Seven Stakes Races Will be Contested on the Super Derby Program Sunday, September 2 at a Special Post Time of 12:00 pm
Bossier City, LA – A quality field of 3-year-olds will run in Super Derby 39 at Harrah’s Louisiana Downs, on Sunday, September 2. The marquee day of the 2018 Louisiana Downs Thoroughbred meet will get underway at a special post time of 12:00 pm (Central).
Leading the field is Lone Sailor who finished eighth in this year’s Run for the Roses for owner Gayle Benson’s GMB Racing. The New Orleans-based group purchased the colt by Majestic Warrior out of the Mt. Greeley mare Ambitious as a yearling for $120,000. He broke his maiden at Saratoga on September 3, 2017 and advanced directly into stakes company. Trained by Tom Amoss, the bay colt has faced the nation’s top three-year-olds, including Triple Crown winner Justify in both the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes. Lone Sailor ran second by a nose in the Grade 3, Ohio Derby and most recently finished a respectable third in the Grade 1, Haskell Invitational at Monmouth Park. Lone Sailor has competed in eight graded stakes to date and is the high earner in the Super Derby field with $579,237 banked in twelve starts. Jockey James Graham has the mount and will break from post position three.
“We feel that this is a real opportunity for Lone Sailor to take a step forward,” said Amoss in a telephone interview today. “He’s been working well in the mornings and the Super Derby is a very important race. Once we began considering sending him to Louisiana Downs, it was an easy sell.”
This would be the first Super Derby win for Amoss, who ran Mo Tom in the 2016 edition of the race.
“I want to catch up with Al (Stall), the “Cajun Bob Baffert,” quipped Amoss. “But, seriously, running in this race is very important to me and my wife. Both our children were born in Shreveport, and we are looking forward to being there on Sunday.”
Trainer Al Stall Jr has a very talented 3-year-old in Autumn Warrior, who earned his berth into the Super Derby as the winner of the $60,000 Super Derby Prelude here on August 4. Bred and owned by Robert Guidry’s Autumn Hill Farms Racing Stable Inc., the son of Orb, is undefeated in three starts, including his first route race for Stall. Overcoming a troubled trip in the Prelude, he advanced from seventh to win in a thrilling photo finish under rider Colby Hernandez. The dark bay colt will break from the rail under Hernandez.
Stall has a longtime association with Guidry, who gave him his first horse in 1991, a filly by Mt. Livermore named Lady Cacharel.
One of the most successful Louisiana conditioners, Stall will be seeking his fourth victory in the Super Derby. He won the prestigious race in 2008 with My Pal Charlie and again two years later with Apart. Departing was the third winner for the New Orleans native in 2013.
Trainer Brad Cox, who won the 2017 Super Derby, which was contested on the Franks Turf Course, with Flurry Racing Stable’s Mr. Misunderstood, has nominated High North, for owners Shortleaf Stables, Inc. Bred in Kentucky, the colt by Midnight Lute won the $250,000 Iowa Derby on July 5, and was third in the Grade 3, $500,000 West Virginia Derby on August 4. Jockey Florent Geroux, who rode High North to victory at Prairie Meadows, will make the trip to Bossier City on Sunday.
Winchell Thoroughbreds LLC and Willis Horton Racing LLC’s Lionite will make the trip to Louisiana Downs for Hall of Fame conditioner Steve Asmussen. This will be the tenth career start for the son of Quality Road, who broke his maiden in April at Oaklawn Park and won his first stakes on June 8 at Prairie Meadows. He finished third in the Iowa Derby and made his most recent start in the Grade 3,West Virginia Derby, where he ran fourth. Asmussen has given the mount to David Cabera, who won his 800th career race Saturday night at Remington Park. Asmussen is also sending in Limation, for owner Michael Langford. Sired by Alternation, he has won two of his seven career starts and exits a start in the Ellis Park Derby on August 12. Diego Saenz will ride for Asmussen.
Other Prelude entrants, G’s Turn owned by Tom Galvin of Dallas, Texas will run for trainer Patricia West as well as Oakwood Stable Inc’s McFeely. The colt by Scat Daddy ran fourth in the Prelude for conditioner John Ney. Owner Danny Keene hopes for a better trip for his colt, Bode’s Maker, the fifth-place runner in the Prelude. The Kentucky-bred son of Bodemeister is trained by Allen Milligan and Louisiana Downs-based rider Joel Dominguez retains the mount.
“If he would have a had a clean trip, the outcome would have been different,” said Keene. “He was boxed in and when he finally got clear, it was too late. He’s a good colt and a strong closer.”
Keene won the 2016 Super Derby with Texas Chrome and has fond memories of the victory.
“Winning the Super Derby meant a great deal,” acknowledged Keene. “He was third in the wagering that day and stepped up big time. There are some good horses in this year’s field, but in racing, you never know!”
The field also includes Charlie’s Schiller, a son of Artie Schiller who will make his stakes debut for owners Daren Ives and James Adametz. He is trained by Tommy Ives who will give a leg up to Aubrie Green.
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.
“The Super Derby will always be the most significant race run at Louisiana Downs,” said David Heitzmann, Louisiana Downs Director of Racing. “Its return to the main track and Grade 3 status attracted an impressive field for Super Derby 39. With excellent fields in each of our seven stakes, we look forward to presenting an outstanding card for our local fans and horseplayers across the country on Sunday.”
Six Undercard Stakes Set for Super Derby Day
In addition to the Super Derby, six additional stakes will be contested on Sunday’s program. A press release on the entrants for the following features will be sent tomorrow:
$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)
$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)
Live Racing Schedule This Week at Louisiana Downs
Louisiana Downs will run live programs on Monday, August 27, Tuesday, August 28 and Saturday, September 1 at 3:15 pm (Central). There will be no live racing this Wednesday, due to the special Super Derby program carded for Sunday, September 2.
Super Derby Festivities Set for Sunday, September 2
Several promotions and special events are planned so that both racing fans and families will have an enjoyable Labor Day Sunday.
At 10:30 am, fans are invited to participate in a Jockey Meet and Greet and Autograph Signing in the Harrah’s Louisiana Downs main entrance area. A photo of the riders will be available for $5.00 with the proceeds to benefit the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund (PDJF).
Louisiana Downs track announcer John McGary and regional racing publicist Martha Claussen will team up for a pre-race handicapping preview at 11:00 am in the Inside Rail, located on the first floor of the grandstand. They will offer detailed analysis of the Grade 3, $300,000 Super Derby as well as their selections for each of the races on the Super Derby card.
Also beginning at 11:00 am, a Children’s Area will open on the Racing Apron. Face Painting is available for an additional charge. Children can join in the fun with the Super Derby Stilt Walkers and Hula Hoop Stars! Food Trucks from across the region will be serving up great local bites for purchase.
Beginning at noon and continuing through the last race, fans can swipe their Total Rewards card at the racing kiosks to receive their Super Derby 39 $5 Free Bet that can be redeemed on Saturday, September 8, 2018.
Also at 12:00 pm, registration begins for the Super Derby Ladies Hat Contest. Hats will be judged in three categories: Spirit of Louisiana, Classic and Most Original. The winners will receive $100 cash.
The Food Truck Face-Off will take place after the 3rd race. Competitors will have five minutes to scarf down some of the yummiest foods available for purchase on the Racing Apron. Seven popular local celebrities and three participants from the crowd will compete to win, not only bragging rights, but $250 in cash.
After the 6th Race Harrah’s Louisiana Downs Super Derby 39 Opening Ceremony will include a Proclamation by Bossier City Mayor Lorenz Walker, posting of the colors by the Bossier Sheriff’s Young Marines and The National Anthem performed by American Idol cast member, Garrett Jacobs.
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.