2022 Louisiana Thoroughbred Breeders Association Annual Awards Banquet Honoring the 2021 Accredited Louisiana Bred Champions and their Connections
2022 Louisiana Thoroughbred Breeders Association Annual Awards Banquet Honoring the 2021 Accredited Louisiana Bred Champions and their Connections
HE’S THE MAN
Intrepid Sprinter Treasured by His Connections and Louisiana Racing Fans Retires following Louisiana Champions Day
By Martha Claussen
New Orleans (January 4, 2022) – Over the last four years, one horse has been at the center of Louisiana racing and fans of the local sport – Ivery Sisters Racing’s Monte Man. His trainer and Fair Grounds’ 2021 title-winner, Ron Faucheux has announced that it is time for this 9-year old gelding to step away from the race track and to spend his retirement at Clear Creek Stud, where his sire Custom for Carlos stands.
“Val Murrel who owns Clear Creek, he bred Monte Man and is happy to take him in,” Faucheux said. “Clear Creek is the nicest farm in Louisiana–at this point, being a 9-year old, he’s been so great to us, we’d rather see him have a happy life from this point forward.”
Know that Monte Man is doing fine, but he did not come back from his Friday workout as hoped, giving connections pause about pursuing the plan of running in the Costa Rising Stakes, a race Monte Man won twice and finished 2nd in by a nose.
“He’s sound as can be,” Faucheux said. “Looks great, walks great, legs look good. He just has something a little feint. Something that some trainers would push through, but I’m not going to take any chances.”
Claimed for $25,000 by Ivery Sisters Racing in October of 2017, in his first start for trainer Ron Faucheux Monte Man won a local optional-claimer that December, which was the start of a seven-race winning streak. Monte Man went out in stakes-winning fashion, scoring the ninth and final stakes win of his career in the $100,000 Louisiana Champions Day Sprint on December 11, 2021.
“I was looking at the win pictures last night,” Faucheux said. “He’s beaten some great horses. He hasn’t run worse than fourth since the end of his 4-year old career. Goes to show you how much heart that horse has. He might not run the best numbers as some of the Kentucky sprinters floating around the country, but he has been so consistent throughout the process. That’s all you can ask–they run to their ability.”
All told, Monte Man finishes his career 50-18-8-9 with earnings of $794,223.
“I feel honored to have trained him throughout that process,” Faucheux said. “He’s been a barn favorite, a fan favorite, a special horse–you could hear it in John Dooley’s emotional call of his last race.”
“Here comes the gladiator, Monte Man with that battler’s heart for Adam Beschizza. Monte Man now an 18-time winner–well done Monte Man!” — John G. Dooley, Fair Grounds Track Announcer
by Tom Early
Louisiana Champions Day Sprint
Fair Grounds, 12-12-20, 6 furlongs
3YO & Up, Accredited Louisiana Breds, $100,000
Custom for Carlos–Sarah’s My Angel
Breeder: Val C. Murrell
Owner: Ivery Sisters Racing
Trainer: Ron Faucheux
Jockey: Adam Beschizza
Win Ya Win
Star Guitar–Wild About Marie
Breeder: Brittlyn, Inc.
Owner: Brittlyn Stable, Inc.
Trainer: Jose M. Camejo
Jockey: Ricardo Santana, Jr.
Breeder: Jason Hall, Jeffrey Neese, and Jon Dean
Owner: Richard B. Benton
Trainer: Joseph M. Foster
Jockey: Mitchell Murrill
Grand Luwegee Posts Shocking 52-1 Upset in
Louisiana Champions Day Classic
4-5 Favorite Shang Cannot Get Past Stubborn Foe in Long Stretch Drive
New Orleans (December 12, 2020) – Winless from six starts this year and seemingly hopeless at 52.50-1 on the toteboard, Gerrard Perron’s Grand Luwegee made the lead early and held off the 4-5 favorite Shang by a head to score a stunning upset in the $150,000 Louisiana Champions Day Classic, one of ten restricted stakes run at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots on Saturday afternoon.
Never further than 3 ½ lengths back while well positioned in third, Shang drew even in the stretch but could not punch past the stubborn front runner. It was 3 ¼ lengths back to Jus Lively in third. The final time for nine furlongs over a muddy track was 1:52.03.
“The plan was to break, and if we could make the lead great and that’s the way it worked out,” winning rider Colby Hernandez said. “When that horse came up to us (runner-up Shang) he just kept fighting more and more. He was not going to let that horse pass him.”
With the victory, the 5-year-old son of El Corredor boosted his career record to 21-6-5-2 with earnings of $349,250.
“I have been with this horse from the time he was a baby and my grandson named him,” said Perron, who bred and also trains Grand Luwegee. “We won the race at Delta Downs (Premier Night Championship on Feb. 9, 2019) the same way. He got ahead and didn’t look back. Our horse has a lot of fight. We’ve been training him hard and he came through. We had been running him short. We knew he could do better over a distance of ground.”
Buoyed by the 52-1 Classic winner, the traditional Late Pick Five, which entered the day with a $13,191 carryover, returned $18,233.25 on a 50-cent wager.
Big Time Stays Remains Perfect with Lassie Score
Lightly Raced Filly Dominates State-Bred Foes
Valene Farm’s Big Time took advantage of a rail-skimming ride by Brian Hernandez Jr. and pulled clear late for a convincing 3 ½-length win over Taylor Avenue in the $100,000 Louisiana Champions Day Lassie, which was the first of seven Thoroughbred stakes on the card.
Big Time, a 2-year-old daughter of Astrology trained by Dallas Stewart, settled in fourth early while longshot Twin Sisters set the early fractions in the 6-furlong Lassie before moving towards the lead entering the far turn. She was able to sneak through along the rail off the far turn while 7-5 favorite Rue Lala took aim from the outside, with Taylor Avenue following that move. Big Time surged to the front outside the eighth-pole and looked good extending her margin to the wire, while getting the 6 furlongs in 1:11.97 over a muddy and sealed main track. Tecate Time was up late for third, while Rue Lala faded and finished fourth.
Hernandez Jr., aboard Big Time for the first time, was confident throughout.
“She was just there for me the whole way,” Hernandez Jr. said. “She broke just a tad bit slow then she got squeezed from both sides but she recovered quickly, put us in a good spot, and traveled like a winner the whole way and when the hole opened on the rail, she went about her business.”
Big Time entered off an almost six-month layoff, as she had not run since winning on debut June 18 over open MSW runners at Churchill Downs, when she dueled throughout and won by a head in a shocker at 38-1. The public was well aware in the Lassie, as Big Time paid $7.20 to win, while raising her lifetime earnings to $92,704. Always precocious, she built off her early success in Louisville, and kept a good thing going in the Lassie.
“This is a beautiful filly,” Stewart said. “She showed up at Churchill and kicked all their butts. She’s won every workout and after today, she’s still undefeated. It’s a great day for Big Time.”
Taylor Avenue, making her first start against state breds, ran well to be second for trainer Bret Calhoun, and jockey Adam Beschizza thinks the best is yet to come for the daughter of Mshawish, who excelled going longer in his career.
“She’s very honest and she’s shown obviously she’s got a lot of ability, so I think once they stretch her out, they’ll see more improvement out of her,” Beschizza said. “I was surprised she laid that close but she’s now running against her own kind, so I think things will naturally fall into place for her going forward.”
Our Last Love Wires Ladies Sprint
Speedster Holds Off Late Charge of Favored Mr. Al’s Gal
Tri-Star Racing LLC’s homebred Our Lost Love broke running and never looked back, holding off a frantic late rally from favored Mr. Al’s Gal by a nose in the $100,000 Louisiana Champions Ladies Sprint.
Our Lost Love broke alertly under Mitchell Murrill and secured the early lead, with longshot Southern Beauty chasing in second early but unable to put any serious pressure on. As a result, the winner was able to scoot clear off the far turn, open up a 2 ½-length lead in midstretch, and got her nose on the line over an unlucky Mr. Al’s Gal, who lost ground on the far turn and came up just short. Our Lost Love completed the 6 furlongs in 1:11.93 over a muddy and sealed main track. Vacherie Girl led a brigade of closers across the line to be third.
Our Lost Love has broken first or second in her last seven starts, so Murrill expected to be in front early, though he wasn’t quite sure about late.
“She broke well as always,” Murrill said. “The plan was to let her have her own way and give her a little breather in the turn and it worked. When she kicked on, she moved away from those horses pretty well but the last 16th (of a mile) she was really tired. At first, I didn’t think I won it, but I came back and looked at the toteboard and saw us up on top.”
Our Lost Love, a 3-year-old daughter of Half Ours, won her third stakes for trainer Joseph M. Foster, as she won the local Louisiana Futurity last December and beat open foes in the Take Charge Brandi at Delta Downs in February. She’s now won 6-of-12 lifetime, with earnings of $272,003, and Foster was happy to be on the right side of the photo.
“We’ve had a lot of them (photo finishes) go the other way,” Foster said. “He (Murrill) never moved on her until the last eighth of a mile. We got lucky and got there first.”
Mr. Al’s Gal ran second for the third straight time for trainer Jose Camejo but lost nothing in defeat over a track that has been catering to early speed. The 6-year-old daughter of Salute the Sarge closed stoutly under Adam Beschizza, who thought he finished one better.
“It was slow-motion stuff through the stretch and I thought I got it by a whisker but obviously her head was down and mine was up,” Beschizza said. “She came running at the end though.”
Room to Finish Mows Them Down in Ladies Turf
Stretch Runner One Betters Last Year’s Second
West Point Thoroughbreds, Forge Ahead Stables, and Jerry Caroom’s Room to Finish settled off a contested pace, kicked into high gear in mid-stretch, and pulled clear late for a 1 ½-length win over defending champion Net a Bear in the $100,000 Louisiana Champions Day Ladies Turf.
Room to Finish took her usual position towards the back of the field under Adam Beschizza while Marywood carved out solid fractions while being chased by Is Too and 2-1 favorite Offspring over a turf course listed as “good.” The race changed complexion off the far turn, as Florent Geroux made the first move with Net a Bear, while Beschizza sat back, tipped out Room to Finish late and she leveled nicely for the win, while completing the about 1 1/16 miles in 1:46.11.
Beschizza, who had ridden Room to Finish just once before, when she was second in a Keeneland allowance in April 2018, knew she’d be there for him in the stretch.
“She’s a very consistent mare,” Beschizza said. “There haven’t been many times when she’s out of the top three placings. We know she’s got a good turn of speed, so even if there is a sedate pace going on up front, you can still rely on a good eighth of a mile kick.”
Room to Finish has been long overdue to net a state-bred turf stakes win the past two years for trainer Wayne Catalano, as she was second in the Ladies Turf last year as a 6-5 favorite and was third in the Louisiana Cup Distaff in her last start September 19 at Louisiana Downs. The 5-year-old daughter of Giant Oak made it 5-for-9 lifetime over the local Stall-Wilson Turf Course, is now 7-for-20 lifetime, and has earned $289,605. Catalano expected the pace to be honest and was confident going in.
“She did just what we thought she might do,” Catalano said. “There was enough speed in the race; just get her in the clear and let her go.”
Net a Bear ran well in defeat and nosed out Offspring for second. The 4-year-old daughter of Awesome Bet has been at the top of the state-bred turf ranks the past few years for trainer Allen Landry, as she also won the Elge Raspberry at Louisiana Downs in 2019 and the Red Camelia here in March. Net a Bear closed from last-of-10 to win the Ladies Turf last year, but with Room to Finish behind her this year, Geroux was forced into slightly different tactics.”
“It was either waiting or making my move first and I was kind of obligated to move first,” Geroux said. “She ran big for me but I just got run down in the end.”
Monte Man Adds to His Legend in Sprint
Veteran Wins his Eighth State-Bred Stakes
Ivery Sisters Racing LLC’s Monte Man bided his time off a torrid early pace and exploded late to beat Win Ya Win going away by 2 ½ lengths in the $100,000 Louisiana Champions Day Sprint.
Monte Man was always traveling comfortably under Adam Beschizza, as he settled in fourth early while covered up as 3-2 favorite Bertie’s Galaxy set blazing fractions of 21.93 and 45.51 while chased in earnest by X Clown and Yankee Seven. Beschizza needed only to steer Monte Man in the clear off the far turn and when he did it was over in an instant, as the veteran easily drew off for a comfortable win. Silver Galaxy rallied from last in the field of eight, while Bertie’s Galaxy tired from his early efforts and finished fifth.
Beschizza, aboard for a local state-bred optional-claiming win in January 2019, knew Monte Man would be ready to roll once produced after getting out of a potentially sticky situation when behind horses.
“He’s a horse that thrives off a bit of trouble,” Beschizza said. “I’ve ridden him in similar situations before; the more he gets locked in, the more he comes on the bridle. He’s just waiting to give that little punch he’s got, so you don’t want to get there (to the front) too soon. At the quarter-pole, getting locked isn’t that much of an issue. And the eighth-pole, maybe it’s another story. He likes a target.”
Monte Man, a 7-year-old son of Custom for Carlos, has been a revelation since being claimed by trainer Gary Sciacca for $25,000 at Belmont Park in October 2017. Ivery Sisters Racing turned him over to trainer Ron Faucheux for his next start and he won a local optional-claimer in December 2017, which was the start of a seven-race winning streak. All told, Monte Man is 16-for-44, which includes eight stakes wins, though Saturday was his first win in the Sprint, after running third in the race in 2018 and fourth in last year’s renewal. To Faucheux, Monte Man has been more than just an eight-time stakes winner.
“He means more to us than any horse I’ve ever trained,” Faucheux said. “He’s just such a cool horse. It’s just been such a pleasure to train this horse. When you think he might have lost a step, he just shows you in his training that he hasn’t.”
Faucheux also trained Bertie’s Galaxy, who entered off a close second in the September 19 Louisiana Cup Sprint at Louisiana Downs. The 4-year-old son of Greeley’s Galaxy never got a breather early under Erica Murray, which ultimately cost him late.
“I was having a lot of pressure from the outside horse the whole way and I think he got a little tired since he hasn’t run in quite a while,” Murray said. “He’s a really classy horse and can handle times like that, so he should build off this run.”
Class Prevails for Sir Wellington
Well-Traveled Runner Rules Over State Breds
Xtreme Racing Stables LCC’s Sir Wellington, making his first start against Louisiana breds, relished the class relief as he dominated nine 2-year-old rivals, posting a 2-length win over Standing Perfect.
Marcelino Pedroza had Sir Wellington involved throughout, as they set up 3-wide in third outside 3-1 second-choice and two-time state-bred stakes winner Chu Chu’s Legacy, with fellow invader No Pedigree chasing in between in second. Never looking a loser, Sir Wellington took charge off the far turn, opened up, and had plenty in reserve to hold the strong late charge of Standing Perfect. No Pedigree was another half-length back in third, while Chu Chu’s Legacy tired to be fifth.
Pedroza, aboard Sir Wellington for the first time, had the race handicapped on paper exactly as it played out on the track.
“I knew the four (Chu Chu’s Legacy) and the six (No Pedigree) had some speed, so the plan was to put my horse in a good stalking position behind them,” Pedroza said. “When I asked him to run, he just took off.”
Trainer Hugh Robertson took over for his son Mac, who saddled Sir Wellington to a debut win at Delaware Park in August, a second-place finish in an optional-claimer at Laurel Park in October, and a fifth in the Nyquist November 6 at Keeneland. The son of Palace was a $55,000 2-year-old in training purchase out of the Fasig-Tipton Midlantic Two-Year-Olds in Training Sale 2020 earlier this year and has proven a quick return on investment, as he’s now earned $96,570.
Standing Perfect ran huge in his main track debut for trainer Lee Thomas, as he entered off just a two-turn turf win in an open MSW September 16 at Louisiana Downs. The son of Half Ours was sixth early and was one of the few horses on the card to make up significant ground late, which figures to bode well when he stretches back out.
“He had just run one time on the turf so he got run off his feet a bit early with the quicker fractions at the shorter distance,” Geroux said. “He was flying late and he galloped out nicely, so the longer races for him later will be good.”
Ninety One Assault Repeats in Turf
Fair Grounds Lover Continues Affinity for Local Lawn
Paul Braverman and trainer Tom Morley’s Ninety One Assault got a confident ride from Shaun Bridgmohan and overpowered Afleet Ascent late to post a one-length win and repeat in the $100,000 Louisiana Champions Day Turf
Ninety One Assault was unhurried in sixth early while Guitar Tribute and Afleet Ascent sparred on the lead through a half-mile of 50.81 over a turf course listed as “good.” Things remain unchanged off the far turn and to deep stretch, and while onlookers may have been worried, Bridgmohan knew what he had under him, as he split horses inside the furlong grounds and was up late with plenty in reserve to reel in a game Afleet Ascent, who won the pace battle by a half-length over third-place finisher Guitar Tribute.
Bridgmohan improved to 6-for-7 aboard Ninety One Assault, which is why there were no anxious moments in deep stretch once he was out in the clear.
“I just have to be a good passenger,” Bridgmohan said. “When it’s time to go, just find the best spot that I can, and he usually gets the job done. This horse has been so good for me. He broke smartly, settled nicely. The pace wasn’t overly fast but he put me in the spot I needed to be in. All I had to do was be patient.”
Ninety One Assault, a 7-year-old son of Artie Schiller, improved to 7-for-10 over the Stall-Wilson Turf course for trainer Tom Morley and 8-for-35 lifetime. He’s now earned $427,683, with well over half that coming in his 10 turf starts at Fair Grounds.
Ron Faucheux saddled Afleet Ascent for the first time and was able to find the form that saw the 5-year-old son of Northern Afleet run second here in an open optional-claimer in January for trainer Patrick Devereux. Afleet Ascent’s best effort in his last four starts for trainer Rey Hernandez was a third, which prompted Faucheux to make a potentially key equipment change.
“We noticed in his training that he was finishing better in his breezes without the blinkers compared to when we had them on originally, so I think taking the blinkers off helped,” Faucheux said. “We could tell right when we got him, he was going to be a nice horse. He’s a beautiful animal.”
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)(3) organization 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.