Winchell Thoroughbreds LLC Homebred Recovers From Stumble in the Prelude
Bossier City, LA – When you don’t succeed at first, try again, and there was no better example of that adage than the performance of Rotation, the champion of today’s Grade 3, $300,000 Super Derby at Harrah’s Louisiana Downs.
The colt by Tapit out of the Olympio mare Free Spin, bred and owned by Winchell Thoroughbreds, LLC, was the favorite in last month’s $60,000 Super Derby Prelude. He stumbled out of the gate, nearly unseating rider Richard Eramia, but recovered to finish fourth.
Today was a different story for the well-bred colt, who is a full brother to Tapiture. He broke from the rail, sitting off the pace set by rider Robby Albarado on Pirate’s Punch, who completed the first quarter in: 46.77 and the half-mile in :46.77. Eramia got his charge clear heading into the second turn and drew off. The final time over the fast main track was 1:43.70.
“Robby Albarado is a smart rider and controlled the pace,” said Eramia. “I got the exact trip I was hoping for. My horse stumbled last time, but really deserved to win. I want to thank Steve, the owners and everyone on the backside for doing a great job”
Hall of Fame conditioner Steve Asmussen won the 2018 Super Derby with longshot Limation for owner Michael Langford. He was reached on the phone after the race, and was thrilled with the victory by Rotation and a game runner-up effort by his other entrant, Vangilder, who closed under C.J. McMahon for second.
“Rotation is a very handy horse,” said Asmussen. “It was tough to see the trouble he had in the Prelude. Referring to the incident as a stumble out of the gate is not doing it justice. It’s like calling the Grand Canyon a ditch! But to his credit and the team down there, including Misty Drinkwater and Ashley Trosclair, it all came together.”
“We are very proud of him,” he added. “This was a significant win.”
Vangilder, winner of the $70,000 Charles Taylor Derby on July 20 at the Downs of Albuquerque for owner Chuck Hovitz rallied for second.
“Watching the replay of his last race, he sat off the pace and pounced home tremendously, said McMahon. “Rotation left a step behind me, which I thought he would. I sat in the pocket behind him and couldn’t have gotten a better trip.”
Pirate’s Punch, trained by Grant Forster, held on for third. The son of Shanghai Bobby, was making his stakes debut for the ownership group of Gulliver Racing LLC , Craig W. Drager and Dan Legan. Albarado, who is just returning off a wrist injury suffered in June at Churchill Downs, won his first Super Derby in 2006 aboard Strong Contender and followed that with a win with Departingseven years later.
Morning line favorite, Knicks Go owned by KRA Stud Farms, completed the superfecta. Trained by Ben Colebrook, he won the Grade 1, Claiborne Breeders’ Futurity at Keeneland. Dismissed by the betting public, he topped a full field of juveniles in gate-to-wire fashion at odds of 70-1. This was the fifth graded stakes start for Knicks Go in 2019.
Prelude runner-up Trevilion, owned by Tigertail Ranch, ran fifth, followed byLeader of Men, owned by Walpole Racing LLC, who won the $60,000 Super Derby Prelude on August 3, and brought a four-race win streak at Louisiana Downs to the Super Derby. Completing the order of finish was Adele B. Dilschneider‘s homebred Rescind; Cabot, Paynt Battle and Fredonian.
Rotation returned $13.40 for the win and added $180,000 to his career earnings, which stand at $302,318. Asmussen was not sure of the next start for both runners.
The Super Derby, which had its first running in 1980, has a distinguished list of past champions, including four Kentucky Derby winners, four Preakness Stakes winners, five Belmont Stakes winners and seven Travers Stakes winners. Six previous Super Derby entrants have won the prestigious Breeders’ Cup Classic and three Super Derby winners, Tiznow, Sunday Silence and Alysheba have been voted the Eclipse Award as Horse of the Year, the industry’s highest award.
Smooth Sailing for In The Navy in the $60,000 Frank L. Brothers Stakes
One of the six turf stakes on the Super Derby card was renamed this year to honor New Orleans native Frank L. Brothers. “Frankie,” as he is known in the racing industry, began his highly successful career as a Thoroughbred trainer in Louisiana, winning nine leading trainer titles at Louisiana Downs and winning the 1998 Super Derby with Arch. He was inducted into the inaugural Harrah’s Louisiana Downs Racing Hall of Fame on July 13.
The mile and one-sixteenth Frank L. Brothers attracted an overflow field of turf specialists with three Louisiana-breds taking on open company, and it was Kendel D. Standlee’s In the Navy, who righted the ship this afternoon. Trained by Scott Gelner, the 5-year-old son of Midshipman exited a second-place finish in last month’s Louisiana Cup Turf Classic. Gelner enlisted the riding services of Floyd Wethey, Jr., who took the lead and went gate to wire, in fractions of :23.79, :47.92, 1:11.42, crossing the wire in 1:40.51.
“Scott told me to just let him do his thing and hopefully have something left for the finish,” said Wethey, who made the best of his first time riding at Louisiana Downs. “He is a cool horse; I didn’t need to do a thing.”
The win was the seventh for In the Navy, who was sent off at odds of 7-1, returned $17.40 for the win. Late Night Mischief ran second under Tim Thornton, followed by $50,000 Louisiana Turf Cup Classic winner Theoryintopractice, also trained by Asmussen. Kurilov, from the barn of Brad Cox, returned off a one-year layoff to complete the superfecta and Big Changes, who won the 2018 edition of the stakes, which was previously named the Unbridled, was fifth.
High On Gin Serves Up the Upset in the $60,000 Happy Ticket
The 33rd running of the $60,000 Happy Ticket, drew a field of ten fillies at the distance of seven and one-half furlongs on the Franks Turf Course.
Jerry Caroom’s High On Gin won her debut at Evangeline Downs on August 21 in a main track sprint on a sloppy track. Trainer Carl J. Deville was impressed with the first-time starter and decided to try her in stakes company and on the turf. With the lanky Devin Magnon in the irons, the filly by Fury Kapcori, got clear on the outside and began passing rivals. She drew off to a two-length victory in a final time of 1:30.21.
It was no surprise to her rider, who won the first race of his career.
“I’ve worked twenty horses for Carl this year and was always impressed with this filly,” said Magnon.
“I thank Jerry and each of my owners for giving me the opportunity to train for them,” added Deville.
Cedar Hill, the runner-up in the La Senorita, ran second under Lane Luzzi withEnvied, a daughter of American Pharoah completing the trifecta. Deville also conditioned the fourth-place finisher, Thirstyamericangal, who outran her odds of 63-1 under Kerwin Clark.
Deviant Dominates in the $60,000 Sunday Silence
The 15th running of the $60,000 Sunday Silence showcased a completive group of ten juveniles competing seven and one-half furlongs on the Franks Turf Course. The race honors the prolific champion who won the 1989 Super Derby, Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes, and was inducted into the Harrah’s Louisiana Downs Racing Hall of Fame this year.
Deviant, owned by Red Lane Thoroughbreds LLC, made the trip to Louisiana in pursuit of his second consecutive turf stakes victory. His most recent victory came on August 14 in the $75,000 El Joven at Retama Park. It was a winning effort for the juvenile, who drew off by a margin of 7 ¾ lengths under Lane Luzzi.
The son of veteran New York rider Mike Luzzi, made his first trip to Louisiana Downs and confidently guided the son of Daredevil to the wire. He moved from the rail to the far outside to launch his bid, with a final clocking of 1:29.96.
“He’s a real nice horse,” said Luzzi. “Hard to explain what makes him so good, other than he does everything you ask of him. The credit goes to Danny, who has worked with him from the beginning.”
Longshot Free Indeed battled gamely under rider Kerwin Clark, but had to settle for second. See Bee Salute, at 14-1, was third with Crimson Zipcompleting the superfecta.
Eskenformore Lights Up the Toteboard in the $60,000 River Cities
A full field of fillies and mares competed in the 33rd running of the $60,000 River Cities at the distance of a mile and one-sixteenth on the turf.
Sugarland Thoroughbreds LLC’s homebred Eskenformore pulled the upset at odds of 30-1 for trainer James Hodges. Leading Louisiana Downs rider Carlos Lozada guided the 6-year-old mare to victory by a margin of 1 ¾ lengths over Dagny. Running third was Remember Daisy, who captured the $100,000 Louisiana Ladies Stakes at Fair Grounds last December before heading to Canterbury Park and most recently, Arlington Park in Chicago. Is Too, a 4-year-old daughter of Midshipmam could not replicate her effort here last month in the $50,000 Louisiana Cup Distaff, finishing fourth under Colby Hernandez.
“She’s a nice mare,” stated Hodges. “She ran into trouble in her last race, but not today! She will run next at Fair Grounds on Louisiana Champions Day.”
Net a Bear Tops Louisiana-Bred Fillies in the $60,000 Elge Rasberry
The 24th running of the $60,000 Elge Rasberry drew a field of eight Louisiana-bred 3-year-old fillies and ran as the first stakes race of the Super Derby card.
Net a Bear sprang the upset for trainer Allen Landry and owner Maximo Lamarche and Federico Deltoro. The filly by Awesome Bet closed gamely in the final furlong under jockey Tim Thornton, covering a mile, over the firm Franks Turf Course in 1:36.45.
“I’ve worked her in the morning and knew she could run,” said Thornton.
Landry felt that the addition of blinkers helped his filly.
“She has always been a high strung filly,” stated Landry. “We hauled in and bandaged her really well before loading her. By the time we arrived, she had torn all of them off!”
Scootin Bayou ran second for trainer Kenneth Hargrave and rider Jose Guerrero. Irish Hustle was under Robby Albarado and Louisiana Legends Soiree champion Snowball, who was sent off as the favorite, completed the superfecta.
Net a Bear paid $23.00 for the victory; her second win in 11 starts. Bred by Lora Pitre and Elaine Carroll, she will make her next start at Delta Downs, according to Landry.
First Stakes Victory for Run Rocket in the $60,000 A. L. (Red) Erwin
A full field of Louisiana-bred 3-year-old colts and geldings went to the gate for the $60,000 A. L. (Red) Erwin.
The son of Run Production is owned by Margaret Lanetta Haas, and had won three of his last four starts.Trainer Beverly Burress gave jockey Eguard Tejeraa leg up, and he took the lead at the top of the stretch, completing the mile turf test in 1:36.79.
It was a special moment for retired jockey Burress, who saddled just the second stakes winner of her career.
“Since we claimed him for $10,000, he’s done everything right for us,” she said. “He has been running really well; just shows his determination when he runs.”
Make Me Smile, a son of Star Guitar, ran second under Tim Thornton, followed by Bailey’s Power and Star Fitzstall.
Run Rocket was sent off as the favorite and returned $7.60 for the win and with his winner’s share of $36,000, doubled his lifetime earnings. He was bred by Israel Flores Horses, LLC.
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.