Traditionally, the Louisiana Thoroughbred Breeders Association holds a drawing for two scholarships worth $1,000 each during Louisiana Legends Night at Evangeline Downs. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we will not be holding the scholarship drawing during the races, this Saturday, July 4, 2020.
The LTBA is committed to investing in the future of our state and is working on developing a safe solution to still be able to offer these scholarship opportunities. In recent years, the LTBA has held scholarship drawings during the Louisiana bred stakes day at each of the four racetracks in the state: Louisiana Premier Night at Delta Downs, Louisiana Legends Night at Evangeline Downs, Louisiana Cup Day at Louisiana Downs and Louisiana Champions Day at Fair Grounds.
Please watch for an announcement on when and where the LTBA will offer the next scholarship drawing. In addition to our website Louisianabred.com look for updates on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
SIX $60,000 STAKES FOR LOUISIANA-BREDS HIGHLIGHT THE 10-RACE PROGRAM
OPELOUSAS, LA – Evangeline Downs is hosting its annual celebration of the Louisiana-bred Thoroughbred this Saturday night with six $60,000 stakes races making up Louisiana Legends Night. It promises to be an exciting evening of racing and a delicious night of dining as several local-area food trucks will be on hand to provide the crowd with a variety of menu options.
The first stakes race of the night will be the $60,000 Cheval for 3-year-olds at one mile. The field of six is led by the 8-5 morning-line favorite, Relentless Dancer. The colt has won just one stakes race in his brief career, the $100,000 Louisiana Legacy at Delta Downs, but he also finished fourth in the Grade 3 Holy Bull Stakes at Gulfstream Park behind Grade 1 Belmont Stakes winner, Tiz The Law. Additionally, he ran fifth in the Unbridled Stakes at Gulfstream behind the Belmont runner-up, Dr. Post. Gerard Melancon will have the ride on Relentless Dancer for trainer Mike Maker.
The $60,000 Turf Distaff at one mile for fillies and mares 3-years-old and up will feature a field of five with Net A Bear installed as the 8-5 morning-line choice. The Allen Landry trainee scored a win in the $60,000 Red Camelia Stakes at Fair Grounds in her last start on March 14. Tim Thornton will ride on Saturday. Is Too is the 9-5 second choice and she was the runner-up in that Red Camelia Stakes. She also was the runner-up in the 2019 Turf Distaff at Evangeline Downs before scoring a win in the $50,000 Opelousas Stakes on July 12 last year over the main track. Diego Saenz will ride Is Too for trainer Edward Johnston.
The most competitive stakes race on the program could be the $60,000 Mademoiselle at 5-1/2 furlongs for fillies and mares 3-years-old and up. A field of 10 will go to the post with Our Lost Love as a lukewarm 3-1 morning-line favorite. She has won two stakes races in her last three performances, the $100,000-added Louisiana Futurity at Fair Grounds on December 29 and the $76,300 Take Charge Brandi at Delta Downs on February 28. Carlos Lozada will be in the saddle on Saturday night for trainer Joey Foster.
The $60,000 Turf at one mile on the turf for 3-year-olds and up features a very strong top pair of favorites with Shang at 5-2 and Mageez at 7-2 on the morning-line. Shang is a Steve Asmussen-trained colt that won the 2019 Cheval as a 3-year-old at Evangeline Downs. He has won just one of five races since that victory, but also has been the runner-up in the $250,000 Iowa Derby at Prairie Meadows and the $60,000 Dixie Poker Ace Stakes at Fair Grounds. Mageez is the defending champion in the Louisiana Legends Turf and has won twice more since that victory, including last time out in an Allowance/Optional Claiming race at Evangeline Downs on June 10.
The story of the $60,000 Sprint is the attempt at a three-peat in the race for the 5-2 morning-line favorite, Monte Man. The 7-year-old gelding drew the rail in a field of nine for the 5-1/2 furlongs race for 3-year-olds and up. Gerard Melancon will be in the saddle for trainer Ron Faucheux on Saturday night, as he has been for the two preceding Sprint wins for Monte Man. Monte Man has already won two of four starts in 2020, including the $75,000 Costa Rising Stakes at Fair Grounds on March 21.
The $60,000 Soiree for 3-year-old fillies at one mile features a field of eight headlined by the 8-5 morning-line favorite, Vacherie Girl. She has won three of five lifetime starts, including two stakes at Fair Grounds, the $100,000 Lassie on Louisiana Champions Day on December 14 and the $75,000 Crescent City Oaks on March 21. Joel Dominguez will be in the saddle for trainer Steve Asmussen on Saturday night.
Evangeline Downs will also be presenting exciting food options on Louisiana Legends Night with three food trucks available in the patio area near the saddling paddock. Fans can get sno-cones from Kona Ice, barbecue food from Ohh Taste and See and Cajun delicacies from Cest Bon Manger. Tamales Cinco de Mayo will also be serving authentic Mexican cuisine from the patio counter and Mojo’s Sports Bar will be open on Saturday night, where fans can not only order drinks, but also place wagers and watch the races. Fans must be 21 or older to enter Mojo’s, but families are welcome to attend the races and enjoy the other dining options offered on Saturday night at Evangeline Downs.
Post time on Saturday night will be 5:50 pm Central Time. All fans entering the building at Evangeline Downs will be required to have temperature checks and the racetrack is encouraging patrons to practice correct social distancing measures while they are visiting Evangeline Downs.
For more information on racing at Evangeline Downs, visit the track’s website at www.evdracing.com. Evangeline Downs’ Twitter handle is @EVDRacing and the racetrack is also accessible on Facebook at www.facebook.com/EvangelineDownsRacing.
About Evangeline Downs
Evangeline Downs Racetrack Casino & Hotel is owned by Boyd Gaming Corporation, a leading diversified owner and operator of 29 gaming entertainment properties located in Nevada, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Ohio and Pennsylvania. Boyd Gaming press releases are available at www.prnewswire.com. Additional news and information can be found at www.boydgaming.com, or www.evangelinedowns.com.
LEXINGTON, Ky. (June 29, 2020) –- Due to changes in racetrack schedules and auction sales dates as a result of COVID-19 restrictions, the Breeders’ Cup announced today that it is extending the discount deadline for horses of racing age to Saturday, Aug. 15.
All horses must be Breeders’ Cup-nominated in order to compete in the Breeders’ Cup World Championships, which is scheduled to be held at Keeneland Race Couse Lexington, Ky., Nov. 6-7.
The original horses of racing age nomination discount deadline was July 15.
“Although most Breeders’ Cup nominated horses join the program as weanlings, there are a few each year that didn’t get the Breeders’ Cup advantage as a foal,” said Dora Delgado, Breeders’ Cup Executive Vice President and Chief Racing Officer. “We created the horses of racing age nomination program to make sure all runners have a chance to compete in our racing programs including the Breeders’ Cup World Championships. Now that racing has resumed in most locations, we believe our one-month extension will allow horsemen to better evaluate their racing stock and nominate to the Breeders’ Cup program, providing eligibility for their entire racing career.”
The nomination discounts are as follows:
• 2-year-olds by a nominated Breeders’ Cup stallion can join the program for US$12,000. This one-time nomination fee makes the racehorse Breeders’ Cup-eligible for its entire racing career.
• Runners which are 3-year-olds and older that were foaled in the Northern Hemisphere and sired by a nominated stallion will receive a 50% discount off normal racehorse nomination fees. Three-year-olds and older which were born in the Southern Hemisphere can be nominated for 25% of their regular nomination fee.
• All nominated racehorses are eligible for the Breeders’ Cup World Championships, which will have purses and awards totaling more than $35 million this year, and for any other Breeders’ Cup racing program for their entire racing careers.
Following the Aug. 15 deadline, the price for all non-nominated runners reverts back to the standard racehorse nomination fee of US$100,000 or more until Oct. 26, when all runners must be pre-entered for the Breeders’ Cup World Championships races.
Owners may nominate their horses of racing age online at https://members.breederscup.com/Nomination/RacehorseNominationTerms1 or by calling the Breeders’ Cup Racing department at 859-514-9422.
Owners of horses of racing age by non-nominated stallions also can take advantage of discounted prices before Aug. 15. Two-year-olds by non-nominated stallions can join the program for US$18,000; Northern Hemisphere 3-year-olds and older for US$100,000 and Southern Hemisphere 3-year-olds and older for US$50,000.
Below is the complete list of nomination prices and deadlines:
Horses of Racing Age sired by Nominated Stallion and Nominated before Aug. 15.
• Two-Year-Olds: $12,000 (US)
• Three-Year-Olds & Up (Northern Hemisphere-bred): $50,000 (US)
• Three-Year-Olds & Up (Southern Hemisphere-bred): $25,000 (US)
Horses of Racing Age sired by Nominated Stallion and Nominated after Aug. 15.
• Two-Year-Olds: $100,000 (US)
• Three-Year-Olds & Up (Northern Hemisphere-bred): $100,000 (US)
• Three-Year-Olds & Up (Southern Hemisphere-bred): $100,000 (US)
Sired by NON-Nominated Stallion and Nominated before Aug. 15.
• Two-Year-Olds: $18,000 (US)
• Three-Year-Olds & Up (Northern Hemisphere-bred): $100,000 (US)
• Three-Year-Olds & Up (Southern Hemisphere-bred): $50,000 (US)
Sired by NON-Nominated Stallion and Nominated after Aug. 15.
• Two-Year-Olds: $200,000 (US)
• Three-Year-Olds & Up (Northern Hemisphere-bred): $200,000 (US)
• Three-Year-Olds & Up (Southern Hemisphere-bred): $200,000 (US)
About Breeders’ Cup
The Breeders’ Cup administers the Breeders’ Cup World Championships, Thoroughbred horse racing’s year-end Championships, as well as the Breeders’ Cup Challenge qualifying series, which provides automatic starting positions into the Championships races. The Breeders’ Cup is also a founding member of the Thoroughbred Safety Coalition, an organization composed of industry leaders committed to advancing safety measures in Thoroughbred racing and improving the well-being of equine and human athletes.
The 2020 Breeders’ Cup World Championships, consisting of 14 Championship races, is scheduled to be held on November 6-7 at Keeneland Race Course in Lexington, Kentucky and features a total of $35 million in purses and awards. The event will be televised live by the NBC Sports Group. Breeders’ Cup press releases appear on the Breeders’ Cup website www.breederscup.com. You can also follow the Breeders’ Cup on social media platforms Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.
Bossier City, LA – When the 2020 Thoroughbred racing season got underway on June 6 at Harrah’s Louisiana Downs, there were several new horsemen stabled at the Shreveport racetrack. The most successful of the group has been trainer Shane Wilson.
It is the first time in eight years that the Haughton, Louisiana native has shifted his base to Shreveport. There was no hesitation when he was asked about returning for the meet.
“We were all in limbo several months ago,” said Wilson describing the impact of COVID-19 on the resumption of racing in Louisiana. “However (Director of Racing) David Heitzmann was the first to step up with a plan. We knew the early May date was not possible, but David set June 6 as the opening date at Louisiana Downs and quickly got the condition book posted.”
From that point, Wilson set his training schedule and “was ready to roll”.
In addition to the support from Heitzmann and his racing office staff, Wilson gives high marks to track superintendent, Billy McKeever, who oversees both the dirt oval and the Franks Turf Course.
“The main track is amazing,” said Wilson. “We arrived with some sore horses and they are now sound. Billy does an outstanding job.”
So far, it has worked out well for Wilson and his main owner, Wayne T. Davis. They are in second-place in the trainer and owner standings, trailing Karl Broberg and End Zone Athletics, Inc.
Wilson, 49, worked summers at Harrah’s Louisiana Downs, starting when he was 15. He mucked stalls and hot walked for trainer Jack Van Berg. His brief foray to college did not last as he realized that he wanted to pursue a career in racing. He served as assistant to Sam David for seven years before going out on his own in 1998.
His top horse is the multiple-stakes winning Mocito Rojo a 6-year-old son of Mutadda. Wilson claimed the Kentucky-bred for owner Wayne T. Davis for $10,000 in a December 2016 maiden race at Delta Downs. The six-time stakes winner has amassed a record of 17 wins from 30 starts and earnings of $818,063. In 2019, Mocito Rojo won the Steve Sexton Mile Stakes (G3) at Lone Star Park and the Lukas Classic Stakes (G3) at Churchill Downs. He returned to the Grand Prairie, Texas racetrack on Sunday, June 28, finishing fifth in the $75,000 Lone Star Mile.
“He never likes dirt in his face and came back covered by a half of an inch of sand,” said Wilson. “It would have been nice to win as it was my owner’s 91st birthday, but the horse cooled out fine and we made it back to Louisiana Downs late Sunday night.”
Davis, who resides in Plain Dealing, Louisiana, a small town in Bossier Parrish, is appreciative of the care Wilson gives each of his horses. His winners this meet at Harrah’s Louisiana Downs include Green Monster; Cap Roc Miner, Artic Peace, Lucky Dare and most recently, a five-length score by Luvmewhenimgone.
Another key member of the Wilson team is veteran jockey Filimon Rodriguez, who is a full-time employee. The 53-year-old has ridden on the Texas and Louisiana circuits for three decades. He gallops the 30 head of Wilson’s stabled at Louisiana Downs and rides the majority of the Wilson trainees in Shreveport.
Aside from his racing ties, Wilson has another notable connection to Harrah’s Louisiana Downs. He met his wife, Becky, the daughter of horseman Jim O’Brien, here. The couple has two sons. Peyton is 19 years-old and his brother, Connor, 16, have both been helping their dad this summer.
“It’s a tough business,” stated Wilson. “You have to make some very difficult decisions. I started the same time as some very successful horsemen, including good friend, Bret Calhoun. To reach a really high level, you have to travel, and I chose to stay in Louisiana to be closer to my family.”
He will ship select horses to Evangeline Downs this summer but is more than content to be stabled at Harrah’s Louisiana Downs.
“They showed their commitment to the horsemen,” he said. “So, I am happy to run here and support their meet.”
Charity Golf Tournament Set for Thursday, August 20
Harrah’s Louisiana Downs will host a Charity Golf Tournament at Northwood Hills Golf Club in Shreveport, Louisiana on Thursday, August 20.
The event will benefit Chaplain Jimmy Sistrunk and The Backside Benevolence Fund, which provides valuable assistance to the Louisiana racing community and backstretch workers.
The 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 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 take care of each other and this fundraising event is a great deal of fun for everyone!”
It is also an event that brings a lot of joy to the Harrah’s Louisiana Downs employees, including Jennifer Sokol, racing operations manager.
“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 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 13. For further information, please contact Jennifer Sokol at (318) 741-2512.
Louisiana Downs Trainer, Jockey and Owner Standings
Through June 29, Karl Broberg tops the trainer standings with 14 wins since the meet began on June 6. Shane Wilson has saddled eight winners to move into second-place with Steve Asmussenthird with seven victories. Patti Turner and Joe O. Duhon are tied for fourth-place with five winners each.
Jack Gilligan, who rides first-call for Broberg, has taken the lead over his fellow riders with 15 trips to the winner’s circle. Joel Dominguez is also off to a solid start and follows closely with 14 wins. Jose Guerrero is third with 11 winners and last year’s leading jockey Carlos Lozada has ridden eight winners to date.
End Zone Athletics Inc. has moved into the lead in the owner standings with seven wins from 18 starts. Wayne T. Davis is tied for second with Asmussen. Both have won five races this season.
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.
Placed just once in his three starts so far this year, juvenile champion Storm the Court will try to get his season back on track in this Saturday’s Grade 3 $500,000 Ohio Derby. The 3-year-old son of Court Vision was made the 3-1 morning line favorite in the 14-horse field, set to go nine furlongs over the main track at Thistledown in North Randall, Ohio.
The race offers the winner 20 points on the Road to the Kentucky Derby, rescheduled for Sept. 5 at Churchill Downs.
Trained by Peter Eurton, Storm the Court won last fall’s Breeders’ Cup Juvenile at Santa Anita. This year, the colt finished fourth in the G2 San Vicente in his sophomore debut, then third in the G2 San Felipe in March. Most recently, he finished sixth in the G1 Arkansas Derby. This Saturday, Storm the Court will be partnered by regular rider Flavien Prat and break from post 13.
By Joe Bianca
With a newly-minted Grade I winner in his barn and another set to hit the track this weekend, trainer Tom Amoss joined the TDN Writers’ Room podcast presented by Keeneland Wednesday morning for an illuminating discussion that covered a wide variety of topics, big and small. Calling in via Zoom as the Green Group Guest of the Week, Amoss explained the success of barn stars No Parole (Violence) and Serengeti Empress (Alternation), talked about what he’s learned from branching out into broadcasting and offered his take on why racing has a difficult time catching cheating trainers.
“When No Parole was first making his debut against state-bred company at the Fair Grounds, I recall vividly calling [owner] Maggi Moss and telling her, ‘Hey, this isn’t just a good Louisiana-bred sprinter, this is a very good racehorse,’” Amoss said. “He’s now a Grade I winner, he’s undefeated going one turn in four starts. In the back of our minds, if the horse stays healthy and does good, when he gets to the end of his 3-year-old year, where his maturity level will catch up to the older horses, the Breeders’ Cup Sprint is a possibility. And of course, we think he’d make a heck of a stallion. He’s gorgeous, good looking. He just won an important stallion race [Saturday’s GI Woody Stephens S.]. So we’ve got that on our mind as well.”
Strict guidelines to be enforced; number of fans yet to be announced.
Churchill Downs Racetrack announced June 25 that after consultation with Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear and state public health officials, the 146th running of the Kentucky Derby Presented by Woodford Reserve (G1) and Longines Kentucky Oaks (G1) will occur with spectators under strict guidelines.
Kentucky Derby Week will be held Sept. 1-5 with the Oaks set for Sept. 4 and the Derby Sept. 5.
The number of fans is yet to be announced.
“We truly appreciate the leadership of the governor of Kentucky, Andy Beshear, and all of the hard work, collaboration and guidance that state and local officials and public health experts have provided us to safely and responsibly host Kentucky Derby week in September with spectators,” said Churchill Downs’ president Kevin Flanery. “Our team is deeply committed to holding the best Kentucky Derby ever, and we will take all necessary steps to protect the health and safety of all who attend and participate in the Derby.
“In response to the COVID-19 pandemic we have established a comprehensive set of operating procedures, which include a multitude of precautionary measures to be followed while fans are in attendance at our facility. We are determined to keep our customers, employees and communities as safe as we responsibly can.”
Churchill Downs’ plan was developed in conjunction with advice and counsel set forth by the Louisville Metro Health Department and Kentucky’s Healthy at Work guidance. Some of the steps that will be taken to ensure guest and employee safety include:
• Venue capacity reductions to limit overall crowd density, including general admission, outdoor reserved seating, premium dining, and suites. More information on ticketing and seating areas will be released in the coming days and also will be sent directly to ticket holders.
• General admission tickets will be limited to a specified number and only grant access to the infield. No general admission will be allowed in the “front side” or paddock areas of the facility.
• Access throughout the facility will be limited.
• Credentials for employees, media, and guests will be reduced.
• Barn area access will be restricted to essential personnel. Guests and parties in the barn area for morning workouts and during race days will be eliminated.
• Changes in venue operations to limit person-to-person touch points.
• Team member protocols established to protect employees and guests.
• A revised Fan Code of Conduct that establishes expectations for guests coming to the Derby.
• Guests will be consistently and frequently encouraged to wear a mask at all times unless seated in their reserved seat or venue. This includes when:
Riding on a shuttle
Traveling through the venue
Going to the restroom
Placing an in-person wager
Purchasing food or beverages from a concession stand
Guests will be asked to wash their hands for 20 seconds or sanitize them frequently.
Guests will be encouraged to socially distance themselves from others when possible.
More detailed and additional information will be provided in the coming days online at http://www.KentuckyDerby.com/Updates.
“The impact of the Kentucky Derby extends well beyond the Twin Spires of Churchill Downs,” Flanery said. “It is an incredibly important time for the City of Louisville and the Commonwealth of Kentucky both culturally, economically and with respect to our time-honored traditions. Both employees and guests are asked to take an active role in following all guidelines. We must all do our part to ensure everyone has a safe and enjoyable experience.”
Tickets purchased for the originally scheduled Kentucky Derby Week dates are automatically valid for the new race dates. Guests may arrive on the new dates in September with their printed ticket or mobile ticket to be scanned for entry at the gates. Guests that have purchased a ticket and are not able to attend the newly scheduled race dates, can visit www.KentuckyDerby.com/TicketStatus for more information. Guests who purchased tickets from a vendor or secondary market website other than Churchill Downs, Ticketmaster.com or Derby Experiences must contact those sites directly. Churchill Downs is unable to process refunds for those tickets.