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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.