HARRAH’S LOUISIANA DOWNS TO HOST RACING HALL OF FAME INDUCTION CEREMONY ON SATURDAY, JULY 13, 2019

Super Derby Festival 40 Charity Golf Tournament Set for Thursday, August 29

 

Bossier City, LA – Harrah’s Louisiana Downs will honor the first class of its Racing Hall of Fame on Saturday, July 13. It will serve as an opportunity to honor the achievements of horse owners, trainers, jockeys, horses and property contributors who have played pivotal roles in the rich history of Harrah’s Louisiana Downs.

 

The Harrah’s Louisiana Downs Racing Hall of Fame Committee selected the following recipients for the inaugural class. In addition, fan voting was offered and the public contributed to honor one additional inductee in the category of trainer, jockey, racing contributor and horse.  Those results will be announced in Saturday’s induction ceremony, which will take place in the lobby of Harrah’s Louisiana Downs following the races.  The festivities are open to the public.

 

These are the inductees into the 2019 Harrah’s Louisiana Downs Racing Hall of Fame.

 

LAD Racing Hall of Fame Owner

  • John Franks – John Franks was the leading owner at Louisiana Downs for 18 years and much of the track’s success can be attributed to him.  Franks was an Eclipse Award winning owner and his homebred Answer Lively was honored as 1998 Two-Year Colt of the Year.

 

LAD Racing Hall of Fame Trainer

  • Frank L. Brothers Winner of nearly 800 races at Louisiana Downs and nine consecutive training titles from 1980 – 1988.  Brothers is the all-time  leader in Stakes victories with 127.  Louisiana Downs named a stakes race in his honor in 2019.
  • C.W. Walker – The track’s second all-time leading trainer with 820 wins.  A mainstay at Louisiana Downs he was best known for his prowess with claiming horses but also had 16 stakes winners. He was the leading trainer in 1977.

 

 

LAD Racing Hall of Fame Contributor

  • Edward J. DeBartolo, Sr. – Instrumental in the early development of Louisiana Downs as one of the first owners. The track was a success from the start, setting numerous national records for handle and attendance throughout the 1970’s and ’80’s under his oversight.

 

 

 

LAD Racing Hall of Fame Jockey

  • Ronald Ardoin – A resident of Haughton, Louisiana, Ardoin is the all-time winningest jockey at Louisiana Downs. He made history as the 16th jockey nationally to have 5,000 wins when he rode Heart of an Angel to victory at Louisiana Downs.
  • Larry Snyder – Legendary Jockey with a 35-year riding career. Loved by fans at Louisiana Downs and Oaklawn Park, Larry worked as a steward at the track after retiring from the saddle in 1994.

 

LAD Racing Hall of Fame Horses

  • Sunday Silence – The Super Derby Winner in 1989 in the same year that he was named Horse of the Year and Champion 3-Year-Old Male. He was winner of The Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes and Breeder’s Cup Classic.  Sunday Silence was inducted into the National Museum of Racing Hall of Fame in 1996.
  • Free Spirits Joy – Louisiana-bred winner of the Super Derby in 1991. He made 29 Louisiana starts and 3 at Remington Park. He died at the age at 27 in 2015.

 

 

Super Tuesday Pick 4 Pays $797 on July 9

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.

 

With just two favorites winning in the Tuesday, July 9 sequence, a record $787.10, for the $.50 wager, was returned to savvy horseplayers.

 

“We are very pleased that horseplayers are catching on to this wager,” said Eric Halstrom, Harrah’s Louisiana Downs Vice President of Operations “Offering the 15% takeout was very important to us. Had we run it with the standard takeout of 25%, the winning ticket would have paid $694.50. We want the best for our horseplayers and look forward to offering the Super Tuesday Pick 4 through September 24.”

 

 

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 Clubin 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.

“I am always so humbled to see all the support that the Golf Tournament brings to our ministry,” said Sistrunk. “The people in our industry are some of the most caring and supportive people that I know.   And plus, it is a great time that we can get away from the everyday duties of the racetrack.  I am truly a blessed person and Chaplain to get to work with such a great group of people!!!

 

It’s also an event that brings a lot of joy to the Harrah’s Louisiana Downs employees, including Jennifer Sokol, who serves as racing office coordinator.

 

“We had an amazing turnout last year,” said Sokol. “Chaplain Jimmy does so much for our racing community and our annual charity golf tournament is such an enjoyable way to raise valuable funds. We thank our horsemen and local businesses for their support and look forward to another successful event this year!”

 

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 9. Hole sponsorships for $100, including a sign, are available, but must be purchased by August 1.

 

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

 

 

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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JOCKEY EMANUEL NIEVES SOARING TO NEW HEIGHTS AT HARRAH’S LOUISIANA DOWNS

Native of Puerto Rico in Pursuit of His First Leading Rider Title

 

Bossier City, LA – Emanuel Nieves is a young rider with a tremendous work ethic coupled with plenty of skill in the saddle. He is 25-years-old, but many people mistake him for a teenager. However, he is quietly earning the respect of many horsemen and horseplayers in Louisiana with his versatile riding style and well-timed finishes.

 

Born in Caguas, Puerto Rico, a municipality south of San Juan, Nieves had an opportunity to attend Puerto Rico’s Escuela Vocational Hipica, the famed jockey school with a noted list of graduates that have reached the top ranks in North America.

 

“It is a two-year program and I was there at the same time as Jose Ortiz,” said Nieves. “His brother Irad was there the year before and I got to know them both. They are really good people.”

 

In 2012, Nieves made his United States debut at Finger Lakes in New York. He rode his first winner on December 5, guiding Wachiwi to victory in a $9,000 claiming race. Louisiana-based agent Angel Cordero called him and offered to take his book at Delta Downs, so he headed south and has ridden at each of the four Louisiana racetracks in the past six years.

 

Last year, Nieves got the call from respected former rider and jockey agent Ronald Ardoin encouraging him to come to Louisiana Downs.

 

“I was doing well at Evangeline Downs, and still ride there on my days off,” said Nieves. “Ronald has such good relationships with horsemen, I felt it would be a good move.”

 

Last year, Nieves won 47 races, finishing sixth in the standings. He is the current leading jockey with 56 wins, seven more than last year’s top rider, Gerardo Mora.

 

Nieves has not had a slew of stakes wins at Louisiana Downs, but scored with Sunny Oak last year in the $50,000 Louisiana Cup Filly and Mare Sprint.

 

Two weeks ago, he guided Cabo’s Rumor owned by Northpointe Thoroughbreds to victory in the $60,000 Louisiana Cup Juvenilefor Louisiana-bred 2-year-old colts and geldings.   The son of Amanecer de Oro ran fourth to the highly regarded Pickett in the D S Shine Futurity last month at Evangeline Downs and Nieves felt he and his mount learned from that stakes foray.

 

“He’s a pretty nice baby,” stated Nieves. “He didn’t like the dirt hitting him at Evangeline, so in the Louisiana Downs stakes, I tried to keep him clear of the field. At the 3/8th pole, I asked him and he responded perfectly.”

 

Nieves appreciates the hard work of his agent in getting him an abundance of quality mounts. He rides for a multitude of trainers including Joey Foster, Al Stall, Jr., Karl Broberg, H. B. Johnson, Joe Duhon, Beverly Burress, Jose Camejo, Sarah Delany, Tommy Ives and Michael McEachern.

 

On Monday’s card, Nieves rode three winners for three different barns, including a game victory in the fourth aboard Pickett’s Deelite ($17.60) for trainer Joey Foster.

 

Foster knows Nieves well and is a prominent supporter of the young rider.

 

“Every day he shows up at the barn, even on his days off.” explained Foster. “He has an excellent work ethic; he’s polite and very professional.”

 

This would be the first leading rider title for Nieves, and Foster is optimistic that it will come to fruition.

 

“He deserves it,” said Foster. “Emanuel might look like a kid, but sure doesn’t act like one. This is what he loves to do; we would all be happy to see him become the leading rider.”

 

With the Louisiana Downs meet continuing through September 27, Nieves is not over confident, but hopeful that he will win the first title of his career.

 

“It would be amazing and mean a lot,” said Nieves. “I could not have gotten this far without the support of a great team behind me. I work hard every day and am very thankful the opportunity to ride so many good horses.”

 

Nieves remains close to both Ortiz brothers and cites John Velazquez as another jockey he respects. Jose Ortiz, currently the #1 ranked rider in earnings, according to Equibase statistics, took time from his base in Saratoga to compliment Nieves.

 

“Emanuel is a great person and after two years at the Jockey School, he is like a brother to me,” said Ortiz. “He always wanted to help others and I am very proud of him!”

 

Noon Post Time Set for Super Derby Day

The Louisiana Downs racing office is preparing for their next big stakes day on Sunday, September 2. An early post time of 12:00 pm(Central) is planned for the Super Derby card. Nominations close on August 18 for the seven stakes, which include:

 

$60,000 Unbridled                                          3 YO & Up                             1 1/16 miles (T)

$60,000 River Cities                                       3 YO & Up F&M                    1 1/16 miles (T)

$60,000 Happy Ticket                                    2 YO Fillies                             One Mile (T)

$60,000 Sunday Silence                                 2 YO                                       One Mile (T)

$300,000 SUPER DERBY (G3)

 

3 YO                                       1 1/16 miles

$60,000 A. L. (Red) Erwin                             3 YO LA-Bred                        One Mile (T)

$60,000 Elge Rasberry                                   3 YO Fillies, LA-Bred            One Mile (T)

 

 

Super Derby Charity Golf Tournament Set for August 23

The Super Derby Charity Golf Tournament will be held on Thursday, August 23, at Querbes Golf Course in Shreveport, Louisiana.

 

The event will benefit Chaplain Jimmy Sistrunk & The Winner’s Circle Church, 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, set for Sunday, September 2.

 

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 16. Hole sponsorships for $100, including a sign, are available, but must be purchased by August 1.

 

For further information, please contact Jennifer Sokol, Louisiana Downs Racing Office Manager at (318) 741-2512.

 

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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