NOMINATIONS FOR LOUISIANA CUP DAY AT HARRAH’S LOUISIANA DOWNS CLOSE SATURDAY, JULY 20

Bossier City, LA – The Louisiana Downs racing office is busy this week taking nominations for Louisiana Cup Day, which is set for Saturday, August 3. Nominations for the seven stakes will close this Saturday, July 20.

Trainer Scott Gelner who won stakes last year on both Louisiana Cup Day and the Super Derby undercard has two horses nominated for Louisiana Cup Day.

Taylor’s Spirit,  a Kentucky-bred daughter of Algorithms, owned by Norman Stables, LLC, won the $60,000 Happy Ticket last September at Louisiana Downs and added three more stakes wins since that victory. She has competed in graded stakes company, running last year at Churchill Downs  in the Grade 2, $200,000 Pocahontas. Taylor’s Spirit exits a third-place finish in the Grade 3, $200,000 Iowa Oaks at Prairie Meadows on July 5. She’s won six of her 12 starts and $250,730 since making her debut in Iowa last July.

“She’s a nice filly,” said Gelner. “We would like to give her a try in the Prelude and maybe get a shot in the Super Derby.”

Gelner currently as 45 horses in training with the majority competing in Louisiana and Prairie Meadows. One of his personal favorites, Yes Gorgeous, is under consideration for the $50,000 Louisiana Cup Sprint as well as the $50,000 Louisiana Distaff.

Gelner purchased the 4-year-old daughter of Mass Media for $1,700 at the Louisiana Mixed Sale.

“I trained her mama for a few races,” said Gelner. “She had a few problems, but overcame them with her big heart.”

Yes Gorgeous has rewarded Gelner with both heart and a solid return on his investment. She’s made 25 career starts, with a record of five wins, ten seconds and two third-place finishes and earnings of $258,220. In the $60,000 Elge Rasberry here last September, she defeated nine Louisiana -bred fillies, overcoming torrential rain during the running of the race.

“She tries hard every time she runs and even on an off day, gives her all,” stated Gelner. “She is just a blessing from God for me and my family and has handled everything we have ever asked: turf, dirt, even running against the boys.”

 

Mary Rampellini of the Daily Racing Form broke the news that Mr Money Bags is being pointed to the Super Derby by his trainer, Mike Neatherlin.  Bred by his owner, Roy W. Cobb, Mr Money Bags established himself as a serious runner earlier this year at Sam Houston Race Park, winning two consecutive stakes by a combined margin of 12 lengths. Sired by Silver City, Mr Money Bags was Triple Crown nominated by his connections, and following his win in the Groovy Stakes in Houston, shipped to Churchill Downs to compete in the Grade 3, $400,000 Pat Day Mile. He garnered another stakes win at Lone Star Park on June 1 and made his most recent start in the $250,000 Iowa Derby at Prairie Meadows.

“This horse likes to run on the front end and wins most of his races that way,” said Neatherlin. “In the Iowa Derby, he stumbled out of the gate and got into trouble from there.”

Neatherlin hopes to run Mr Money Bags in the $60,000 Prelude, which awards the winner a berth into the Grade 3, $300,000 Super Derby on Saturday, September 7.

 

Nominations for the following Louisiana Cup Day stakes close on July 20.

$50,000 Louisiana Cup Juvenile                    2 YO LA-Bred                        Six furlongs

$50,000 Louisiana Cup Juvenile Fillies          2 YO Fillies LA-Bred             Six furlongs

$50,000 Louisiana Cup Filly & Mare Sprint  3 YO & Up F&M, LA-Bred  Six furlongs

$50,000 Louisiana Cup Sprint                        3 YO & Up LA-Bred              Six furlongs

$50,000 Louisiana Cup Turf Classic              3 YO & Up LA-Bred              1 1/16 miles (T)

$50,000 Louisiana Distaff                              3 YO & Up F & M LA-Bred  1 1/16 miles (T)

$60,000 Super Derby Prelude                         3 Y0                                        1 1/16 miles

 

Trainer, Jockey and Owner Standings

As of July 16, Joey Foster remains on top of the trainer standings with 31 wins. Karl Broberg is second with 25 wins.Joe O. Duhon is third with 14 winners and Beverly Burress has saddled 13 winners to round out the top four conditioners.

Carlos Lozada and Joel Dominguez are tied for lead in the jockey standings with 52 wins each since the meet began on May 4. Richard Eramia, who is dividing his time between Louisiana Downs and Lone Star Park, is third with 32 victories and Aubrie Green follows with 26 wins.

End Zone Athletics, Inc. tops the  owner standings with 12 wins. Dream Walkin Farms, Inc. is second with nine wins and four owners, Indian Creek Thoroughbred Farms, LLC. Penny Scarberry. Ronnie Ward and Albert Salmon, Jr., are tied with five victories each.

 

 

Super Tuesday Pick 4 Pays $629 on July 16

A new wager, the Super Tuesday Pick 4, continues to build momentum since making its debut on Tuesday, June 25.  The wager teams two Caesar’s Entertainment racetracks: Harrah’s Louisiana Downs and Indiana Grand Racing and Casino, which both offer Tuesday matinee racing programs. Two races from each property are selected for the Super Tuesday, Pick 4 wager, with an industry-low 15% takeout.

Even with the first race from Indiana Grand taken off the turf. the winning payoff  on Tuesday, July 16 returned $629.85. The wager is garnering attention from horseplayers as last week’s Super Tuesday Pick 4 paid $787.10.

 

Empire of Hope Day Featuring The Rescue Run To Take Place Saturday, July 20

Fans at Harrah’s Louisiana Downs have always enjoyed the Wiener Dog Races. This Saturday, Louisiana Downs will host a special event called The Rescue Run to raise funds for retired racehorse aftercare and local pet charities. The festivities will begin at 11 am when local shelters and pet organizations race their furry friends to the finish line! Food trucks, inflatables, face painting and pet adoption will be available before the live Thoroughbred racing gets underway. For more information, contact cboddie@caesars.com.

 

Super Derby Festival 40 Charity Golf Tournament Set for August 29

The Super Derby Festival 40 will be held on Thursday, August 29, at Northwood Hills Golf Club in Shreveport, Louisiana.

The event will benefit Chaplain Jimmy Sistrunk and The Backside Benevolence Fund, which provides assistance to the Louisiana racing community and backstretch workers. It serves as one of the special events saluting the annual Grade 3, $300,000 Super Derby, the marquee race of the Louisiana Downs Thoroughbred season, which takes place on Saturday, September 7.

Sign in for the event’s Four Person Scramble kicks off at 10:00 a.m. with tee off at 10:30 a.m.  The fee is $80 per person or $320 for a four-person team.  The fee includes green fees, golf cart, lunch, and Super Derby t-shirt/cap.

Attendees can register in person in the Louisiana Downs Racing office, or by mail. Checks should be payable to The Backside Benevolence Fund and mailed to: Jennifer Sokol, Harrah’s Louisiana Downs, 8000 East Texas Street, Bossier City, Louisiana, 71111.

The deadline for registration is August 22. Hole sponsorships for $100, including a sign, are available, but must be purchased by August 16.

For further information, please contact Sokol at (318) 741-2512.

 

Post Times and Stakes Schedule

Live racing will be conducted Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday and Saturday with a 3:15 p.m. (Central) post time through September 25. The 84-day meet features 14 stakes highlighted by two major events, Louisiana Cup Day on Saturday, August 3 and Super Derby Day on Saturday, September 7.

 

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.

 

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FAMILY SUPPORT FUELS THE GROWING STABLE OF TRAINER SCOTT GELNER AT HARRAH’S LOUISIANA DOWNS

Scott Gelner
Scott Gelner. Coady Photography.

Bossier City, LA – Trainer Scott Gelner is a busy man! He is currently running horses at Harrah’s Louisiana Downs and on Saturday, sends Norman Stables, LLC’s Taylor’s Spirit to Churchill Downs to run in the Grade 2, $200,000 Pocahontas. Shaun Bridgmohan will pilot the Kentucky-bred daughter of Algorithms, who is undefeated in three starts for Gelner. She stretched out successfully in the $60,000 Happy Ticket here on September 2 and will have to go an extra sixteenth of a mile Saturday.

“She’s a nice filly and has handled everything well so far,” he said.

Gelner will not make the trip to Kentucky as he and his wife, Felicia, will renew their vows on Saturday.  They look forward to welcoming family members; many of whom could not make it to Louisiana for their wedding a decade ago.

“They couldn’t get here because of the hurricane,” explained Gelner.

He has eight stalls at Churchill Downs; will have 40 at Delta Downs when their fall season begins and 24-30 at Fair Grounds when the New Orleans track opens in November. Plus, Gelner plans to send 12 to Sam Houston Race Park for their 2019 Thoroughbred meet.

“I was at Sam Houston back in 1994 as an assistant to my dad, John Charles Gelner,” he said.

Gelner has a very nice filly named Yes Gorgeous, who was also a stakes winner on Super Derby Day. He owns and trains the 3-year-old filly by Mass Media out of a mare named Isn’t She Gorgeous. He purchased Yes Gorgeous for a mere $1,700 at the Louisiana Mixed Sale.

“I trained her mama for a few races,” said Gelner. “She had a few problems, but overcame them with her big heart. When I saw this filly at the sale, I wasn’t sure what kind of  career she would have.”

But in what has to be one of the most pleasant surprises, Yes Gorgeous has been a treasure for Gelner. Her victory in the $60,000 Elge Rasberry on September 2 was her fourth in 17 starts. She has run second nine times and has already earned $208,455.

“You always dream about a sale purchase fulfilling your expectations,” said Gelner. “This filly is just a blessing from God for me and my family. She has handled everything we have ever asked: turf, dirt, even running against the boys.”

His father, John Charles Gelner, had a productive three-decade career in Texas and Louisiana. Both parents are deceased, and their loss is very difficult for Gelner. When Yes Gorgeous won in the driving rain on Super Derby day, Gelner wept following her victory.

“I really missed both my mom and dad that day,” said Gelner. “I knew they were with me and the rain just felt like their tears of joy.”

Gelner also trains In the Navy, owned by Kendel D. Standlee, who captured his fifth career win on August 4 in the $60,000 Louisiana Turf Cup Classic.

“He’s just a great turf horse,” said Gelner. “I am proud of the fact that he has won on each of the Louisiana turf courses.”

Both In The Navy and Yes Gorgeous will be pointed to Fair Grounds.

Gelner acknowledges the support of his owners, including Robbie and Mark Norman, Kendel Standlee, Red Rose Racing and Ty Smith for A.J. Foyt.

“Owners and good help are important to be successful in racing,” stated Gelner.

Gelner is currently the eighth-leading trainer at Harrah’s Louisiana Downs. Purses were increased by $2,000 a race, effective September 8 through the end of the meet, and Gelner expressed his appreciation.

“It’s a big help,” he stated. “Louisiana Downs has stepped up to help the horsemen. We appreciate their efforts, for sure.”

The growth of Gelner’s stable this year has been significant and 2018 is on track to be the most fruitful since he branched out on his own in 2006.

Born in Cameron, Texas, Gelner and his wife, Felicia reside in Lafayette, Louisiana with their three children.

He pauses to reflect on this year and how he will manage his growing operation.

“Quite honestly, I trust in God,” he said. “He has always guided me in the right direction. Faith in God and the love of my family is what keeps me on track.”

 

 Trainer, Jockey and Owner Standings

As of September 10, Karl Broberg tops the trainer standings with 23 wins. Last year’s leading trainer, Joey Foster is on a roll with 21 winners. Al Stall, Jr. follows with 20 victories and  Jorge Lara has saddled 17 winners this meet.

Emanuel Nieves tops the rider standings with 67 wins, but last year’s leading jockey Gerardo Mora has been steadily making his way up the ladder and is now in second place with 64 victories.

Joel Dominguez is third with 61 trips to the winner’s circle and Hector Del-Cid and Richard Eramia have each won 38 races.

Dream Walkin Farms, Inc. and End Zone Athletics, Inc. are tied for leading owner honors with 13 wins. Patti Turner is next with 12 victories and Beverly Burress and Indian Creek Thoroughbred Farms, LLC follow with eight wins each.

 

Diego Saenz Approaching his 2,000th Career Win

Jockey Diego Saenz is just 11 wins away from his 2,000th career victory. The 39-year-old rider won four of the seven features on the Super Derby card. He piloted Limation for owner Michael Langford in the Grade 3, $300,000 Super Derby, which was the first graded stakes of his career.

Saenz is named on six horses this week. Once the Harrah’s Louisiana Downs meet wraps, he will head to Delta Downs when their meet opens October 17. He has won four leading rider titles at the Vinton, Louisiana racetrack.

 

Wednesday and Saturday Race Day Promotions

Louisiana Downs offers value for racing fans each Wednesday with Dollar Day. They will be able to enjoy $1 hot dogs, $1 beer at the Paddock as well as $1 programs. Saturday’s weekly promotion is the Family Four Pack featuring four hot dogs, four sodas, a program, and a box seat for four at the affordable price of just $16.

 

The Total Rewards program is free for horseplayers. With the swipe of their card each Saturday, members will receive valuable incentives.  These include:

  • Play $250 or more to receive a 5X multiplier
  • Play $1,000 or more to receive a 7X multiplier
  • Play $5,000 or more to receive a 10X multiplier

Participant’s multiplier cannot exceed a total balance of more than one hundred thousand (100,000) Reward Credits during one promotional day after the multiplier is applied.

 

 

Post Times and Stakes Schedule

Live racing will be conducted Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday and Saturday with a 3:15 p.m.(Central) post time through September 26.

 

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.

 

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