several proven turf stakes winners are entered with a firm turf course expected for Saturday afternoon.


Carlea’s Dream
, has been installed as the 5-2 morning line choice. Owner by Carl Moore Management,  the 4-year-old son of Lea out of the Corinthian mare Beat The Street was bred by Time Will Tell LLC and has won two turf races this year in Texas.  Trainer Karen Jacks looks forward to his debut at Louisiana Downs.

 

“He’s just like his name, a dream to train,” she said. “He loves the turf, like all horses sired by Lea. His only two bad efforts were races taken off the turf.  Lindey Wade had two days off from Canterbury Park, so we are lucky he will come in to ride for us.”

 

Other contenders include defending champion Budro Talking who closed gamely under Joel Dominguez. Owned by Jack Randall the 6-year-old son of Tale of Ekati, gave his trainer, former jockey Keith Austin his first stakes win as a conditioner. Gerald Perron’s homebred Grand Luwegee, who won the 2020 Louisiana Champions Day Turf at Fair Grounds. Maga Man makes his Louisiana Downs debut for owner/breeder Whispering Oaks Farm LLC and conditioner Steve Flint. Trainer Ron Faucheax will saddle Allen Cassedy’s  Mangelsenwho has won three of his last four turf starts and will take on stakes company under rider Carlos Lozada.

 

Defending Champion Snowball Returns in the $50,000 Louisiana Cup Filly and Mare Sprint

The $50,000 Louisiana Filly and Mare Sprint will close out Louisiana Cup Day with a field of 11 accomplished fillies.

 

It will be a very emotional victory for defending for the defending champion, Snowball due to the tragic and untimely passing of owner Matt Jeffrey of Tin Roof Farms LLC. He was in Canada visiting his parents earlier this month when he was stricken with a heart attack and passed away at just the age of 45. Snowball was a cherished member of the family with Jeffrey proudly explaining that his 8-year-old daughter Payton came up with her name as they spotted her at the 2017 Equine Sale of Louisiana Open Yearling Sale.

 

The daughter of Apriority has become an accomplished sprinter for trainer Sam Breaux, who has saddled the striking gray mare in 30 career starts. She added a sixth victory on May 14, winning the Evangeline Downs Distaff. Her career bankroll stands at $311,780. Regular rider Diego Saenz will ride the 3-1 favorite from post ten.

 

“This will be a very emotional race for his family,” said Breaux.  “Matt loved this horse. I wasn’t sure of running her due to the passing of Matt, but his wife, Pharaby, gave her blessing. ”

 

Our Lost Love will return for trainer Joey Foster. Bred and Tri-Star Racing LLC.  The 4-year-old daughter of Half Ours is just shy of  the $300,000 earnings mark with six wins from 16 starts. Named 2020 Louisiana Thoroughbred 3-Year-old Filly of the Year, she will break just inside of Snowball with Emanuel Nieves in the saddle.

 

“She’s happy and training well,” said Foster. “This is such a special filly to us; she never misses a check and shows up every time we lead her over.”

 

Brittlyn Stable LLC’s Crescentcitypretty brings a two-race win streak into the Filly and Mare Sprint. Joel Dominguez has the call aboard the 5-year-old Bernardini mare, who is trained by Jose Camejo. Whispering Hill Farm LLC’s QuikFast Nhurry defeated Snowball on Louisiana Premier Day at Delta Downs and is a strong contender for trainer Steve Flint and rider Gerard Melancon.

 

Louisiana Cup Day Festivities

Racing fans of all ages are invited to enjoy the festivities offered Saturday at Louisiana Downs. Family-friendly activities include two bounce houses and a water slide. Culinary delights and refreshments from some of the most popular Food Trucks of the Bossier City-Shreveport area, including Geaux Eat Randy (Funnel Cake, Corn Dogs, Tea, and Lemonade), Cotton Candy, Angelo Deli and No Teeth BBQ, will be set up on the track apron.

 

There will also be a live national anthem performance by Teddy Grover at 2:15 pm.

 

Handicapping Preview Show Begins at 1:00 pm

Louisiana Downs track announcer John McGary and regional racing publicist Martha Claussen will team up for a pre-race handicapping preview at 1:00 pm in the Inside Rail, located on the first floor of the grandstand. They will offer analysis and their selections for each of the races on the Louisiana Cup Day card. The seminar is free and open to all racing fans.

 

 

Scholarship Drawings Offered on Louisiana Cup Day

The Louisiana Thoroughbred Breeders Association will award two (2) scholarships, each valued at $1,000 on Louisiana Cup Day.

 

The drawings will take place between the fourth and fifth races. Students must register in person between 1:45 p.m. and 2:45 p.m.at the designated registration booth.

The requirements for the scholarship are as follows:

 

Must be a college student enrolled full-time for Fall 2021.

Must be in good standing with the college or university.

Must be present at the drawing location to win.

Must have university ID number or Social Security number.

The scholarship will be deposited directly into the student’s account at the college or university. The student is asked to know the name and address of the college that they are attending.

 

 

About 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.

 

LOYAL OWNERS KEEP TRAINER SHANE WILSON ON TOP AT LOUISIANA DOWNS

Solid Meet for the Haughton, Louisiana Horseman

 

Bossier City, LA –Some might think that praising the importance of owners in horseracing is a standard catchphrase, but not to trainer Shane Wilson. The current leading trainer at Louisiana Downs took a few minutes after a hot and sultry afternoon card to talk about how his owners sustained him through the challenges of 2020 and put him on top this season in the 2021 meet.

 

“Many horsemen struggled last year during the (COVID-19) pandemic,” explained Wilson. “Sitting out for six months was a hardship on trainers, but I’m blessed with great clients who supported us. Thankfully, we were able to keep our whole stable intact.”

 

Several clients, including Wayne T. Davis, Joe Hackler and David Fontenot have been with Wilsonfor over 14 years.

 

“I began training in 1997 and am fortunate to have some loyal owners who trust me and love to see their horses run,” he added. “From the stakes company as well as the claiming level, with the support of my owners, we continue to be competitive.”

 

This is the second year in a row that Wilson set up shop at the Bossier City racetrack. He does not hesitate when asked about his allegiance to Louisiana Downs.

 

“David Heitzmann (Louisiana Downs Director of Racing) communicated with the horsemen through the shutdown in 2020,” said Wilson. “He was the first to set a plan and give us a projected opening date.”

Louisiana Downs was able to open their 84-day meet on its regular (Kentucky Derby) opening date this year,  and Wilson has been pleased with way the season has progressed.

“The track surfaces are very good, and they have made some improvements to the paddock and other areas of the complex. Having Camel and Ostrich Racing (on May 30) and these Family Sundays has brought in new fans. Promotions are part of it, but to me, they are working hard to sell horseracing as their core product.”

Wilson worked summers at Harrah’s Louisiana Downs, starting when he was 15 mucking stalls and hot walking for trainer Jack Van Berg. His brief foray to college did not last as he realized that he wanted to pursue a career in racing. He served as assistant to Sam David for seven years before going out on his own.

Aside from his racing ties, Wilson has another notable connection to Harrah’s Louisiana Downs. He met his wife, Becky, the daughter of horseman Jim O’Brien, here. The couple has two sons. Peyton is 20 years-old and his brother, Connor, 17, both help their dad out when they are not inschool.

His stable star is the multiple-stakes winning Mocito Rojo, a 7-year-old son of Mutadda. Wilson claimed the Kentucky-bred for owner Wayne T. Davis for $10,000 in a December 2016 maiden race at Delta Downs. He has amassed a record of 20 wins from 37 starts and earnings of $882,863. In 2019, Mocito Rojo won the Steve Sexton Mile Stakes (G3) at Lone Star Park and the Lukas Classic Stakes (G3) at Churchill Downs. He has won back-to-back races this meet at Louisiana Downs.

“He’s an amazing animal,” said Wilson. “I like to say he keeps winning despite his trainer.”

But the truth is Wilson has not shied away from changing things up for the intrepid runner.

“He got a little lackluster in his route races, so I shortened him to six furlongs this year (on May 18),” said Wilson.

He won that sprint in 1:09.78 and returned on June 6, taking on four rivals in a seven furlong allowance optional claimer, in which he won in 1:21.70. The speedy Kentucky-bred just missed breaking the track record of 1:21.60 set on July 4, 1984.

“I told (jockey) Jose Guerrero to really let him go,” recalled Wilson. “I felt adding a track-record setting performance might help his stud career. When Jose saw the final time, he looked at me and said, “I thought you were kidding!”

Track record aside, Wilson has true admiration for Mocito Rojo, who will hopefully surpass the  million dollar earnings mark in his career.

“I have watched every one of his 37 races,” admitted Wilson. “He was so little and skinny as a 3-year-old. This $10,000 claimer has taken us places we’ve never gone!”

Wilson will send both Mocito Rojo and 3-year-old Rightandjust to the Iowa Festival of Racing Friday, July 2 and Saturday, July 3 at Prairie Meadows. Rojo is nominated to the $100,000 Iowa Sprint and Rightandjust, a colt by Awesome Again, also owned by Davis, will point to the $250,000 Iowa Derby.

Wilson turned 50 this year and came to an interesting revelation on his training objectives.

“When I was younger, it was all about winning,” he stated. “Now I enjoy the mornings when I can watch them train and really learn more about each of their personalities. Figuring out the puzzlefor each horse at different levels keeps it fun !”

 

Louisiana Downs Trainer, Jockey and Owner Standings

As of June 15, Shane Wilson leads his fellow conditioners with 16 wins from 52 starts. Joe Duhon, Joey Foster and Karl Broberg are tied for second place with 12 wins each. Last year’s winning trainer Steve Asmussen, follows closely with 11 victories since the meet began on Saturday, May 1.

 

2020 leading rider Joel Dominguez is on top of the standings with 31 wins. Emanuel Nieves, who is also having an excellent meet, is in second place with 27 trips to the winner’s circle, followed by Jose Guerrero (22) and Carlos Lozada (20).

 

Wayne T. Davis is the current leading owner with 12 victories from his 27 starters. Dream Walkin Farms, Inc. and End Zone Athletics, Inc. are tied for second with seven wins each and Steve Asmussen has won six races.

 

Family Fun Day

Louisiana Downs is proud to host Family Fun Day, a family friendly event each Sunday from Noon -5:00 pm. Admission is free and in addition to the live Thoroughbred races, fans can enjoy delicacies from the best Food Trucks in the Bossier City/Shreveport Metroplex with family games and entertainment offered throughout the afternoon. Family Fun Day will be offered each Sunday through September 19.

 

Louisiana Downs Race Dates and Post Times

Live racing will be conducted Saturday, Sunday, Monday and Tuesday at 2:45 pm (Central)until the conclusion of the 2021 live season on Tuesday, September 21. For more information on the 84-day racing season and special events, visit https://www.caesars.com/harrahs-louisiana-downs/racing.