Bossier City, LA – At the end of the 2022 Louisiana Downs Thoroughbred meet, esteemed photographer Lou Hodges, Jr. passed the baton to assistant Ann Switalski. He remains the official photographer at Fair Grounds but was looking to have some time off in the summer, after handling duties at Louisiana Downs since 2005.

Hodges hired Ann McKnight Switalski in 2016. An avid equestrienne, she began taking photos of morning works and benefited greatly from the expertise of Hodges.

“Lou made sure I understood that there is a very limited time to get the shots we need: the stretch, wire and comeback,” said Switalski.  “He taught me the importance of getting the horse in front to allow room for editing.”

The transition has been smooth as silk with Switalski completing the 2023 Quarter Horse season with total professionalism, aided by her assistant, Dawn Thomas.

Switalski is always looking for creative shots and when she is photographing a mile and 70 yard main track on the dirt, she will stroll to the gate as they load in hopes of capturing an interesting moment. On June 18, she had a most interesting opportunity.

“I took several shots as the horses left the gate and noticed some unusual movement,” explained Switalski. “After the race and back in my office, it was clear that all of the horses emerged from the gate except one. Upon further investigation I discovered a horse rearing higher and higher in each progressive shot until I almost couldn’t see his head.”

The horse was End Zone Athletics’ Aligned Interest, trained by Karl Broberg with jockey Juan Vargas guiding his mount from the awkward break to a sixth-place finish, without any issues.

“I believe my reaction when I reviewed the shot was “Holy Crap,” she added.

The management and of course, the horsemen who run at Louisiana Downs admire Switalski and hope their racehorses will pop up in their future spontaneous moments!

Rearing Gate Shot by LAD photographer Ann McKnight Switalski


Jockey Jose Guerrero Off to a Fast Start in the 2023 Thoroughbred Meet


Bossier City, LA – Louisiana Downs will present Exotic Animal Races on Monday, May 29. The family friendly event continues to delight fans of all ages, combined with live Thoroughbred racing and simulcast racing from tracks across the country.

Special family-friendly activities for the Memorial Day holiday get underway on the trackside apron at 12:00 noon (Central). There will be Face Painting, a Bounce House, live music and some of the top Food trucks in the Shreveport/Bossier City metroplex. Louisiana Downs is committed to serving the community and invites fans to visit the Lifeshare Blood Drive Mobile Unit, which will be onsite throughout the Memorial Day afternoon.

Ann Switalski Photography

Post time for the first of eight live Thoroughbred races is 2:05 pm (Central). First up, will be the  “Camel Derby” which will run on the main track after race 2 (approximately 3:00 pm). A fully grown adult camel can exceed six feet in height and weigh up to 1,000 pounds. The fans line up at the rail to root for their favorite camel as they load up and break from the starting gate!

The ”Zebra Derby” will take place after the fifth  race on the Monday program (approximately 4:10 pm). They are smaller than our Thoroughbreds, but can run up to speeds of 65 mph, so our fans will have to cheer for our brave jockeys to hang on tight!

Ann Switalski Photography

The final exotic animal race of the afternoon will be the “Ostrich Derby” which will run after the sixth race (approximately 5:20 pm). Ostriches usually weigh an average of 200 pounds, but some males can tip the scales at 340 pounds. Known for their long neck and legs, ostriches also have extremely distinctive eyes, the largest of any land vertebrate. They are very fast and run without a saddle, so the riders have to rely on balance as they surge to the finish line!

For more information on the Memorial Day activities, live racing and other upcoming special events, visit ladowns.com.

Jockey Jose Guerrero in the Lead After Winning 80 Races Last Year at  Louisiana Downs

Jose Guerrero. Ann Switalski Photography

The 2023 Louisiana Downs Thoroughbred meet enters its fourth week this Saturday. It has been an excellent start for jockey Jose Guerrero who has been on top of the standings since the meet began on May 6.

The 29-year-old has come a long way since he rode his first winner in 2016. With brief stints in Texas and Arkansas, the native of Mexico has found his home in Louisiana. Last year, leading trainer Shane Wilson gave Guerrero the first call on the majority of his horses and explained what he saw in the talented rider.

“I took notice of him three years ago and told my owners that Jose was going to be the guy,” stated Wilson. “He was riding these 40 and 50-1 shots and out finishing much better horses. Always a hard worker, Jose was always first to arrive in the morning and would still be around when the  track closed.”

“Shane has given me so much confidence,” said Guerrero. “He saw something in me, and we have developed a strong working relationship. After I work horses, we watch replays and talk about what each horse does well and what I can do to win more races. Shane has taught me a lot.”

Steve Melancon is Guerrero’s agent and has booked him successfully with a number of trainers in addition to Wilson., including Patti Turner, Tim Dixon and Judy Beavin.

Last year, Guerrero won 80 races, finishing second to Carlos Lozada, who made 84 trips to the winner’s circle. Heading into Saturday, he has ridden 11 winners, leading Emanuel Nieves by one. Angel Suarez, who is riding for the first time at Louisiana Downs, is commanding attention as he has already won nine races. Joel Dominguez is also riding well this season.

Guerrero is a fulfilled young man away from the racetrack married to Jacqueline Edison and enjoying time with their one-year-old son, Matteo.

“He’s getting big and is very strong,” Guerrero said of his son. “Matteo has a lot of energy; probably got it from me!”

There is no urgency in predicting the riding title for the 2023 Louisiana Downs meet.

“This has been a great meet,” he added. “I feel more confident, and my only goal after last season was to try to do better this year. There is always pressure to stay on top, but I am trying to stay calm. ”

Louisiana Downs 2023 Thoroughbred Season

The 2023 Thoroughbred racing season at Louisiana Downs kicked off on Saturday, May 6. Notable events for the 61-day live racing season include Louisiana Cup Day on Saturday, August 12 and the return of the $200,000 Super Derby on Saturday, September 2.  Live racing continues through September 12; visit Louisiana Downs Racing for more information on post times and upcoming racing dates.

About Louisiana Downs

Located near Shreveport in Bossier City, Louisiana, Louisiana Downs opened in 1974 and is 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.


Bossier City, LA – Louisiana Downs will kick off its 2023 Thoroughbred racing season on Saturday, May 6. Opening day will feature seven live races beginning at 2:05 pm (Central) and thesimulcast of the 149thKentucky Derby from Churchill Downs.

The 61-day meet will feature live racing on Saturday, Sunday, and Monday through September 12, with a few Tuesday cards added to the schedule.

As previously announced, the $200,000 Super Derby returns to Louisiana Downs on Saturday, September 2. Bringing back the historic championship was a goal for track owner Kevin Preston and plenty of festivities are in the works for theLabor Day weekend event.

To see the complete stakes schedule for the 2023 live racing season, visit ladowns.com

Shane Wilson Looking to Claim His Third Louisiana Downs Training Title

Shane Wilson topped his fellow conditioners in both the 2021 and 2022 Louisiana Downs Thoroughbred season and is looking forward to another successful meet.  The Haughton, Louisiana resident returns off an excellent showing at Fair Grounds in New Orleans, in which he finished fourth in the standings.

“We had a really good winter at Fair Grounds with 25 wins,” said Wilson. “I had success claiming a few and picked up some good owners.”

Louisiana Downs has always been important to Wilson, who began his tutelage here as a 14-year-old hot walker for the legendary Jack Van Berg. He saddled his first winner in 1998 and has won 748 races with his runners earning $14.5 million. Assisted by his wife, Becky and son Peyton, Wilson believes in keeping his horses well-fed and cared for.

“If you come to my barn and rattle a peppermint wrapper, you will see 70 horses go crazy,” shared Wilson.

Jockey Jose Guerrero who will ride first call for the barn again this meet, with Alexander Castillo also part of Wilson’s core group of jockeys.

Wilson tips his hat to Louisiana Downs president and owner, Kevin Preston.

“Kevin has done a lot to improve things here,” stated Wilson. “There is a nice sports book  and new slot machines. The new restaurant is very nice and a good place to bring clients after races.

The competition for the training title will be fierce with Joey Foster, 2019 leading trainer, returning with a full barn as well as  Karl Broberg, Steve Asmussen, Joe Duhon,  Ronnie Ward,  Philip Dison, Jose Camejo,  Patti Turner, Juan Larossa and Rylee GrudizienH. B. Johnson, Jr. heads into opening weekend just seven shy of his 1,000th career win.

Wilson also cited some new trainers coming to Louisiana Downs in 2023.

“It’s nice to see Cesar Govea, Bobby Felks and Paul Duhon with stables here this meet,” added Wilson. “I enjoy the competition!”

Newlyweds Aubrie Green and Angel Suarez Part of a Strong Jockey Colony

Opening day will also see newlyweds Aubrie Green and Angel Suarez competing on the card. They tied the knot on April 22 in a gorgeous sunset beach ceremony in Clearwater, Florida.

Aubrie Green has become one of the most popular jockeys in Louisiana. Born in Idaho, she married when she was 18 and had three children before setting her sights on riding professionally.

“I guess I was a broodmare first,” she jokes.

But even as a busy young mom, she had a desire to pursue a career as a jockey.

“I had a really rough debut,” she recalled. “I was 23 and rode my own horse in a stock race at a fair meet.”

She began galloping for a few trainers and rode in a schooling race at Pocatello Downs; then on to Wyoming Downs, where she rode her first winner in August, 2015. She made her way to  Louisiana Downs in 2017, finishing seventh in the standings and improving to third the following year. Her success created opportunities at Fair Grounds, which is where she first met Suarez. A native of Puerto Rico, Suarez graduated from Puerto Rico’s Escuela Vocational Hipica., the famed jockey school with a noted list of riders, including Irad Ortiz Jr and his brother, Jose Ortiz.

Suarez came to Fair Grounds at the end of 2020 to ride for trainer Michael Stidham. Green was in the barn area prior to the beginning of the meet and ran into Suarez.

“I believe our first exchange was Angel asking if I was trying to steal his mounts,” she recalled.

Suarez was injured early in the meet and Green had a spill shortly after his, so they got to know each other at physical therapy!

“I fell in love with him before the Fair Grounds meet was over and joined him at Delaware Park,” said Green.

Fortunately, her daughter and two sons bonded with Suarez, who had never been married or had children prior to meeting Green.

“My boys are already bigger than both of us,” she said. “He loves the kids and they love him!”

Green will be represented by former rider and Louisiana Downs Hall of Fame inductee Ronald Ardoin.  Suarez will utilize agent Richie Price.  Both riders intend to stay in Bossier City for the entire meet, and beginning opening weekend, they will compete in plenty of races. It won’t be the first time they have left the starting gate together; previous appearances came at Delaware Park, Tampa Bay Downs and Fair Grounds. But it will mark their first as a married couple.  Will there be spirited competition? Absolutely, according to Green.

“We already constructed a point system and will be adding wins on a daily basis,” she stated.

The happy couple will be part of a very capable jockey colony including Carlos Lozada who was leading rider in 2021 and 2022;  2020 top jockey Joel Dominguez,  Emanuel Nieves. Jose Guerrero, Gerard Melanconand Alexander Castillo. Both Nieves and Lozada also graduated from Puerto Rico’s Escuela Vocational Hipica.  Recovered from an injury, Devin Magnon  will return to action along with apprentice riders Jocelyn Edison and Hugo Torres.



Opening Week Promotions at Louisiana Downs

In addition to enjoying live racing and the entire card from Churchill Downs on Saturday, Louisiana Downs is kicking off the week with a new promotion featuring Roxanne Tanner, known as Ambasador Roxy. Fans can follow the daily clues in Roxy’s wallets of wagers race to find Roxy in the community to receive a wallet with a mystery wager of up to $500!

On opening day Club 74 members will receive a $5 Free Bet by swiping their loyalty card at the Racing Promotional Kiosks on Saturday, May 6. The Free Bet is valid on the following Saturday and can be used for live racing or simulcast wagers.  Louisiana Downs will be selling Official Kentucky derby merchandise and Louisiana Downs signature swag. There will be a Best Dressed Contest with cash prizes. Families are always welcome to enjoy the Kids area with on the trackside apron with bounce houses and Food Trucks with delectable options.

For guests who prefer the air-conditioned comfort of the grandstand, box seats can be reserved via the website www.ladowns.com or they can choose between either the Clubhouse buffet or the Skyroom buffet. Reservations are made for these venues by emailing reservations@ladowns.com.


About Louisiana Downs

Located near Shreveport in Bossier City, Louisiana, Louisiana Downs opened in 1974 and is 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.

Trainer Chris Richard Reflects on Winning His 1,000th Career Race

Coady Photography


Major milestones in Thoroughbred racing represent so much more than a number. Whether it be 1,000, 2,500, 3,000, 5,000 or the remarkable 10,000th win by Hall of Fame conditioner Steve Asmussen, each recipient has worked tirelessly for the achievement.

Trainer Chris Richard has paid his dues competing in Kentucky, Arkansas, Minnesota, Oklahoma and his home state of Louisiana over the past three decades.

Richard grew up in Lake Charles and had friends who raced Quarter Horses at Delta Downs. He loved the action and was inspired by the powerful athletes. Education came first with Richard attending Texas A&M in College Station and earning a BA in Animal/Equine Science followed by his Masters in Equine Nutrition and Exercise Physiology.  He was also a standout bowler and competed on the A&M Bowling team!

When he graduated, he moved to Kentucky and took on the role of private trainer for James McIngvale. The Houston-based furniture salesman, known as “Mattress Mack” is a nationally recognized supporter of breeding and racing and has played an important role in Richard’s career. The long awaited 1,000th win took place at Delta Downs on Friday, February 24 with  Freebritney, a 3-year-old filly by Klimt, purchased by McIngvale at the 2021 Keeneland September Yearling Sale for $27,000. 

Richard began 2023 just four wins short of the milestone.  He had 32 starts this year at Fair Grounds, Oaklawn and Delta before finally winning his 1,000th race.

“It took a while,” acknowledged Richard. “Trying to get a milestone is like pulling teeth; you run second and third and wonder if it will ever happen!”

Richard shared his full circle path training for McIngvale. 

“My first official win came in 1998 with Albadar for Mack who also owns the filly who gave me my 1,000th win!  How cool is that?”

Each trainer has the daunting task of figuring out what it takes for each horse to be successful on the racetrack. Freebritney presented her share of challenges.

“She was a little bit ornery,” he explained. “I had to go slow with her. In her first work out of the gate, she broke well, but stopped abruptly and started spinning like a helicopter. She made one start at Canterbury and I felt she needed some time off. She figured it out at Delta; I’ve learned over the years that you have to be patient; have a plan B and sometimes a plan C!”

McIngvale was also the breeder of Richard’s top earner, Underpressure, a Louisiana-bred son of Birdstone, out of the Charismatic mare Charming Colleen. Richard had an immediate connection with the gelding and purchased him. He became a multiple-stakes winner for the Richard barn, earning $870,992 in 45 starts.

Richard, who turned 50 last year, was an assistant to top trainer Tom Amoss for five years. He is grateful to Amoss and a number of owners for their support.

“Stan Cole gave me a great opportunity in Minnesota and I trained for Maggi Moss at Prairie Meadows for eight years,” said Richard. 

Native Ruler, a $25,000 claimer for Moss, won nine stakes and retired with earnings of $712, 296 and  she also owned Outta Tune, who captured the Grade 3, Count Fleet at Oaklawn Park.

Richard’s seven-year tenure at Prairie Meadows was a solid building block for his stable as well as his personal life. That is where he met his future wife, Mallory Greiner, who was attending Iowa State University and had a job working in the Prairie Meadows racing office.  They married in 2019 and make their home in Vinton. She devotes countless hours to re-homing the Richard-trainees as their racing careers wind down.

“I vet each prospective owner very carefully,” explained Mallory. “It’s never an easy process, but we believe in making sure our horses have a good home away from the racetrack.”

There’s never much time for celebration for horsemen and Richard was on the road from Delta Downs to Oaklawn Park the morning after winning his 1,000th career race.

“It’s an amazing feeling,” he stated. “I’ve been very fortunate to have some real nice horses, loyal owners, a great crew and the support of Mallory. I am very appreciative of this!”




VINTON, LA. – Delta Downs is getting set for the richest race day of the season on Saturday when Louisiana’s most talented racehorses will vie for nearly $1 million in total purse money on Louisiana Premier Night. The annual event features 10 stakes races on a 12-race program that kicks off at 4:50 pm. This will be the 20th renewal of Louisiana Premier Night.

In addition to thrilling action on the racetrack, fans will also be treated to a Louisiana Thoroughbred Breeders Association Last Fan Standing Handicapping Contest with cash prizes awarded to the top five finishers; a special drawing for two (2) $1,000 Louisiana college scholarships, also sponsored by the LTBA; and an appearance by expert handicapper and national horse racing personality Martha Claussen, who will co-host the simulcast show along with track announcer Don Stevens.

The feature race on Saturday will be the $150,000 Louisiana Premier Night Championship for older horses competing at 1-1/16 miles, which will be the 11th race on the card. This year’s headliner attracted a field of nine headed by Set-Hut, LLC’s Touchuponastar (3-1 morning line favorite), who will be ridden by jockey Tim Thornton. The Jeff Delhomme trainee enters the event on a three-race winning streak and most recently defeated four other Championship runners in the Louisiana Classic at Fair Grounds on Champions Day, December 10.

The LAPN Championship field also includes top earner Who Took The Money (7-2), who won the $100,000 Gold Cup at Delta Downs earlier this season; Highland Creek (6-1), who won the Boyd Rewards Stakes at Delta Downs on December 30; Behemah Star (9-2), who finished second to Touchuponastar in the Louisiana Classic; and defending race champion Langs Day (6-1).

The overwhelming morning line favorite on the entire program is Brittlyn Stable’s 5-year-old mare Ova Charged, who will go postward in the $100,000 Louisiana Premier Night Matron at five furlongs. Installed at odds of 3-5 in the program, Ova Charged is a graded stakes placed runner who enters the night on a five-race winning streak, the last four of which were in stakes company. Jockey Jose Luis Rodriguez will get a leg up on the mare from trainer Jose Camejo.

The top earner on the entire program Saturday will try to win her second consecutive Louisiana Premier Night race when Free Like a Girl goes to the post in the $125,000 Distaff. The Chasey Deville Pomier trainee won last year’s Starlet as a 3-year-old and has been graded stakes placed multiple times since that effort. Overall, the 4-year-old daughter of El Deal has banked $754,878 on 10 wins from 22 starts. Jockey Pedro Cotto, Jr. will pilot Free Like a Girl, who is the 5-2 morning line favorite for the race.

In addition to the many local horsemen taking part in Louisiana Premier Night, there will also be nationally prominent trainers who will saddle horses on the program. They include Brad Cox, Karl Broberg, W. Bret Calhoun and many others.

Listed below are all 10 Louisiana Premier Night stakes races for 2023 in program order.

Race #             Purse              Stakes                                                 Distance          Age

3                      $60,000           LAPN Ladies Starter                          1 mile              4yo & up FM

4                      $50,000           LAPN Bon Temps Starter                  5 furlongs        4yo & up FM

5                      $60,000           LAPN Gentlemen Starter                   1-1/16 miles    4yo & up

6                      $100,000         LAPN Prince                                       1 mile              3yo

7                      $125,000         LAPN Distaff                                     1 mile              4yo & up FM

8                      $100,000         LAPN Matron                                     5 furlongs        4yo & up FM

9                      $100,000         LAPN Starlet                                      1 mile              3yo Fillies

10                    $100,000         LAPN Sprint                                       5 furlongs        4yo & up

11                    $150,000         LAPN Championship                          1-1/16 miles    4yo & up

12                    $50,000           LAPN Ragin Cajun Starter                 5 furlongs        4yo & up

For more information about Louisiana Premier Night and the remainder of Delta Downs’ season, which runs through February 25, visit the track’s website at www.deltadownsracing.com. Fans can also follow the track on Facebook and Twitter.

Delta Downs Racetrack Casino & Hotel, a property of Boyd Gaming Corporation (NYSE;BYD), features exciting casino action, live horse racing and fun dining experiences. Delta Downs is located in Vinton, Louisiana on Delta Downs Drive. From Lake Charles take exit 7 off Interstate 10, and from Texas take exit 4.

Lozada, Wilson and End Zone Athletics, Inc. 2022 Louisiana Downs Thoroughbred Meet Winners

Bossier City, LA – The 2022 Thoroughbred racing season at Louisiana Downs concluded on Tuesday, September 27.  The meet leaders, jockey Carlos Lozada, trainer Shane Wilson and owner End Zone Athletics, Inc. were honored for their accomplishments on the final afternoon of the 84-day meet, which began on Saturday, May 7.

Kevin Preston, Louisiana Downs owner and president, credited his team, horsemen and local racing fans for their support.

“As we wrap up the live racing season at Louisiana Downs, I want to take a moment to thank those  who have contributed to our success,” said Preston. “First, our hard working team who show their commitment to making Louisiana Downs great again and overcome all obstacles thrown their way.  Also, to the horsemen, both on the Thoroughbred and Quarter horse side, for showing their support and caring for these amazing athletes. And, finally, to our fans in the Bossier City/Shreveport metroplex. Throughout 2022, we offered live and simulcast racing, sports wagering and many promotions.  We are grateful for the positive feedback we have received. I can promise that we will make it even better in 2023!”

Carlos Lozada Wins His Third Leading Rider Title

Carlos Lozada, who won his first title here in 2019, clinched top honors once again. He was involved in a competitive battle with Jose Guerrero entering the final week of the season, but drew off  by five wins. Lozada capped his meet by winning the final race of the meet aboard Super Wise ($20.40) on the turf for trainer Al Cates.

“I want to thank my family, my agent Ronald Ardoin and each of the owners and trainers who gave me such good mounts,” said Lozada. “I worked hard, as did Jose this year at Louisiana Downs. It means a lot to win my third title here.”

Lozada was the leading rider here in 2019 and secured the 2021 title with 84 wins. He rode for a variety of trainers including Greg Tracy, Joe Duhon, Joey Foster, Al Cates and Karl Broberg, completing the 2022 meet with  a record of 85 wins, 59 seconds and 61 third-place finishes. His mounts earned $1,097,345. 

The 37-year-old native of Puerto Rico began riding in the United States in 2007 after attending Puerto Rico’s Escuela Vocational Hipica, the famed jockey school with a noted list of riders, including Irad Ortiz, Jr., Jose Ortiz as well as 2018 Louisiana Downs top-ranked rider, Emanuel Nieves.

Lozada is supported by his wife, Eileen Quinones and their three sons: Anthony; Jean Carlos and Jandriel. While the majority of the Louisiana Downs jockeys will head to Delta Downs, Lozada will return to his home in Tampa and ride some races at Tampa Bay Downs.

Jose Guerrero had an excellent meet, winning 80 races and edging Lozada in earnings with $1,144,805. Joel Dominguez, who was second in the standings in 2021, finished third with 59 trips to the winner’s circle. Apprentice Vicente Del-Cid, winner of the 2022 Evangeline Downs leading rider title, was fourth in the standings with 52 victories.


Shane Wilson Honored as Leading Trainer

It was another excellent showing for Shane Wilson who repeated as leading trainer at Louisiana Downs with 50 victories.

The Haughton, Louisiana resident started 217 Thoroughbreds adding 42 runner-up finishes and 33 thirds to earn $762,665 for the meet.  He took the lead from the beginning of the meet and was never caught.

“We came in with 58-60 horses; no 2-year-olds,” said Wilson. “The first condition book was super for us and from there we kept our foot on the pedal. We were able to pick up a few horses after Lone Star Park wrapped up. Some of the better horses only got one start, but overall, we were pleased.”

Jockeys Jose Guerrero and Alexander Castillo rode the majority of the Wilson trainees with both riders showing improvement in their skill level.

Of course, Wilson is grateful to his owners, including Wayne T. Davis, Jim and Kathy Reeves, Hugh Moore, Craig Drago and Phyllis Presswood.

“I’ve been blessed with loyal owners who have supported us for over ten years,” added Wilson. “Tye Smith joined us this year and I am fortunate that they trust me and let me place their horses where they can win, but also let me take some chances. To be able to try a horse on turf or see how they handle going long is important. Everything is about the owners and I wouldn’t have won these titles without them.”

It’s a family affair at the Wilson barn, with his wife Becky and younger son, Connor, sharing in the key duties. His oldest son, Peyton, is an honors engineering student at LSU.

Wilson will stable at Fair Grounds in New Orleans for their 2022-2023 live racing season.

Joey Foster, who has won the Louisiana Downs trainer title three times, finished in a tie for second with Karl Broberg.  Both horsemen won 38 races. Greg Tracy followed with 30 victories and Steve Asmussen won 28 races.


Leading Owner Title Goes to End Zone Athletics, Inc 

End Zone Athletics, Inc. claimed its third leading owner title. The highly successful partnership of Karl Broberg and Matt Johanson won 21 races this meet, after topping the standings in 2019 and 2020, and finishing second last year to Wayne T. Davis. 

Broberg’s longtime assistant, Kevin Martin, accepted the award on Tuesday afternoon.

“We are thankful that we got on a roll after a mediocre start to grab this award,” said Martin. “Our thanks go out to everyone involved in our outstanding team, including our grooms, gallop boys and our jockeys.”

Davis, who won the 2021 title, finished in a tie for second with Greg Tracy. Both owners won 15 races.  Elite Thoroughbred Racing, Inc. rounded out the top four in the standings with 12 wins.

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. 


Photos courtesy of Hodges Photography


Current Hodges Photography Assistant to Take the Helm in 2023

Bossier City, LA – Since 2005, photographer Lou Hodges, Jr. has captured the excitement and beauty of horse racing at Louisiana Downs. On the final day of the 2022 Thoroughbred racing season, he will officially pass the baton to his highly respected assistant Ann Switalski.

Lou Hodges, Jr. served as track photographer at several racetracks, including Rockingham Park, Washington Park and Arlington Park. His father, Lou Hodges was the official photographer at Fair Grounds in New Orleans beginning in 1948, before his son took over in 1976.

Ann Switalski and Lou Hodges. Hodges Photography.

In addition to being the official photographer at Fair Grounds, Hodges Photography also has the contract at Louisiana Downs.

Ann McKnight Switalski was born in Saginaw,  Michigan. She arrived in Louisiana in 2003 and stayed after her husband retired from the military. An avid equestrienne, she began taking photos of morning works and soon realized that an investment in a quality camera was essential. Hodges offered her an opportunity to shoot some Super Derby action and hired her in 2016.

“I was very fortunate to find Ann,” explained Hodges. “She was working for a veterinarian on the backside and was interested in photography. I met with her and noticed right away that she was very creative and asked her to come to work.”

Color and clarity are two of the elements that are evident in the work of Hodges Photography.

“Our technique for getting perfect race shots is to use telephoto lenses to have tight shots,” said Hodges. “We are always looking for different angles and different compositions that will make someone who views the image look twice.”

With no previous background in photography, Switalski realized she had a lot to learn, and with the expert guidance of Hodges, she jumped right in.

“Lou made sure I understood that there is a very limited time to get the shots we need: the stretch, wire and comeback,” said Switalski.  “He taught me the importance of getting the horse in front to allow room for editing.”

Switalski enjoys the people involved in both Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse racing and getting memorable shots of jockeys as they jog back after a tough finish.

“Maria Baca gave me a very nice compliment,” said Switalski. “She said that no one takes photos of the riders like I do and that her mother loves them!”

Switalski, lives in Keithville, Louisiana, with her husband, Tony and sons Sam and Nathan. They share their home with three goats, two ducks, five cats and two horses, including Maverick Impression, an Appaloosa who is showing promise as a novice jumper.

She looks forward to the next chapter and is grateful for the support of her family as well as her Louisiana Downs assistant, Dawn Thomas.

On the final day of the 2022 racing season, Louisiana Downs officials honored Hodges for his service and presented him with a plaque thanking him for his excellence.

“Hodges Photography has been an integral part of the history of Louisiana Downs,” said Kevin Preston, the track’s owner and president. “We are grateful for the professionalism of Lou Hodges and the images that will remain with us forever. Ann is greatly admired by our horsemen and everyone in our organization. We know she will do an excellent job!”

The tribute meant a great deal to the inimitable photographer, who is nowhere near retiring and looks forward to the upcoming live racing season at Fair Grounds.  He wishes all the best to Switalski and is confident that the transition will be seamless.

“Ann will do a great job,” stated Hodges. “I am hoping to come back, possibly for the Super Derby, but look forward to traveling with my wife, Leslie, next summer.”

Switalski has not decided on the official name on her contract with Louisiana Downs, but can be reached at ladownsphotos@gmail.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.


 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 6.  First post is 1:45 pm (Central)for the seven-race card which will feature six stakes for accredited Louisiana-breds with purses of $67,000 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 exciting six Louisiana Cup stakes.

King’s Lute Takes on Eight Rivals in the $67,000 Louisiana Cup Juvenile

Stakes action gets underway in the second race with the running of the $67,000 Louisiana Cup Juvenile for Louisiana-bred 2-year-old colts and geldings. A field of eight will compete at five and one-half furlongs on the main track.

Four entrants make their stakes debuts off  maiden-breaking efforts with morning line favoritism going to the partnership of Claiming Cajuns LLC (Donald King, et al)  King Lute. Retired jockey Carl Woodley trains the son of Midnight Lute out of the Songandaprayer mare Sarahcarolu.

“He’s a big, gangly horse; one of those who may never get into stride quickly, but once he found his rhythm (in his debut victory on June 26), he drew off by six lengths,” explained Woodley.

Joel Dominguez will reunite with the dark bay gelding and Woodley is hoping he will notch his first stakes win.

“I have been fortunate to train for owner Donald Clark, but have never won a stakes for him,” added Woodley. “He has ALS and the ownership group is committed to fundraising efforts for the debilitating disease.”

World War IV Racing’s Ranch Water may be another contender poised for a good effort in the Louisiana Cup Juvenile. Trainer Allen Landry feels the gelded son of Palace, bred by  Love Partnership Interests, L. P., will give a good account of himself.

“He won his first time out, despite breaking in the air and getting shuffled back” Landry explained.  “When he circled the field and came running, we thought he had something special.”

Bisping, owned by Anna Guillot, broke his maiden on May 19 at Evangeline Downs and made his second start at Belmont Park in the $150,000 Tremont. Ricky Courville trains the gelding by El Deal with Devin Magnon breaking from post two.

Whispering Hill Farms homebred Kit Kat Kid also broke his maiden at first asking on June 4. The gelded son of Closing Argument prepped for this with a five furlong drill on July 13 for  trainer Steve Flint. Rider Tim Thornton has the return call at odds of 5-1.

The field also includes Easy Chance, who improved in his second start, winning a $24,000 maiden special weight last month at Evangeline Downs. Sired by Klimt, he is owned by Norman Stables, LLC and trained by Lonnie Briley.

Defending Champion Net a Bear Returns in the $67,000 Louisiana Cup Distaff

The first turf  stakes of the card, the $67,000 Louisiana Cup Distaff, drew nine fillies and mares who will travel a mile and one-sixteenth over the Franks Turf Course.

Bred by Lora Pitre and Elaine Carroll, Net a Bear is owned by Maximo Lamarche and Federico Deltoro and trained by Allen Landry. Since she began her career in 2018, the bay mare, versatile on turf or dirt, has won 12 of her 33 lifetime starts and following the victory at Evangeline Downs, upped her earnings to $615,970.  Her first stakes win came at Louisiana Downs when she captured the 2019 Elge Rasberry and she was a convincing winning last year in the Louisiana Cup Distaff.

She exits a score at Evangeline Downs last month as the favorite in the $75,000 Turf  Distaff.  With Tim Thornton aboard, the 6-year-old daughter of Awesome Bet made her usual late run and drew off tin the one-mile turf stakes, winning by 1 ¼ lengths.

Remarkably, Net a Bear has been a stakes winner at each of the four Louisiana racetracks and

will defend her title in the Louisiana Cup Distaff.

“She’s tough as hell,” said Landry. “Even when she gets in trouble, she gets clear and gives it her all. She just has an incredible turn of foot!”

Thornton will guide Net a Bear from post position two as the 8-5 choice. Landry gave her a final work at Evangeline on July 29 and plans on sending her to Bossier City on Saturday morning.

“We just gave her an easy work,” added Landry. “Didn’t want to ask for much in this heat.”

The high earner in the field will have to hold off eight rivals , including Fort Polk, a 6-year-old daughter of Behindatthebar, trained by Pat Mouton for owners Steve and Pat Roe. She won her last two turf races at Louisiana Downs, with a total of nine victories in 35 starts. Juan Vargas will ride from the eight hole. Cheapskate Diva makes her stakes debut for owner Keith Plaisance off a three-race win streak. The 4-year-old filly by Animal Kingdom last ran here on July 3, drawing off in a $25,000 turf allowance by 10 lengths under Carlos Marquez.

 The Louisiana Cup Distaff will run as the third race on the card.

Free Like a Girl Headlines the $67,000 Louisiana Cup Filly and Mare Sprint

The $67,000 Louisiana Filly and Mare Sprint boasts a field of eleven exceptional Louisiana-bred fillies and mares.

Free Like a Girl will return to Louisiana Downs on Cup Day as the 3-1 morning-line favorite in  the six-furlong sprint. Bred by retired jockey Kim Renee Stover and her sister, Lisa Osborne, the daughter of Flashy Prize, sired by El Deal, has won seven of her 14 starts for owners Gerald Bruno, Jr; Carl J, Deville; Chasey Deville Pomier and Jerry Caroom. She was honored as 2021 Louisiana Thoroughbred  Breeders Association (LTBA) Champion 2-year-old filly and continues to progress through her 3-year-old campaign.

Free Like a Girl won the $100,000 Starlet by four lengths at Delta Downs before running fourth in the Grade 3, $300,000 Honeybee at Oaklawn Park February 26 to the much heralded Secret Oath. After winning the $75,000 Louisiana Legends Soiree at Evangeline Downs, Free Like a Girl ran a credible third in the $225,000 Iowa Oaks (G3) on July 9 at Prairie Meadows.

The bay filly has already banked $423,873 and drew the far inside post under jockey Pedro Cotto.

“She has made us proud stepping up in two tough grade 3 stakes and ran her butt off at Prairie Meadows,” said trainer Chasey Pomier. “I’m alright with her breaking from the rail and we all have faith in Pedro. He rode for my dad when I was a kid and worked this filly as a baby. He has always done such a good job for our barn.”

Hall of Fame conditioner Steve Asmussen has entered Canada’s Custom for longtime owners Spendthrift Farm LLC and Corinne and William Heiligbrodt. The 3-year-old daughter of Custom for Carlos won two allowance races here in May prior to shipping to Lone Star Park. Joel Dominguez has the call on the chestnut filly at odds of 4-1.

Trainer Ron Faucheux will saddle three entrants in the Filly and Mare Sprint. Fame Feather a 7-year-old mare, sired by Lion Tamer, sprang the upset in the $75,000 Louisiana Legends Mademoiselle on June 4 at Evangeline Downs for Picard Thoroughbreds Racing Stable LLC. Strong Beauty a 5-year-old daughter of Overanalyze, owned by Golden Rock Thoroughbreds, ran fourth in that feature and Daniel Dartin’s G’s Squeezesteps up to stakes company after back-to-back allowance scores at Evangeline Downs.

2021 Louisiana Cup Filly and Mare Sprint champion, Snowball returns for her third time. Owned by Tin Roof Farms LLC and trained by Sam Breaux, the striking gray daughter of Apriority has made 40 career starts. The multiple-stakes winner has $373,850 and will break from post  four under rider Vicente Del-Cid.

Defending Champion Carlea’s Dream Prepped and Ready for the $67,000 Louisiana Cup Turf Classic

The $67,000 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 defending champion Carlea’s Dream, installed as the 5-2 morning line choice. Owned by Carl Moore Management,  the 5-year-old son of Lea is out of the Corinthian mare Beat The Street. Lea banked over $2.3 million in his racing career for Hall of Fame conditioner Bill Mott.

Last year, Carlea’s Dream ran a formful race, splitting rivals and surging to the wire in 1.44.57.

“He’s matured a bunch since last year and is much better in the gate,” she said. “He loves the turf, like all horses sired by Lea.  Lindey Wade had two days off from Canterbury Park last year and was great, but Iram has been working him and we feel very good about Saturday.”

Diego was in the irons for his impressive turf win here on June 21.

“We know he loves this turf course, so just felt better having him here,”
added Jacks.

Other notables include Allen Cassedy’s  Mangelsen, who ran third in last year’s Turf Classic for trainer Ron Faucheux and jockey Carlos Lozada.   The 6-year-old gelding by Big Band Sound won the $60,000 Edward J. Johnston Memorial at Fair Grounds in March and prepped for this with a gate-to-wire turf victory at Louisiana Downs on July 9. Behemeh Star makes his Louisiana Downs debut for his breeder and owner, Evelyn Benoit. Trained by Jose Camejo, the 4-year-old son of Star Guitar captured the $75,000 Star Guitar last March at Fair Grounds and will be ridden by Cristian Torres as the 3-1 second choice.

Also, Kendall Standlee’s Big Chopper, who recently won the one-mile Louisiana Legends Cheval at Evangeline Downs, will make his second turf start for trainer Scott Gelner. The 3-year-old colt by Shackleford will be ridden by C. J. McMahon. Gelner and owner Kendel Standlee won the 2018 Louisiana Cup Turf Classic with In the Navy.

“His mama (Miss Well Molded) was a turf runner, so we thought this would be a good test for him,” said Gelner. “He came home to the farm for a freshening and worked well for this.”

The Louisiana Cup Turf Classic will run as the fifth race on the program, with an approximate post time of 3:37 pm.


Highly Competitive Edition of the $67,000 Louisiana Cup Juvenile Fillies

Nine accredited 2-year-old Louisiana-bred fillies will compete in what appears to be one of the best fields ever for the $67,000 Louisiana Cup Juvenile Fillies Several first-time winners will face off in the five and one-half main track sprint.

Flurry Racing Stable LLC’s homebred Lady Flurry turned heads at  Louisiana Downs with a riveting nine-length maiden score on June 20. Owner Staton Flurry, who won the 201- Super Derby (on turf) with Mr Misunderstood, bred the daughter of Lord Nelson out of the Storm and a Half mare Patchofbadweather. Trained by Karl Broberg, Lady Flurry has been installed as the 7-5 morning-line choice.

“She has been training here and exploded in her debut, which might give us an advantage,” offered Flurry.” I bought her dam for $1,000 as a yearling. She won a few races, but this filly has a ton of speed. She was 3/1000ths off the track record here on June 20 and hopefully will move forward. Emanuel is injured, so I’m happy to give Cristian Torres the call. He’s a good, young rider who has done well for us at Oaklawn.”

Flurry has fond memories of winning the 2017 Super Derby with Mr Misunderstood. It was the only turf running on the esteemed championship and following the victory, the gelded son of Archarcharch won seven additional stakes. Trained by Brad Cox, Mr Misunderstood retired with earnings of $967,926 in 2020.

Flurry will not be at Louisiana Downs this Saturday as his proven graded stakes winning mare Shedaresthedevil will defend her title in Saturday’s Grade 1, Clement Hirsch at Del Mar,

I’ve had some great horses in partnerships, but Mr Misunderstood will always be my favorite,” added Flurry. “He’s the one that set the foundation and put me there.”

Making her Louisiana debut will be Hoffman Family Racing LLC’s What Can I Say. The filly by Mo Tom won at first asking on July 4 at Horseshoe Indianapolis for trainer Tom Amoss.

“She was an impressive winner, even though she didn’t have the best break,” said Amoss. “She’s facing a nice field, but I like the fact that she has tactical speed, but can also rate.”

Amoss, who is currently six wins away from his 4,000th career milestone, will ship the bay filly to Louisiana Downs on Thursday.

“You always have concerns when  horse travels for a race,” he added of his entrant, who will break from post eight under top Louisiana jockey Tim Thornton.


Janet is Ready will attempt to win her third in a row for conditioner Chasey Deville Pomier. The daughter of Custom for Carlos made her debut on May 13 in a $98,000 maiden special weight at Churchill Downs. After running second in Kentucky, she broke her maiden at Evangeline Downs and won the $100,000 Prairie Gold Lassie on July 8 in Iowa, at odds of 21-1.

“She came out of that race very well,” said Pomier. “It’s a tough field, but she’s a game filly.”


Dorgenois, who just broke her maiden on July 15 at Evangeline Downs, for trainer Ron Faucheux, is also entered. Jim and Natalie Montgomery,prominent in Louisiana Quarter Horse racing, bred the daughter of Gormley to the Fusaichi Pegasus mare Money Peg. She showed improvement in her second start and could very well outrun her 30-1 morning line.

Full Field in the Competitive $67,000 Louisiana Cup Sprint

The $67,000 Louisiana Turf Cup Sprint will close out the program with eleven talented Louisiana-breds traveling six furlongs on the main track.

Creole Charlie owned and trained by Howard Alonzo, has won seven of his 20 career starts and will break from post position two as the 3-1 choice. Claimed for $20,000 in February, the 4-year-old gelding by My Pal Charlie, was the runner-up in the Louisiana Legends Sprint at Evangeline Downs on June 4. He prepped for this with a victory one month later and will be ridden by Tim Thornton.

Set-Hut LLC’s X Clown makes his 23rd career start for trainer Jerry Delhomme off an allowance victory here on July 12. Joel Dominguez guided the 5-year-old son of Jimmy Creed, who drew post six at odds of 7-2.

Trainer Allen Landry, who won last year’s edition of this feature with Chu Chu’s Legacy, will saddle Brian’s Iron Mike and Double Barrel Man.  Brian’s Iron Mike, a son of Iron Fist is owned by Buck Boys,  LLC and makes his Louisiana Downs debut under jockey Joe Stokes.

“He’s a really good 3-year-old,” stated Landry. “Stakes-placed and ran a game second last out.”

Landry claimed the 9-year-old Double Barrel Man, who has an impressive career record of 14 wins and $533,912 earned in 68 starts. Calvin Borel has the call.

The Louisiana Cup Sprint runs as the seventh and final race on the card, with an expected post of 4:32 pm.

Trainer Michael C. Fetters Passes

Longtime Louisiana Thoroughbred trainer Michael C. Fetters passed away on July 24, 2022. Beginning in 1983, Fetters galloped, broke and trained horses at Louisiana Downs, Evangeline Downs and Delta Downs, with many multiple winners including Michal’s Answer, a mare by Hoist the Flag, named after his daughter Michal. He passed his love of horses to his family, including 11-year-old grandson, Asher. Survived by his wife, Betty, daughter Michal and grandson Asher, no funeral services have been announced.

“Mike was a natural horseman and was a tremendous supporter of Louisiana racing,” said trainer Joey Foster. “We send our condolences to Betty and his family. He was a good friend and will be missed.”

Louisiana Cup Day Festivities

Racing fans of all ages are invited to enjoy the festivities offered on August 6 at Louisiana Downs.

Family-friendly activities on the trackside apron include live music, inflatable bounce houses and water slides, face painting, and much more! Also, enjoy tasty bites from the city’s best food trucks. And don’t forget to claim your FREE $5 wager while you are there!

Handicapping Preview Show Begins at Noon on Cup Day

Louisiana Downs track announcer John McGary and regional racing publicist Martha Claussen will team up for a pre-race handicapping preview at 12:00 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 Set for Louisiana Cup Day

The Louisiana Thoroughbred Breeders Association (LTBA) will award two (2) scholarships, each valued at $1,000, during the event.

The drawings will take place after the fifth race. The races begin at 1:45 p.m. and the student must be there to register between 12:45 p.m. and 1:45 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 2022.

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 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.