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.

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

Jockey Joel Dominguez Clinches His First Leading Rider Title

 

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

 

Steve Asmussen Wins Both Leading Trainer and Owner Titles

Steve Asmussen. Coady Photography

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Joel Dominguez Wins His First Leading Rider Title

Joel Dominguez. Hodges Photography.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

Space and availability for Thoroughbreds is limited and will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis. Horsemen are encouraged to contact David Heitzmann, Harrah’s Louisiana Downs Director of Racing at (318) 741-2511 or (318) 741-2512 for rates and information.

 

About Harrah’s Louisiana Downs

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

 

FULL FIELDS SET FOR LOUISIANA CUP DAY AT HARRAH’S LOUISIANA DOWNS ON SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 19

Shantel Lanerie Breast Cancer Foundation Fundraiser and Louisiana Thoroughbred Breeders Association (LTBA) Scholarship Drawings Also on Tap

 

Bossier City, LA – Full fields are set for Louisiana Cup Day at Harrah’s Louisiana Downs on Saturday, September 19.  First post is 3:05 pm (Central) for the eight-race card which will feature six stakes for accredited Louisiana-breds.Originally announced to run as $40,000, each of the stakes will now have a purse of $50,000 with full fields set throughout the card.

 

Mirabeau Looks for Her Second Stakes Score in the $50,000 Louisiana Cup Juvenile Fillies

Stakes action gets underway in the second race, the $50,000 Louisiana Cup Juvenile Fillies. A very competitive field of 12 accredited 2-year-old Louisiana-bred fillies will vie six furlongs.

 

Five competitors from the filly’s division of the $60,000 D.S. “Shine” Young Futurity on August 29 at Evangeline Downs are entered, including Larry Romero and Ron Faucheux’s Mirabeau. The daughter of Bind out of the Speightstown mare, Smittystown, was bred by J. Adcock and Nathan Granger and is trained by Faucheux. She was a commanding ten-length winner, covering 5 ½ furlongs in 1:04.90 for her third victory in four career starts. The talented filly, who has been installed as the 3-2 morning-line favorite, will reunite with rider Diego Saenz.

 

“I wasn’t too sure about running her back so quickly,” admitted Faucheux. “But there is a nice gap between this stakes and Louisiana Champions Day (in December at Fair Grounds). She is so classy and mature for her age; we’re looking forward to it.”

 

Other contenders include Laurence Jones’ Squox and Mamas Gone Crazy, owned and trained by Carl DeVille, who ran second and third, respectively, behind Mirabeau. Another filly to watch is Rue Lala, breaking her maiden impressively here on September 5 for owners Spendthrift Farm LLC and William and Corinne Heiligbrodt. The daughter of Star Guitar, who is trained by Steve Asmussen, won by 7 ¾ lengths under leading Louisiana Downs rider Joel Dominguez, who will be back in the saddle on Saturday.

 

Louisiana native Faucheux, who has been training since 2009, has runners in five of the six Louisiana Cup Day stakes.

 

“These state-bred stakes days are so important for Louisiana racing,” he added. “Everyone has gone through so much this year with the pandemic, delayed race days and hurricanes! Hats off to David Heitzmann and LTBA for pushing for Louisiana Cup Day. My owners are pleased with the purse increase to $50,000; we are ready and will be bringing a full crew up on Saturday.”

 

Chu Chu’s Legacy Leads the Field 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 13 will compete at six furlongs on the main track.

 

Allen Landry owns and trains Chu Chu’s Legacy, a son of Bind, who won the $60,000 D.S. “Shine” Young Futurity division for colts and geldings.  Bred in Louisiana by J. Adcock and Hume Warnell, he drew off to a four length victory on August 29, which was his second victory in three lifetime starts. The 2-1 choice boasts career earnings of $60,800.  Landry will give a leg up to rider Tim Thornton, who has guided the dark bay colt to his last two victories.

 

“He’s been doing so well, there was no reason not to run him,” Landry said of wheeling back in three weeks. “In his first start (on July 18), he got shuffled back, but made up ground. In the “Shine”, he was pressured the whole way, but drew clear on his own.”

 

Schnell, G’wildcat and Jimmy Two Times, who ran second, third and fifth in the “Shine” Futurity will also return to action. Schnell, a colt by Star Guitar is owned by Kaleem Shah, Inc., will make his fourth career start for Faucheux. He competed in the Grade 2, Best Pal at Del Mar on August 8, where he finished fifth.

 

The field also includes Von Dom, owned by Gulf Coast Stables, LLC, who won his debut at Evangeline Downs on July 30 for trainer William Meaux; Lt Bonura, who romped to a nine-length score here on August 12 for trainer Mike Stidham and Ready for Love, a half-brother to Our Lost Love, 2019 LTBA champion 2-year-old Filly.

 

Post time for the Louisiana Cup Juvenile will be 4:26 pm (Central).

 

 

Defending Champion Is Too Faces Eleven Rivals in the $50,000 Louisiana Cup Distaff

Twelve accredited Louisiana-bred fillies and mares will take to the Franks Turf Course for the $50,000 Louisiana Cup Distaff.

 

Is Too, a 5-year-old daughter of Midshipman, was bred by J. Adcock and Montgomery Training Center. Owned byBaronne Farms LLC, the chestnut mare has won six of her 21 starts for trainer Edward Johnston. She surged past her six rivals in last year’s edition of the stakes, but will be tested by several stakes winners on Saturday at odds of 7-2. Diego Saenz has the call aboard the talented mare, who drew post position two in the mile and one-sixteenth stakes.

 

“She’s doing well,” said Johnston. “That’s a good post for her; she likes the rail.”

 

Room to Finish has been installed as the 5-2 morning line favorite and will break from the rail under jockey Gerardo Mora. The 5-year-old daughter of Giant Oak was bred by Mike Meeks and is owned by Westpoint Thoroughbreds, Forge Ahead Stables and Jerry Caroom. She has earned $224,105 in 18 efforts. This will be her first start at Louisiana Downs; she ships in off a turf allowance victory on August 5 at Arlington Park.

 

“She’s a very consistent mare,” stated trainer Wayne Catalano. “She ran second in her first two starts at Del Mar before we got her. I’m happier with her rail draw, versus the far outside.”

 

That far outside post belongs to multiple stakes winner Mariah’s Galaxy, trained by Victor Arceneaux and owned by Riley Blanchet and Todd Matte.  Regular pilot Kevin Smith has the call aboard the 6-year-old mare sired by Greeley’s Galaxy. She is the high earner in the field with $420,985 banked in 27 starts. Bred by Margie K. Averett, the winner of five career stakes will also be making her debut at Louisiana Downs.

 

The contentious field also includes Net A Bear, a 4-year-old filly by Awesome Bet owned by Maximo Lamarche and Federico Deltoro. She is also a multiple-stakes winner for breeder Lora Pitre with victories in the 2019 Elge Rasberry at Louisiana Downs and Louisiana Champions Day Turf at Fair Grounds. Trainer Allen Landry will give a leg up to Tim Thornton. Stakes winners Yes Gorgeous and Vacherie Girl are also among the contenders in the Louisiana Cup Distaff, which will run as the fifth race on the card.

 

Overflow Field of Fourteen Drawn in the $50,000 Louisiana Cup Filly and Mare Sprint

The $50,000 Louisiana Filly and Mare Sprint is another Louisiana Cup Day feature that attracted a highly competitive group of distaffers competing at the distance of six furlongs.

 

Our Lost Love will seek her third stakes win for trainer Joey Foster. Bred and owned by Tri-Star Racing LLC, the 3-year-old daughter of Half Ours has already eclipsed the $200,000 earnings mark with five wins from nine starts. The talented filly broke her maiden at Louisiana Downs last September and won her first stakes, the $93,700 Louisiana Futurity on December 29 at Fair Grounds. Two months later, she added a victory in the $70,000 Take Charge Brandi at Delta Downs. On August 8, she made easy work of her rivals, winning a five-furlong turf sprint here in :57.35 seconds.  Carlos Lozada has the return call on the dark bay filly at odds of 7-2.

 

“She’s a very special filly and we are thrilled that Louisiana Cup Day will take place this year after so many challenges,” said Foster. “I am very happy with her draw; really wanted an outside post.”

 

Tin Roof Farms LLC’s Snowball, a 4-year-old daughter of Apriority, won her last two races at Evangeline Downs, including the $60,000 Louisiana Legends Mademoiselle Stakes on July 4. Trained by Samuel Breaux, the gray filly will break from post position three with Diego Saenz in the saddle. Bred by 4M Ranch, Snowball made one previous start at Louisiana Downs in 2019, running fourth in the Elge Rasberry, which was run at a mile on the turf.

 

“She’s turned into a sprinter and is definitely on top of her game,” said Breaux. “We gave her a work (on September 9) in Opelousas and she is ready.”

 

Trainer Ron Faucheux looks for a good effort from Play Unified, a 7-year-old mare by Exchange Rate, who has earned $324,737. Erica Murray has the mount and will break from post position 13.

 

“She’s very sound,” he said. “She can be her own worst enemy; sometimes being too fractious in the gate, but she is very talented.”

 

Sydster Takes on His Elders in the $50,000 Louisiana Cup Turf Classic

The $50,000 Louisiana Turf Cup Classic attracted thirteen 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.

 

Sydster, a 3-year-old son of Power Broker, has won three of his six starts for owner Baronne Farms LLC. Bred by J.Adcock & Montgomery Equine Center, he broke his maiden last December and won the $75,000 Crescent City Derby on February 17. He ran second on July 4 in the Louisiana Legends Cheval Stakes at Evangeline Downs.

 

“He’s a young horse,” admitted Johnston. “He’ll be running against older horses for the first time, but I know he will like the nice sweeping Louisiana Downs turf course. Diego knows him well; he’ll put him in a good spot.”

 

In the Navy, owned by Kendel D. Standlee, won the 2018 edition of the race and finished second last year for trainer Scott Gelner. The 6-year-old son of Midshipman will be ridden by Alexander Castillo and will be making his 33rd career start. His last appearance in the winner’s circle came one year ago here at Louisiana Downs when he won the Frank L. Brothers Stakes.

 

“I’ve only been able to run him once this summer with so many races forced off the turf,” said Gelner. “He’s just a great turf horse and I am proud of the fact that he has won on each of the Louisiana turf courses.”

 

Other contenders include Snake Racing LLC’s Treys Midnite Moon, who has won nine of his 34 starts for trainer Corale Richards. Rider Devin Magnon has the call on the 5-year-old son of Neko Bay. Budro Talking has an excellent turf record for owner Jack Randall and has won five of his eight Louisiana Downs starts. Joel Dominguez will ride the 5-year-old son of Tale of Ekati for trainer Keith Austin.

 

 

Champions Laughingsaintssong and Monte Man Headline the $50,000 Louisiana Sprint

The final stakes on Saturday’s card is the $50,000 Louisiana Sprint which also drew an exceptional field, including two past champions, going six furlongs on the main track.

 

Rodney Verret’s Laughingsaintssong, a 6-year-old gelding bred by J.E. Jumonville and his wife, Bunny, who own one of the top Quarter Horse farms in Louisiana. They own a Vindication mare Laughing Saint and bred her to Grade 1 winner Songandaprayer.  He boasts a record of ten wins and earnings of $363,010 and exits a confident victory in the $60,000 Louisiana Legends Sprint at Evangeline Downs on July 4. Tim Thornton rode the bay gelding and will ride him in his 27th start this Saturday for conditioner Allen Landry.

 

“He’s a war horse,” stated Landry.  “He ran a great race at Evangeline Downs and has been training very well. He’s fired up and ready to defend his title!”

Monte Man, the pride and joy of Ivery Sisters Racing, won the 2018 Louisiana Cup Sprint and will be in pursuit of his 16th career victory on Saturday afternoon. Claimed for $25,000 in October, 2017, bay gelded son of Custom For Carlos was sent to Faucheux in Louisiana and reeled off seven wins in a row. Five of the victories were black-type stakes and he was honored as 2018 Louisiana Bred Horse of the Year. Bred by Val C. Murrell. Monte Man has banked $610,923 and is still going strong as a 7-year-old. Jockey Gerard Melancon has the call on the 9-2 second choice.

 

“We love this horse,” said Faucheux. “Drawing outside suits him and he ran a really good allowance race, in hand, to prep for this. His numbers might suggest that he is not as good as he has been in the past, but he’s still got a lot of fight in him.”

 

The field also includes Bertie’s Galaxy, also trained by Faucheux and 2019 Louisiana Cup Juvenile winner Scotty Boyfrom the barn of Ronnie Ward.

 

Post time for the Louisiana Cup Sprint, which runs as the final race on the card, is 6:15 pm.

 

Louisiana Cup Day News and Notes

Saturday’s weather forecast calls for a picture perfect afternoon with a high of 82 degrees and just 49% humidity! The public is invited to enjoy live racing, and culinary delights from the most popular food trucks in Shreveport-Bossier City.The following special events are set for Cup Day:

 

Handicapping Preview Show Begins at 2:00 pm

Louisiana Downs track announcer John McGary and regional racing publicist Martha Claussen will team up for a pre-race handicapping preview at 2:00 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.

 

Shantel Lanerie Breast Cancer Fundraiser To Take Place on Louisiana Cup Day

Harrah’s Louisiana Downs will conduct a fundraiser on Saturday, September 19 in support of the Shantel Lanerie Cancer Breast Foundation.  The beloved Louisiana native and wife of jockey Corey Lanerie was diagnosed with Stage 1 breast cancer in January, 2018 and passed away just six months later.  She is survived by her parents, husband and daughter, Brittlyn.

 

Rick Mocklin, who was Lanerie’s agent for ten years and his wife, Janette, were close friends of Shantel.  Mocklin serves as founder and president of the Shantel Lanerie Breast Cancer Foundation (SLBCF). The 501(c)(3organization was founded in September, 2018 with a mission of educating, empowering and encouraging women to become pro-active in early detection, and if diagnosed, surviving breast cancer.  Acknowledging that breast cancer impacts the entire family, the Foundation designates funds raised through donations and fundraisers to assist with basic needs of breast cancer patients through every stage of diagnosis and treatment.

 

Beginning at 2:00 pm on Louisiana Cup Day, a table will be set up in the grandstand with monogrammed apparel and memorabilia. Jockeys will be on hand to autograph the items, with all proceeds to benefit the foundation. Fans will be able to stop by the table, purchase items or make donations until 6:00 pm.

 

LTBA To Award Scholarships on Louisiana Cup Day

Louisiana Thoroughbred Breeders Association (LTBA) will draw for two $1,000 scholarships on September 19 via Facebook Live during Louisiana Cup Day at Harrah’s Louisiana Downs. The drawings will be between the fifth and sixth races in the winner’s circle.  *Due to the COVID-19 students do not have to be present to win a scholarship. For more information about Louisiana Thoroughbred Breeders Association visit louisianabred.com or call 1-800-772-1195.

 

Post Times and Racing Dates

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

 

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 ANNOUNCES ADDITION OF EXTRA RACE ON EACH PROGRAM BEGINNING MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 14

Draw for Louisiana Cup Day to Take Place Saturday, September 12

 

Bossier City, LA – Harrah’s Louisiana Downs will add one additional race each day, beginning Monday, September 14 through the conclusion of the 2020 Thoroughbred racing season on Wednesday, September 23.  This is in addition to the purse increase of $1,500 per race which was announced on August 8.

 

“Supporting our local horsemen continues to be a high priority for Harrah’s Louisiana Downs,” said David Heitzmann, Director of Racing. “We were forced to delay the start of our meet due to COVID-19, which was not expected. Then, Hurricane Laura had a devastating impact on many members of our racing community. We are hopeful that the purse increase and extra day will benefit these horsemen who have been very loyal to our racetrack.”

 

Tight Trainer Battle Developing at Harrah’s Louisiana Downs 

The next two weeks at Harrah’s Louisiana Downs will offer an exciting battle for leading trainer honors with three horsemen solidly in contention.  Steve Asmussen is the current leader with 36 wins; Karl Broberg follows closely with 34 and Shane Wilson is also in the hunt with 31 winners to date.

Asmussen, who has traveled from Texas to New York to Kentucky this summer has a solid team in place at Louisiana Downs. Assistants Mitch Dennison and Misty Drinkwater handle the day to day care of the Hall of Fame conditioner’s runners at Louisiana Downs. Dennison explained that when the Evangeline Training Center closed two years ago, it was Louisiana Downs that stepped up with an opportunity to stable and train in Shreveport.

“Louisiana Downs has been our hub for this region for two years,” said Dennison. “Steve believes in having each horse being productive at their class level. So, in addition to our success here this meet, we are able to train and ship horses where they fit.”

Dennison credits David Heitzmann and his team for their continued commitment this season.

“I can’t thank them enough for working with us and being so accommodating,” added Dennison. “The track surfaces are excellent; (track superintendent) Billy McKeever does an amazing job. We have a couple of horses pointed to Cup Day and hope we will be able to win the training title”

 

 

Karl Broberg, who has been the #1 trainer by wins in North America for the past seven years, won 45 races here last year, finishing second to Joey Foster. He and his crew will be gearing up over the next nine live racing days.

“I’m thankful that Louisiana Downs has been so accommodating to horsemen through this incredibly tough year,” said Broberg. “They were the first track in this region to turn the lights on and work to get racing back on track. All credit goes to the management team.”

It is the first time in eight years that Wilson, a native of Haughton, Louisiana, has stabled here.

“We were all in limbo several months ago,” said Wilson describing the impact of COVID-19 on the resumption of racing in Louisiana. “However (Director of Racing) David Heitzmann was the first to step up with a plan. We knew the early May date was not possible, but David set June 6 as the opening date at Louisiana Downs and quickly got the condition book posted.”

There were some anxious moments for Wilson, but he credits his owners for their support.

“So many of my owners were loyal and I knew we had a good barn coming into the meet,” he said. “I came in thinking we had a good chance to win 30 races, and we have done that already.”

Wilson reflects on the impact of COVID-19 on racing over the last six months.

“It’s been a challenge for everyone,” Wilson stated. “But one positive is that my two sons stayed with us and home schooled. They were looking to make some extra money, so got up every morning at 4:00 am to help out at the barn. My wife, Becky, was with us as well. So, despite all the challenges, it has been a good summer for our family.”

However, there is little doubt that Joel Dominguez will be caught in the race for leading jockey of the meet. He has been racking up the wins throughout the season and currently tops his fellow riders with 59 wins since the meet began on June 6. Jack Gilligan is second with 37 trips to the winner’s circle. Jose Guerrero has ridden 36 winners to date and Gerardo Mora rounds out the top four with 32 victories.

 

This is the fourth year that Dominguez has been based at Harrah’s Louisiana Downs. He began in 2017 as an apprentice, winning 31 races that year and returning in 2018, losing his bug on May 22, but transitioning smoothly to the journeyman ranks. The 30-year-old Dominguez was born in Durango, Mexico, and experience in the saddle began in Kentucky, galloping for both Asmussen and veteran Kentucky-based conditioner, Neil Howard.

 

Louisiana Cup Day Draw Set for Saturday, September 12

Nominations for the annual Louisiana Cup Day at Harrah’s Louisiana Downs have closed with tremendous interest from horsemen. Six stakes for accredited Louisiana-breds will be contested on Saturday, September 19. The draw for the following Louisiana Cup stakes will take place on Saturday, September 12.

Louisiana Cup Day Featured Stakes

                                   

$40,000 Louisiana Cup Juvenile                    2 YO LA-Bred                        Six furlongs

$40,000 Louisiana Cup Juvenile Fillies          2 YO Fillies LA-Bred             Six furlongs

$40,000 Louisiana Cup Filly & Mare Sprint  3 YO & Up F&M, LA-Bred  Six furlongs

$40,000 Louisiana Cup Sprint                        3 YO & Up LA-Bred              Six furlongs

$40,000 Louisiana Cup Turf Classic              3 YO & Up LA-Bred              1 1/16 miles (T)

$40,000 Louisiana Distaff                              3 YO & Up F & M LA-Bred  1 1/16 miles (T)

 

 

Update on Jockey Rico Flores

Jockey Rico Flores was injured in a spill on Tuesday, September 1 and was transported to the hospital. He was diagnosed with a cervical spine injury and underwent surgery earlier this week.

 

His companion, Sally Warne, stopped by the Harrah’s Louisiana Downs racing office on Tuesday and gave an update that Flores was able to move his legs and feet fine; lift his head, shoulders, and elbows, but still not able to move his fingers. He will begin physical therapy today. She added that it will be a “long road” to recovery.

 

According to statistics on Equibase. Flores has won 366 races and purses of $5.9 million since he began riding in 1994.

 

A GoFundMe account has been set up to assist Flores in his recovery. If you are able to make a donation, please visit: GoFundMe.com.RicoFlores.

 

 

LTBA To Award Scholarships on Louisiana Cup Day

Louisiana Thoroughbred Breeders Association (LTBA) will draw for two $1,000 scholarships on September 19 via Facebook Live during Louisiana Cup Day at Harrah’s Louisiana Downs. The drawings will be between the fifth and sixth races in the winner’s circle.  *Due to the COVID-19 students do not have to be present to win a scholarship.

The requirements for the scholarship are as follows:

Must be a college student enrolled full-time in a Louisiana College, University or Community College for Fall 2020.

Must be in good standing with the college or university.

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.
REGISTER NOW.

Louisiana Thoroughbred Breeders Association manages the best incentive program for breeding thoroughbreds in the United States. Since the organization formed, this has led to increased purses, better quality horses, and increased interest in racing and breeding horses. The thoroughbred racing and breeding industry generates over $1 billion and employs over 60,000 people in the state of Louisiana.

For more information about Louisiana Thoroughbred Breeders Association visit louisianabred.com or call 1-800-772-1195.

 

Shantel Lanerie Breast Cancer Fundraiser To Take Place on Louisiana Cup Day

Harrah’s Louisiana Downs will conduct a fundraiser on Saturday, September 19 in support of the Shantel Lanerie Cancer Breast Foundation.  The beloved Louisiana native and wife of jockey Corey Lanerie was diagnosed with Stage 1 breast cancer in January, 2018 and passed away just six months later.  She is survived by her parents, husband and daughter, Brittlyn.

 

Rick Mocklin, who was Lanerie’s agent for ten years and his wife, Janette, were close friends of Shantel.  Mocklin serves as founder and president of the Shantel Lanerie Breast Cancer Foundation (SLBCF). The 501(c)(3organization was founded in September, 2018 with a mission of educating, empowering and encouraging women to become pro-active in early detection, and if diagnosed, surviving breast cancer.  Acknowledging that breast cancer impacts the entire family, the Foundation designates funds raised through donations and fundraisers to assist with basic needs of breast cancer patients through every stage of diagnosis and treatment.

 

Beginning at 2:00 pm on Louisiana Cup Day, a table will be set up in the grandstand with monogrammed apparel and memorabilia. Jockeys will be on hand to autograph the items, with all proceeds to benefit the foundation. Fans will be able to stop by the table, purchase items or make donations until 6:00 pm.

 

Mocklin has reached out to each of the Louisiana racetracks on their premier racing days to support fundraising efforts for the foundation. Sadly, due to COVID-19, many of the scheduled events this year have been canceled.

 

“The pandemic has affected so many people this year and events at many tracks were not able to take place,” said Mocklin.  “We are grateful to Louisiana Downs for welcoming us back on Cup Day again this year.

 

Handicapping Preview Show Set for Saturday, September 19

Louisiana Downs track announcer John McGary and regional racing publicist Martha Claussen will team up for a pre-race handicapping preview at 2:00 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.

 

Post Times and Racing Dates

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

 

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.

INTEREST STRONG FOR LOUISIANA CUP DAY AT HARRAH’S LOUISIANA DOWNS ON SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 19

 Nominations Close This Saturday for the Six Louisiana-bred Stakes

 

Bossier City, LA – There is a lot of activity this week in the Louisiana Downs racing office as this Saturday is the deadline to nominate for Louisiana Cup Day.  The annual event featuring six stakes saluting Louisiana-bred Thoroughbreds set for Saturday, September 19.

Last weekend, Evangeline Downs hosted the $60,000 D.S. “Shine” Young Futurity for accredited Louisiana-bred 2-year-olds. Both the winner of the filly and colts/gelding divisions are under consideration for Cup Day.

Mirabeau, a daughter of Bind, was nothing short of sensational as she drew off by a margin of

10 ¼  lengths under jockey Diego Saenz. Owned by Larry Romero and Ron Faucheux, she covered 5-1/2 furlongs in 1:04.90, which impressed both her connections and racing fans.

As reported by Mary Rampellini in the Daily Racing Form, Mirabeau was bred in Louisiana by J. Adcock and Nathan Granger. Faucheux purchased Mirabeau as a yearling at the Equine Sales of Louisiana auction in 2019. Not long afterward, he sold an interest in the daughter of Bind to Larry Romero. Mirabeau is by Bind and is out of the Speightstown mare, Smittystown.

She has won three of four lifetime starts and the $36,000 first-place purse increases her lifetime earnings to $75,350. Faucheaux was asked about the next start for Mirabeau.

“We will probably nominate her for Louisiana Cup Day, but have not made a decision,” said Faucheaux.. “There’s a chance; we were ecstatic with her stakes win Saturday night.”

Faucheaux acknowledges that he has several runners in mind for Cup Day, including Monte Man, who won the 2018 Louisiana Cup Sprint. Bred by Val Murrell, the son of Custom For Carlos is a multiple-stakes winner who has earned $610,923. Claimed for just $5,000 by Ivery Sisters Racing, the now 7-year-old gelding won an allowance race at Evangeline Downs on August 20.

“He’s still got a lot of fight in him,” added Faucheaux.

$60,000 D.S. “Shine” Young Futurity Chu Chu’s Legacy is also under consideration for Louisiana Cup Day according to his conditioner Allen Landry.  Bred in Louisiana by J. Adcock and Hume Warnell, and also sired by Bind, the gelding drew off to a four length victory under rider Tim Thornton.

He has won two of three lifetime starts and the $36,000 first-place purse pushes his career earnings to $60,800.

“It was really exciting,” Landry said of the stakes score. “He will be nominated (for Cup Day) and we’ll see how he is doing. He’s certainly heading in the right direction.”

Landry had confirmed that he will have two previous Louisiana Cup Day winners set for the September 19th event.  Rodney Verret’s Laughingsaintssong, a 6-year-old gelding bred by J.E. Jumonville and his wife, Bunny, who own one of the top Quarter Horse farms in Louisiana. They own a Vindication mare Laughing Saint and bred her to Grade 1 winner Songandaprayer.  He boasts a record of ten wins and earnings of $363,010 and won the 2019 Louisiana Cup Sprint as well as the Louisiana Champions Day Sprint at Fair Grounds. Landry will look to the turf for

Net A Bear, a 4-year-old filly by Awesome Bet owned by Maximo Lamarche and Federico Deltoro. She is also a multiple-stakes winner for breeder Lora Pitre with victories in the 2019 Elge Rasberry at Louisiana Downs and Louisiana Champions Day Turf at Fair Grounds.

Trainer Scott Gelner is pointing In The Navy to the Louisiana Cup Turf Classic. Owned by Kendall Standlee, the 6-year-old son of Midshipman won the 2018 edition of the race and was a convincing winner in the 2019 Frank Brothers, also contested on the Louisiana Downs turf course last September.

“I’ve only been able to run him once this summer with so many races forced off the turf,” said Gelner. “He had a good work on Monday; I think he’s back on target.”

G’Wildcat, who ran third to Chu Chu’s Legacy in the D. S. “Shine” Futurity, may return to action in the Louisiana Cup Juvenile, according to Gelner.

“He won his first out, but on Saturday, they got away from him,” he said. “He galloped out well, so we’ll see about heading to Cup Day.”

As previously mentioned, trainer Joey Foster confirmed that Our Lost Love will seek her third stakes win. Bred and owned by Tri-Star Racing LLC, the 3-year-old daughter of Half Ours has already eclipsed the $200,000 earnings mark with five wins from nine starts. The talented filly broke her maiden at Louisiana Downs last September and won her first stakes, the $93,700 Louisiana Futurity on December 29 at Fair Grounds. Two months later, she added a victory in the $70,000 Take Charge Brandi at Delta Downs. On August 8, she made easy work of her rivals, winning a five-furlong sprint in :57.35 seconds.

“Knowing that we can run on Cup Day means everything for me and my owners,” said Foster. “Our Lost Love showed us she is ready, getting the win (on August 8) so easily with the rail out. We’ve got big plans for Cup Day!”

 

Further information on the following Louisiana Cup Day features is posted on Equibase.

                                   

$40,000 Louisiana Cup Juvenile                    2 YO LA-Bred                        Six furlongs

$40,000 Louisiana Cup Juvenile Fillies          2 YO Fillies LA-Bred             Six furlongs

$40,000 Louisiana Cup Filly & Mare Sprint  3 YO & Up F&M, LA-Bred  Six furlongs

$40,000 Louisiana Cup Sprint                        3 YO & Up LA-Bred              Six furlongs

$40,000 Louisiana Cup Turf Classic              3 YO & Up LA-Bred              1 1/16 miles (T)

$40,000 Louisiana Distaff                              3 YO & Up F & M LA-Bred  1 1/16 miles (T)

 

Nominations will close on Saturday, September 5. Contact David Heitzmann atdheitzmann@caesars.com or by calling (318) 741-2511.

 

 

Shantel Lanerie Breast Cancer Fundraiser To Take Place on Louisiana Cup Day

Harrah’s Louisiana Downs will conduct a fundraiser on Saturday, September 19 in support of the Shantel Lanerie Cancer Breast Foundation.  The beloved Louisiana native and wife of jockey Corey Lanerie was diagnosed with Stage 1 breast cancer in January, 2018 and passed away just six months later.  She is survived by her parents, husband and daughter, Brittlyn.

Rick Mocklin, who was Lanerie’s agent for ten years and his wife, Janette, were close friends of Shantel.  Mocklin serves as founder and president of the Shantel Lanerie Breast Cancer Foundation (SLBCF). The 501(c)(3organization was founded in September, 2018 with a mission of educating, empowering and encouraging women to become pro-active in early detection, and if diagnosed, surviving breast cancer.  Acknowledging that breast cancer impacts the entire family, the Foundation designates funds raised through donations and fundraisers to assist with basic needs of breast cancer patients through every stage of diagnosis and treatment.

Beginning at 2:00 pm on Louisiana Cup Day, a table will be set up in the grandstand with monogrammed apparel and memorabilia. Jockeys will be on hand to autograph the items, with all proceeds to benefit the foundation. Fans will be able to stop by the table, purchase items or make donations until 6:00 pm.

Mocklin has reached out to each of the Louisiana racetracks on their premier racing days to support fundraising efforts for the foundation. Sadly, due to COVID-19, many of the scheduled events this year have been canceled.

“The pandemic has affected so many people this year and events at many tracks were not able to take place,” said Mocklin.  “We are grateful to Louisiana Downs for welcoming us back on Cup Day again this year.

“Breast cancer can be devastating for so many people,” added Mocklin. “To lose Shantel when she was just 42 years-old was heartbreaking for her family and many friends. The foundation has already helped 40 women diagnosed with breast cancer and we want to keep raising funds to support those in need.”

 

Handicapping Preview Show Set for Saturday, September 19

Louisiana Downs track announcer John McGary and regional racing publicist Martha Claussen will team up for a pre-race handicapping preview at 2:00 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.

 

Post Times and Racing Dates

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

 

 

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.

 

JOCKEY EMANUEL NIEVES IS HEALTHY AND WINNING RACES THIS SEASON AT HARRAH’S LOUISIANA DOWNS

Bossier City, LA – There is no doubt that we have a very talented jockey colony at Harrah’s Louisiana Downs! Several former leading riders will be gunning for a repeat title, including Emanuel Nieves.

 

The 27-year-old Nieves was born in Puerto Rico and learned his craft at Puerto Rico’s Escuela Vocational Hipica, the famed jockey school near San Juan. It is a two-year program that has produced some of the top riders in North America, including Eclipse Award winning jockey Irad Ortiz and his brother, Jose.

 

Nieves made his riding debut in 2012 at Finger Lakes in New York, but Louisiana has been his circuit for the past three years. He credits his agent, Ronald Ardoin for his success as the former jockey works very hard and has solid relationships with pretty much every trainer in the region.

 

He was the leading rider at Harrah’s Louisiana Downs in 2018, winning 85 races, but last year was much tougher. He was injured in a spill in the second week of the meet and underwent surgery.  His recovery took over four months before he was cleared to ride.  The remainder of the year was very challenging as he had to rebuild his business.

 

“It was very hard to get back,” admitted Nieves. “Many of my trainers had secured other riders at Evangeline Downs. It was almost like starting over.”

 

However, the support from many horsemen returned and Nieves is healthy and was ready when the Harrah’s Louisiana Downs Thoroughbred season began on Saturday, June 6.  He showed his prowess in the saddle winning the final race of the card with Leadem Farm Inc’s Friendlyproduction. The 3-year-old colt by Run Production was making his debut for trainer Joseph Smith. Smith had no expectations as the $10,000 purchase had not been showing much in his morning works.

 

“I just told Emanuel that I wasn’t sure what we had, but to just figure it out,” said Smith.

 

In the early stages the Louisiana-bred was well behind the early pacesetters, but Nieves patiently guided his colt to the outside and drew off to a resounding eight-length victory. His morning line was 12-1, but he was completely overlooked in the wagering and returned $86 to those savvy handicappers that saw his potential!

 

Smith, who was an assistant in Texas to trainer Danny Pish until he went on his own in 2013, credits Nieves for a very patient ride on Friendlyproduction.

“Truthfully, I don’t know how many other riders would have done as well,” added Smith. “They might just have given up, but not Emanuel! I have a small stable, so a win like that means a great deal to me and my owners.”

 

Friendlyproduction is entered back on Monday, June 22 and Nieves will have the return call at odds of 9-2.

 

Nieves is grateful to all the horsemen who continue to give him opportunities and does not dwell on the misfortune of 2019. Healthy and a proud new daddy to his 8-month-old son, Ian, he is more focused this year than ever.  He strives to work hard in the mornings, win races in the afternoon and spend quality time with his wife and son.

 

“It’s not how you start, but how you finish,” said Nieves.

 

Louisiana Downs Trainer, Jockey and Owner Standings

Through June 15, Karl Broberg tops the trainer standings with five wins since the meet began on June 6.  The nation’s top conditioner by wins for the past six years finished second to Joey Foster here last season. Steve Asmussen is second with four victories and Foster and Joe O. Duhon are tied for third-place with three winners each.

 

Joel Dominguez is off to a solid start as he leads his fellow riders with eight wins so far. Last year’s leading jockey Carlos Lozada follows closely with six trips to the winner’s circle. Jack Gilligan also has won six races. Kevin Smith is next with five wins and Emanuel Nieves and   Jose Guerrero are tied with four victories.

 

Asmussen is the current leading owner with three wins to date.  End Zone Athletics Inc; Ismael Thoroughbreds LLC; Dream Walkin Farms, Inc. andTri-Star Racing, LLC have each won two starts this season.

 

Belmont Stakes Set for Saturday, June 20

In one of the more unusual racing seasons, the Belmont Stakes, traditionally the final leg of racing’s Triple Crown, will lead off the series this Saturday. Racing fans will be able to watch and wager on the 152nd Belmont Stakes as well as several other quality graded stakes from the New York racetrack. Harrah’s Louisiana Downs will offer a $5.00 Free Bet Promotion for Belmont.  Fans can stop by the Promotional Kiosk in the Racing Pavilion between 11am and 5pm to pick up their voucher, which can be redeemed on Saturday, June 27.

 

Post Times and Racing Dates

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

 

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.