HARRAH’S LOUISIANA DOWNS OFFICIALS PLEASED WITH SUNDAY’S SUPER DERBY DAY

 

Diego Saenz-2018
Diego Saenz. Hodges Photography

Bossier City, LA – Super Derby 39 at Harrah’s Louisiana Downs on Sunday, September 2 was successful on many levels.  The 13-race card featured seven stakes races, highlighted by the  Grade 3, $300,000 Super Derby.

 

A field of nine competed with top horsemen Tom Amoss, Al Stall, Jr., Brad Cox and Hall of Fame conditioner Steve Asmussen sending in quality 3-year-olds for the 39th running of the prestigious championship.

 

It was Michael Lankford’s Limation who pulled off a stunning upset in Super Derby 39 at odds of 26-1 and despite a heavy downpour earlier in the afternoon, the richest race of the 2018 Thoroughbred season went off under sunny skies.

 

Officials reported a 12% increase in handle from the 2017 Super Derby card, which also showcased 13 races.
“We were very pleased with the quality of racing on Super Derby Day,” said David Heitzmann, Harrah’s Louisiana Downs director of racing. “The response from some of the nation’s most respected horsemen surpassed our expectations and despite the lone afternoon shower, we presented a very competitive race card.”

 

Promotions, special events and hospitality in the suite level added to the overall festive nature of Super Derby 39.

 

“It was a great day overall and would not have been possible without the efforts of the hard-working racing office staff and entire team at Harrah’s Louisiana Downs,” added Heitzmann.

 

First Graded Stakes for Jockey Diego Saenz

Horseplayers should never ignore jockey Diego Saenz on Super Derby Day. Last year, the 39-year-old rider won three of the seven stakes on the program. He set the bar even higher on Sunday, winning four of the seven features, and notching the first graded stakes of his career.

 

His stakes wins on Sunday’s card included Bermuda Star, owned by Brittlyn Stable, Inc.in the $60,000 River Cities; Yes Gorgeous in the $60,000 Elge Rasberry for owner and trainer Scott Gelner and Ice City Ghost and homebred by Dream Walkin Farms, Inc., who scored the upset in the $60,000 Sunday Silence. Ice City Ghost paid $42.20, but that was not the biggest longshot of the Super Derby card for Saenz!

That came in the eleventh race of the afternoon when Saenz rode Limation, for owner Michael Langford in the Super Derby. Considered an outsider by the betting public, Saenz had studied his form and had a pretty good idea what kind of a trip the son of Alternation would need. The Kentucky-bred colt was saddled by Asmussen’s longtime assistant Darren Fleming.

 

“For me, I just threw out his last race, and was hoping to give him a clear trip and keep his face clean,” explained Saenz. “Darren never seemed nervous and that gave me confidence.”

 

Saenz was content to stay off the early speed and had plenty of horse left when he rounded the far turn. He got clear at the top of the lane, crossing the wire in 1:43.91, by a margin of 5 ¾ lengths over the top betting choice, Lone Sailor.

 

“I had my horse where he needed to be and when we hit the quarter pole, he just drew off,” he said.

 

It was the first Super Derby and very first graded stakes for Saenz, and a pretty nice win payout of $56.40 for the many Louisiana horseplayers who have faith in the top Louisiana jockey.

 

“I won a $300,000 turf stakes with Heitai at Evangeline Downs, but this was my first grade 3,” he said. “I’ve been riding at Louisiana Downs since 2004; this was my very first Super Derby mount. It felt pretty good to win such an important race.”

 

Saenz had three mounts on Monday’s Labor Day racing card, scoring an allowance victory aboard Harlons Commision.  He took a minute to reflect upon his Super Derby 39 success.

 

“I am very grateful to Steve for giving me the opportunity to ride Limation,” said Saenz. “I also want to thank trainers Carl Deville, Scott Gelner, Victor Arceneaux and my agent, Louis Coco, who works very hard for me.”

 

Saenz, who was born in Chihuahua, Mexico, has been riding professionally since 2004 and has won 1,987 wins from 10,198 starts in his 15-year career.

 

He and his wife have three children and reside in Carencro, a suburb of Lafayette, Louisiana. Saenz will head to Delta Downs when their meet opens October 17. He has won four leading rider titles at the Vinton, Louisiana racetrack.

 

Update on Super Derby Winner Limation

Limation, winner of Sunday’s Grade 3, $300,000 Super Derby at Louisiana Downs came out of the race in good order and has returned to trainer Steve Asmussen’s barn at Remington Park.

“I expect the Oklahoma Derby to be next for him,” the Hall of Fame conditioner told Mary Rampellini of the Daily Racing Form.

According to Rampellini, the Kentucky-bred son of Alternation will be pointed to the Grade 3, $400,000 Oklahoma Derby at Remington Park on September. 30. Mike Langford, owner of Limation  also campaigns 2017 Oklahoma Derby champion, Untrapped.

 

Weiner Dog Races Set for Saturday, September 8

Rain on Labor Day forced the cancelation of the popular Weiner Dog Races, but Harrah’s Louisiana Downs has rescheduled the entertaining event for Saturday, September 8.  Family-friendly activities will get underway at 11:00 amwith the first Wiener Dog race at noon. The championship is scheduled for 2:00 pm.

 

Live Thoroughbred action follows at its regular time of 3:15 pm.

 

 

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.

Limation Lights up the Toteboard in the Grade 3, $300,000 Super Derby at Harrah’s Louisiana Downs

Limation_9-2-2018-F-SM
Limation with jockey Diego Saenz wins the 39th running of the Super Derby at Louisiana Downs. Hodges Photography / Ann Switalski

Jockey Diego Saenz Wins Four Stakes on the Card

Bossier City, LA There were two very pleasant surprises this afternoon at Harrah’s Louisiana Downs.  First was the super effort by Michael Lankford’s Limation powering to victory in Super Derby 39 at odds of 26-1. Secondly, an ominous weather forecast of thunderstorms throughout the entire afternoon, did not come to fruition. Although a downpour hit the Shreveport area just before 2:30 p.m., the richest race of the 2018 Thoroughbred season went off under sunny skies.

Hall of Fame conditioner Steve Asmussen sent in two quality 3-year-olds: Winchell Thoroughbreds LLC and Willis Horton Racing LLC’s Lionite and Limation, for owner Michael Langford.  It was Limation, who delivered the winning effort at a big price! Sired by Alternation, he had won two of his seven career starts and shipped to Louisiana Downs off an eighth-place finish in the Ellis Park Derby on August 12. 

But today, he was a different horse and jockey Diego Saenz made easy work of his eight rivals. Forwardly placed in the early stages of the race, he got clear at the top of the lane, crossing the wire in 1:43.91, by a margin of 5 ¾ lengths over Lone Sailor.

Asmussen, who had never won an edition of the Super Derby before, was reached on the phone after the race. He was very pleased with the effort by Limation.

“We knew he was a talented colt and were very disappointed in his loss at Ellis,” explained Asmussen. “Every move we made in in that race was wrong. “That’s why we brought him back so soon. Today, the race set up perfectly and I am pleased for Michael Langford.”

Asmussen’s longtime assistant Darren Fleming saddled the dark bay colt and felt Limation was primed for today’s test.

“He’s been doing really well, said Fleming.  “He’d been at Remington Park and when he came down here, he seemed to come alive and know what his job was. He got a great ride. Diego and I talked in the paddock; we were hoping for a pace to run at and that’s what happened.”

“It was the first time I had been on him, but that’s the pace we wanted,” said Saenz. “As far as his finish, it’s like when you push the pedal and you’ve got gas!”

Lone Sailor who finished eighth in this year’s Run for the Roses for owner Gayle Benson’s GMB Racing.  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. Jockey James Graham had the mount and closed gamely as the runner-up. Amoss was hoping to win his first Super Derby, but was gracious in praise for the winner.

“He broke sharp and we had a very good trip,” said Amoss. “My fear is that we would not get the pace set-up we needed. We just couldn’t catch the winner, who is a very good horse.”

High North ran third under Florent Geroux for trainer Brad Cox, who won last year’s Super Derby with Mr. Misunderstood.  Lionite completed the superfecta with David Cabrera up, followed by G’s Turn, Bode’s Maker, McFeely, Autumn Warrior and the early pacesetter, Charlie’s Schiller.

Dismissed by the betting public, Limation rewarded his backers with a win payout of $54.80. With the winner’s share of $180,000, he boosted his career bankroll to $272,958 with three wins from eight starts.

Taylor’s Spirit Conquers Turf in the $60,000 Happy Ticket

The stakes action got underway in the second race of the card, with a field of six fillies and mares in the 33rd running of the $60,000 Happy Ticket.  

Norman Stables, LLC’s Taylor’s Spirit won her first two career races at Prairie Meadows, and was seeking her second stakes win while making her turf debut for trainer Scott Gelner.  She was forwardly placed in the early stages under jockey Florent Geroux, easily drawing clear by a margin of 3 ¼ lengths. 

Scott had her well prepared and even though this was her first time on the turf, at the quarter pole it was all over,” he said. 

Gelner credited his association with the Norman family and felt confident that she would handle the turf.

“She’s a nice filly,” said Gelner. “She worked five-eighths of a mile in company the other day and was very relaxed.”

Flatoutandfoxy ran second under Kerwin Clark with Navy Regatta completing the trifecta.  Miss Perdito Key ran fourth, followed by Given Grace.  Noble Love ran yesterday at Kentucky Downs and was scratched from the Happy Ticket.

Taylor’s Spirit ($2.20) completed the mile feature over a firm turf course in 1:37.91. Gelner said his filly will make her next start in Kentucky.

Bermuda Star Wins Her Second Stake of the Meet,  the $60,000 River Cities

It was another rousing finish by Bermuda Star, owned by Brittlyn Stable, Inc.to take the 33rd running of the $60,000 River Cities.

The daughter of Star Guitar won the $60,000 Louisiana Cup Distaff, run here on August 4. That race was run over a firm turf course, but due to a major downpour, the turf condition was changed to yielding.  Rider Diego Saenz has the return call for trainer Victor Arceneaux, dueling with  Hachi (CHI) and winning in a final time of 1:44.35. 

“I was really concerned with the condition of the turf course,” said Arceneaux. “I told Diego if she was not comfortable to pull her up, but all of the sudden, she went to running and the rest was history. I want to thank Wayne Simpson and Tom Curtis for breeding this horse.”

Hachi (CHI), a 5-year-old stakes-placed mare ran second under jockey Florent Geroux as the 7-5 morning-line choice.  Brad Cox trains the Chilean import for breeder and owner Don Alberto Stable.  Holiday’s Angel with Eguard Tejera up, ran third. Completing the superfecta was Calumet Farms’ Susie Bee.

This was the sixth career win for Bermuda Star ($8.40), who was sent off as the second choice in the wagering.

Ice City Ghost Springs the Upset in the $60,000 Sunday Silence 

The 15th running of the $60,000 Sunday Silence produced the first upset of the afternoon with Ice City Ghost breaking his maiden and winning the first stakes of his career. 

Bred and owned by Dream Walkin Farms, Inc., the gelded son of Ice Box was making just his second start and Diego Saenz, who won the Sunday Silence last year with Budro Talking, kept his mount on the lead, and finished in 1:37.63, a margin of 2 ¼ lengths ahead of Cabo’s Rumor.

Ice City Ghost ran fourth on August 10 at Evangeline Downs and trainer Carl Deville, Jr. felt his charge would improve in his next outing.

“The colt had a little trouble in his first race, but he’s been doing really well,” said Deville. “I was looking at the race and today he proved he could run.”

Cabo’s Rumor, winner of the $60,000 Louisiana Cup Juvenile here on August 4, finished second for Northpointe Thoroughbreds. The son of Amanecer de Oro was making his first start on turf for trainer Steven Duke. Big Bobby Brown closed for third and American Gem, at 28-1, completed the superfecta.

Ice City Ghost rewarded his supporters with a win payout of $42.20, and earned $36,000 for the victory.  Deville was unsure of his next start.

Big Changes Prevails in the $60,000 Unbridled 

Trainer Brad Cox sent Big Changes to Louisiana Downs last year and today he returned a winner in the 40th running of the $60,000 Unbridled.  The Florida-bred son of Shipman owned by Steve Landers Racing, LLC was in pursuit of his fourth consecutive stakes race in the mile and one-sixteenth turf feature. He won the $50,000 John Henry at Evangeline Downs and followed that with a three-length victory in the West Virginia House of Delegates Speaker’s Cup Stakes at Mountaineer Park on August 4. The chestnut gelding was the favorite in last year’s Unbridled, running second to Net Gain, 

But with a confident rider by jockey Florent Geroux, he prevailed this year as the strong favorite in the 10- horse field.

“He showed a lot of grit today,” said assistant trainer Ricky Giannini.  “Florent had to move a little early to shake off the competition. He was challenged all the way down the backside, but got clear and fought on down the lane,”

Mocito Rojo under Filemon Rodriguez ran second followed by Potomac River and Magic Vow. 

This was the fourth win in a row for Big Changes ($2.80) who increased his career earnings to $381,550 with today’s score.

Yes Gorgeous Tops Louisiana-Bred Fillies in the $60,000 Elge Rasberry

The 24th running of the $60,000 Elge Rasberry drew a field of ten Louisiana-bred 3-year-old fillies. The heavy rainfall, which had been expected in Sunday’s forecast, hit as the field headed into the starting gate. Fortunately, it did not deter Yes Gorgeous, who handled the adverse conditions with little difficulty.

Owned and trained by Scott Gelner, the filly by Mass Media has been a model of consistency. Other than her first two career efforts, she has never missed a check.  She was unpressured under jockey Diego Saenz, covering the first quarter in :24.17 and the half-mile in :48.94 and finishing in 1:37.54.

“She is just a blessing from God for me and my family,” stated Gelner. “She has handled everything we have ever asked: turf, dirt, even running against the boys. I never have to tell Diego what to do; he always knows, and we couldn’t be more proud of her.”

Scrivener Stables’ Savvy Shipman, ran second by two lengths for trainer Mike Maker and rider Colby Hernandez. Bionic Butterfly, trained by Steve Flint, who has been a solid allowance level performer at Evangeline Downs for Whispering Oaks Farm, LLC, was third under Florent Geroux with Fleet Halo completing the superfecta.

Yes Gorgeous paid $6.40 for the victory; her fourth in 17 starts.  Her career bankroll now stands at $208,455. Gelner reported that they will give her a break and she is slated to return on Louisiana Champions Day at Fair Grounds.

Battle At Sea Impressive in the $60,000 A. L. (Red) Erwin

Louisiana-bred 3-year-old colts and geldings competed in the $60,000 A. L. (Red) Erwin. The feature was moved to the main track after heavy rainfall hit Bossier City at 2:25 pm this afternoon.

Trainer Mike Maker sent in Battle At Sea a son of Into Mischief for Three Diamonds Farm. This was the fifth stakes of the year for the bay colt, who made his last start in the Ellis Park Derby on August 12.

Assistant Miguel Castellanos gave jockey Colby Hernandez a leg up, and he prevailed as the heavy favorite, covering a mile and 70 yards on the sloppy track in 1:44.07

“First off, I want to thank Mike and the owners for giving me the opportunity to ride this horse,” said Hernandez. “He broke sharp and is a pretty tough horse. I didn’t want to get in his way. I called on him at the quarter-pole and he went on with it.”

Longshot Big Boy Dave Rex ran second under Juan Larrosa, followed by Greeley Went West and General Tone.

Battle At Sea returned $3.20 for the win. This was the third career win for the Louisiana-bred  colt, and his second on an off track.

FLORENT GEROUX MAKES HIS FIRST APPEARANCE AT HARRAH’S LOUISIANA DOWNS ON SUNDAY’S SUPER DERBY CARD

Nation’s Third Highest Ranked Jockey to Ride Six on Sunday, September 2

Bossier City, LA – In addition to the quality field of 3-year-olds set to compete Super Derby 39 on Sunday at Harrah’s Louisiana Downs, fans will also have the opportunity to see one of the eminent riders in North America. Florent Geroux will make his Louisiana Downs debut on Sunday with six mounts on the Super Derby card. Born in Normandy, France, Geroux was a top apprentice in France in 2005 and has steadily ascended to the highest echelon since relocating to the United States a decade ago.  He is currently ranked third in earnings in the North American Equibasestandings behind the prolific brothers, Jose and Irad Ortiz.

In Sunday’s Grade 3, $300,000  Super Derby, Geroux will ride High North for owners Shortleaf Stables, Inc. and trainer Brad Cox. 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.

“I’ve ridden him several times; he’s a very nice horse,” said Geroux. “Maybe the only disappointing race was the Peter Pan (at Belmont last May). It might have been a little long for him, but he ran big in the Iowa Derby.”

In addition to High North, Geroux will also pilot Hachi in the $60,000 River Cities and Big Changes in the $60,000 Unbridled for Cox. He also has two mounts for trainer Scott Gelner: Taylor’s Spirit in the $60,000 Happy Ticket and Future Abundance in the $60,000 Sunday Silence and will ride Bionic Butterfly for conditioner Steve Flint in the $60,000 Elge Rasberry.

While Sunday marks his first appearance at Louisiana Downs, there is a compelling Super Derby connection this weekend for Geroux. On Saturday, he will ride 2017 Super Derby champion Mr. Misunderstood in the $750,000 Tourist Mile at Kentucky Downs. The noted turf specialist will be seeking his seventh stakes win since his victory here one year ago for trainer Brad Cox and his owner, Staton Flurry.

“For sure the Super Derby was great for Mr. Misunderstood,” said Geroux. “He’s been an amazing horse for Brad and Staton.”

Geroux won the 2016 and 2017 leading rider titles at Fair Grounds, and completed this year’s meet as the top money-earning jockey at the New Orleans racetrack.

Always popular with horseplayers, Geroux jetted to Sam Houston Race Park last January, the morning after winning the $16 Million Pegasus World Cup at Gulfstream Park aboard Gun Runner. Most riders might have preferred to remain in the jocks room and catch a quick nap, but Geroux graciously did interviews and signed autographs for racing fans.

“You have to support the fans,” he said. “They are very important to our sport and I always try to meet them when I can.”

 

 

Seven Stakes on Sunday’s Program

The 39th running of the Super Derby is set as the eleventh race of the card, with an approximate post time of 5:05 pm.  The complete field, in post position order, with riders, and odds:

 

Autumn Warrior,  Colby Hernandez; 6-1

Charlie’s Schiller, Aubrie Green; 20-1

Lone Sailor, James Graham; 7-5

McFeely, Ashley Broussard; 20-1

Bode’s Maker, Joel Dominguez; 30-1

G’s Turn,  Thomas Pompell; 20-1

Limation, Diego Saenz; 12-1

High North, Florent Geroux; 5-2

Lionite, David Cabrera; 9-2

 

In addition to the Super Derby, six additional stakes will be contested on Sunday’s program.

 

$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)

 

Super Derby Festivities Set for 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)  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 Trucksfrom 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.

 

September Calendar of Events

 Louisiana Thoroughbred Breeders Association would like to share the following list of dates of interest to Louisiana horsemen and women.

Brought to you by Louisiana Thoroughbred Breeders Association, Whispering Oaks Farm, and Equine Sales CompanyClick images to link to more informationAugust 31

  • Backside Benevolent Fund at Louisiana Downs, Chaplains Awards Banquet. Horseshoe Casino. Cocktails 6-7. Dinner 7:30.  Tickets $40 each.  Reserved tables for 8 $320. Gold Tables $600. Contact Loretta Romero for tickets or more information. 318-746-6170

September 2

  • Super Derby Day, Louisiana Downs, Bossier City
  • A.L. Red Erwin Stakes, Louisiana Downs, Bossier City
  • Elge Rasberry Stakes, Louisiana Downs, Bossier City

 

September 3

  • Labor Day

 

September 5

  • Fair Grounds Early 2018-19 Thoroughbred Stall Applications Due

 

September 6

 

September 8

  • National Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Assoc. (TOBA) Awards Banquet;
    Richard and Bertram Klein to be honored as the recipients of the 2017 TOBA Award for the State of Louisiana.

 

September 26

  • Louisiana Downs, final day of 2018 Thoroughbred Meet

September 30

 

October 1

  • Louisiana Champions Day Early Bird Nominations are due

 

October 3

  • Fair Grounds 2018-19 Thoroughbred Stall Applications Due

Reminder:
2018-19 LTBA Regular Membership Applications and Renewals Due

$75 before Sept. 30/$85 after Sept 30.

Would you like to sponsor a newsletter? Reach over 2,500 readers.

Please contact Linda 985-386-0360, linda@louisianabred.com or Roger 504-947-4676, roger@louisianabred.com for cost and availability.

Do you have a date pertaining to Louisiana-breds that you would like included in an upcoming calendar? Please contact Linda 985-386-0360, linda@louisianabred.com or Roger 504-947-4676, roger@louisianabred.comfor consideration.

 

Any questions or need more info call

Roger A. Heitzmann III, Secretary/Treasurer

Louisiana Thoroughbred Breeders Association

504-947-4676, 800-772-1195

SIX COMPETITIVE UNDERCARD STAKES TO BE CONTESTED ON SUPER DERBY DAY AT HARRAH’S LOUISIANA DOWNS

The Grade 3, $300,000 Super Derby Anchors the Sunday, September 2nd Card

 

Bossier City, LA – While the Grade 3, $300,000 Super Derby is the lone graded stake Sunday, September 2 at Harrah’s Louisiana Downs, the card will also feature six compelling undercard turf features on its 13-race program. The marquee day of the 2018 Louisiana Downs Thoroughbred meet will get underway at a special post time of 12:00 pm (Central).

 

As announced Monday, August 27, Lone Sailor who finished eighth in this year’s Run for the Roses for owner Gayle Benson’s GMB Racing, leads a field of nine in the Super Derby. 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 aboard the 7-5 morning-line choice.

 

His top rivals include Autumn Warrior, who earned his berth into the Super Derby as the winner of the $60,000 Super Derby Prelude here on August 4 for trainer Al Stall, Jr; Iowa Derby winner High North from the barn of Brad Cox and Lionite, who will ship in for Hall of Fame conditioner Steve Asmussen.

 

The 39th running of the Super Derby will run as the eleventh race of the afternoon, with an approximate post time of 5:02 pm (Central).

 

Taylor’s Spirit Gets Top Billing in the $60,000 Happy Ticket 

The first feature of the day, the 33rd running of the $60,000 Happy Ticket, drew a field of seven fillies at a mile on the Franks Turf Course.  Norman Stables, LLC’s Taylor’s Spirit will try to remain undefeated while making her turf debut for trainer Scott Gelner. The filly by Algorithms broke her maiden at first asking on July 8 at Prairie Meadows, returning 12 days later to win the $65,000 Prairie Gold Lassie Stakes. In addition to the surface switch, this will be her first time routing, but Gelner has confidence in his filly.

 

“She’s a good mover, so I think she will handle the distance,” said Gelner. “In her stakes win at Prairie Meadows, she was headed from the get go, but dug in for the win.”

 

Jockey Florent Geroux has the call and faces six rivals including Noble Love owned by Love Partnership Interests, LP. The daughter of Noble Mission (GB) ships in off a  maiden special weight turf victory at Ellis Park for trainer Bret Calhoun. Three fillies with recent turf wins include Brittlyn Stable, Inc.’s Flatoutandfoxy, Navy Regatta owned by Patricia and Kevin Fontenot and Miss Perdito Key, who scored here on July 24 for her owners, Fletcher B. Clement and Michael Alexander, Jr.

 

The Happy Ticket will run as the second race on the Super Derby program.

 

Cabo’s Rumor Makes His Turf Debut in the $60,000 Sunday Silence

The fourth race of the afternoon  is the $60,000 Sunday Silence with eight juveniles competing at one mile on the Franks Turf Course. This is the 15th edition of the race named in honor of the prolific champion who won the 1989 Super Derby, Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes.

 

It will mark the turf debut for several of the colts and geldings in the field, including Cabo’s Rumor, winner of the $60,000 Louisiana Cup Juvenile here on August 4. Owned by Northpointe Thoroughbreds, the son of Amanecer de Oro closed gamely down the stretch under top Louisiana Downs jockey Emanuel Nieves for his first stakes score. The bay colt will make his first start on turf, but trainer Steven Duke, thinks he will handle the surface switch.

 

“He’s been training very well and we gave him a work on the turf (on August 25),” said Duke. “Both his mom and dad won on the grass. This stakes is a mile, but he’s pretty fit and we’ve always believed he could go longer.”

 

Cabo’s Rumor will face several 2-year-olds who recently broke their maiden. Future Abundance, a son of Overanalyze won at first asking on August 11 at Prairie Meadows for owner Greg Brous.  The Iowa-bred gelding is trained by Gelner and will be ridden by Geroux. Golden Tooth Ranch LP’s Fredonian scored a three-length victory in his debut here on August 13. Sired by The Factor, he is trained by Jason Meaux, who will give a leg up to Eguard Tejera.Breaking from the far outside is Big Bobby Brown, a son of Shanghai Bobby, who scored by two lengths under Aubrie Green at Louisiana Downs on August 1 for owners Robert Joseph and Dana Salome.

Overflow Field of Fillies and Mares Entered in the $60,000 River Cities

A full field of fillies and mares will compete in the 33rd running of the $60,000 River Cities at the distance of a mile and one-sixteenth on the turf.

 

Hachi (CHI), a 5-year-old stakes-placed mare will make her Louisiana Downs debut under jockey Florent Geroux as the 7-5 morning-line choice.  Brad Cox trains the Chilean import for breeder and owner Don Alberto Stable. Cox won last year’s edition of the race with Quinta Verde (IRE), who began her career in Europe and picked up her first stakes in the River Cities.

 

Trainer Mike Maker sends in Calumet Farms’ Susie Bee, a 6-year-old mare by noted turf sire, English Channel. She has won seven turf races and is the high earner in the field with $382,423. Colby Hernandez will ride the Kentucky-bred, who notched her most recent black-type win on April 28 in the $75,000 Powder Break Stakes at Gulfstream Park.

 

“I hope she likes the Louisiana Downs turf as much as the Gulfstream Park turf course,” said Maker. “She is a game mare and always gives it her all.”

 

The field also includes the winner and runner-up from the $60,000 Louisiana Cup Distaff, run here on August 4. Bermuda Star, owned by Brittlyn Stable, Inc., sat off a swift early pace before closing gamely under rider Diego Saenz for her third career turf victory. The daughter of Star Guitar is trained by Victor Arceneaux and will break from the rail.  Eskenformore, trained by James Hodges, ran second for owner Sugarland Thoroughbreds LLC.  Jockey Gerardo Mora will ride the 5-year-old mare by Eskendereya, who will be making her 11th lifetime start.

 

The River Cities will run as the ninth race of the afternoon with an estimated post time of 3:59 pm.

 

Big Changes Leads the Field in the $60,000 Unbridled

Trainer Brad Cox sends Big Changes in the 40th running of the $60,000 Unbridled.  The Florida-bred son of Shipman owned by Steve Landers Racing,LLC is in pursuit of his fourth consecutive stakes race in the mile and one-sixteenth turf feature. He won the $50,000 John Henry at Evangeline Downs and followed that with a three-length victory in the West Virginia House of Delegates Speaker’s Cup Stakes at Mountaineer Park on August 4. The chestnut gelding was the favorite in last year’s Unbridled, running second to Net Gain, Big Changes will be ridden by jockey Florent Geroux, as the even-money choice on the morning line.

 

Silent Citizen, a 3-year-old colt sire by Hat Trick (JPN), will make his Louisiana Downs debut for trainer Efren Loza, Jr. Owned by W. Mike Anderson, the dark bay colt has won four of his seven career efforts, including the $50,000 Stanton Stakes on June 13 at Delaware Park.

 

Mocito Rojo, who ran fourth to Big Changes in the John Henry Stakes on July 7, is trained by Shane Wilson. The 4-year-old colt owned by Wayne T. Davis, will be ridden by Filemon Rodriguez.  Louisiana-bred Magic Vow returns to Louisiana Downs for owner Brittlyn Stable, Inc. and conditioner Allen Landry. The 4-year-old son of Private Vow ran second in the $60,000 Louisiana Cup Turf Classic here on August 4. Kerwin Clark has the return call.

 

Ten Louisiana-Bred Fillies Take to the Turf in the $60,000 Elge Rasberry

The 24th running of the $60,000 Elge Rasberry drew a field of ten Louisiana-bred 3-year-old fillies.  Yes Gorgeous, owned and trained by Scott Gelner, has been installed as the 5-2 choice in the one-mile turf feature.

 

The filly by Mass Media will be making her 17th start, and other than her first two career efforts, has never missed a check. This will be her first race at Louisiana Downs.

 

“She is a blessing from God for me and my family,” stated Gelner. “Granted, she has been a bridesmaid nine times, but she always gives 100% every time she runs. She is a very sweet filly and (jockey) Diego (Saenz) knows her well.”

 

Scrivener Stables’ Savvy Shipman, began her career at Fair Grounds and has made four starts at Indiana Grand this year. Trainer Mike Maker conditions the daughter of Midshipman, who will be ridden by Colby Hernandez.  Another capable filly is Bionic Butterfly, trained by Steve Flint, who has been a solid allowance level performer at Evangeline Downs for Whispering Oaks Farm, LLC. Florent Geroux will ride the daughter of Custom for Carlos in the Elge Rasberry.

 

Drewcitable Leads the Field in the $60,000 A. L. (Red) Erwin

Louisiana-bred 3-year-old colts and geldings will take to the Franks Turf Course in the $60,000 A. L. (Red) Erwin.  Norman Stable LLC’s Drewcitable will be seeking his fourth win in five starts for trainer Lonnie Briley. The son of Artie Schiller will break from post position eight as the 5-2 morning line favorite.

 

“He’s coming into this well, but it’s been six weeks since his last race,” said Briley. “We entered him in a one-mile race at Evangeline that did not fill.  This race came up pretty tough, but I like our chances.”

 

Regular rider Diego Saenz has the call and Briley also commended his owner, Robbie Norman.

 

“Robby is a super good guy,” added Briley. “It’s a pleasure to train for him!”

 

Trainer Mike Maker sends in Battle At Sea, a son of Into Mischief for Three Diamonds Farm. This will be the fifth stakes of the year for the bay colt, who will be ridden by Colby Hernandez.

 

2017 Sunday Silence winner Budro Talking is also entered for owner Jerry Durant and trainer Mike Neatherlin. The gelded son of Tale of Ekati will be ridden by Chris Rosier.

 

 

Jockey Autograph Signing to Benefit PDJF Set for Sunday, September 2

As part of Sunday’s Super Derby festivities, fans are invited to participate in a Jockey Meet and Greet and Autograph Signing in the Harrah’s Louisiana Downs main entrance area at 10:30 am. A photo of the riders will be available for $5.00 with the proceeds to benefit the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund (PDJF).

 

 

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.

 

GMB RACING’S LONE SAILOR LEADS A FIELD OF NINE IN THE GRADE 3, $300,000 SUPER DERBY AT HARRAH’S LOUISIANA DOWNS

Seven Stakes Races Will be Contested on the Super Derby Program Sunday, September 2 at a Special Post Time of 12:00 pm

 

Autumn Warrior #7 Prelude Finish
Prelude Winner Autumn Warrior: Hodges Photography

 

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 ApartDeparting 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.

NOMINATIONS CLOSED FOR THE GRADE 3, $300,000 SUPER DERBY AND SIX UNDERCARD STAKES AT HARRAH’S LOUISIANA DOWNS

Special Post Time of 12:00 pm Set for Sunday, September 2

 

Bossier City, LA – Nominations have closed for Super Derby Day at Harrah’s Louisiana Downs, which will take place 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).

The Super Derby program will feature seven stakes, highlighted by the Grade 3, $300,000 Super Derby, for 3-year-olds going a mile and one-sixteenth on the main track. The Super Derby closed with 30 nominations, and included four Thoroughbreds who had competed in the Grade 1, $2 million Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs.

Trainer Tom Amoss has nominated Lone Sailor, who finished eighth in this year’s Run for the Roses for owner G M B Racing.  The colt by Majestic Warrior faced Triple Crown winner Justify again in the 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.

John Oxley’s Flameaway, who also ran in the Kentucky Derby would certainly receive considerable attention from horseplayers should trainer Mark Casse decide to send him to Louisiana Downs. The colt by Scat Daddy has earned over $834,000 in his 12 career efforts. He ran second in the Grade 2, $600,000 Jim Dandy at Saratoga in his most recent start.

Trainer Dale Romans has nominated eight runners for the Super Derby, including two Kentucky Derby participants: Promises Fulfilled and Free Drop Billy. Promises Fulfilled, a son of Shackleford owned by Robert J. Baron, triumphed in the Grade 2, Fountain of Youth at Gulfstream Park and was a three-length winner in the Grade 3, Amsterdam on July 28 at Saratoga.

Albaugh Family Stables, LLC’s Free Drop Billy has competed in nine graded stakes to date. Sired by Union Rags, the chestnut colt made his last start in the Grade 1, Belmont Stakes in June.

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.  Mr. Misunderstood, who won the Prelude and Super Derby last year, has racked up seven stakes wins for Cox and owner Staton Flurry since last August at Louisiana Downs. One of the country’s most accomplished turf specialists, the 4-year-old son of Archarcharch will make his next start on September 1 in the $750,000 Tourist Mile at Kentucky Downs.

Indiana Derby champion Axelrod owned by Slam Dunk Racing, is another notable nominee. The victory at Indiana Grand on July 14 was the first Grade 3 for the Florida-bred son of Warrior’s Reward.

Another talented 3-year-old who earned his berth into the Super Derby on August 4 is Autumn Warrior, winner of the $60,000 Super Derby Prelude at Harrah’s Louisiana Downs. 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 trainer Al Stall Jr. 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 has remained at Louisiana Downs under the watchful eye of Stall’s assistant, Pam Fitzgerald.

“He’s doing well,” she reported. “He had a real easy breeze last Saturday and will work again this Saturday. Although he can be a handful, we get along well. We were proud of his effort in the Prelude; he handled the difficult trip very well and couldn’t have gotten more experience from his first time stretching out.”

Other Prelude top four finishers, G’s Turn owned by Tom Galvin of Dallas, Texas is nominated and will likely enter, according to trainer Patricia West.. Amoss also trains Zanesville, a son of Tiznow, who ran third in the Prelude for Rosemont Farm LLC. Also, Oakwood Stable Inc’s McFeely, who completed the superfecta in the Prelude, is on target for the Super Derby The colt by Scat Daddy is conditioned by John Ney.

The Super Derby, which had its first running in 1980 has a rich history. The illustrious list of past champions includes 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 draw for Super Derby Day will take place on Monday, August 27. The featured stakes are:

 

$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)

 

 

Louisiana Downs Trainer and Jockey Standings

Through August 20, Karl Broberg is the leading trainer with 19 wins. Al Stall, Jr, is next with 17 victories. Last year’s leading conditioner Joey Foster has saddled 15 winners and  Jorge Lara, Danny Pish and Joe O. Duhon are tied with 14 wins each.

Emanuel Nieves continues to lead his fellow riders with 62 wins, and is hoping to clinch his first leading rider title when their meet wraps on September 27Joel Dominguez is in second-place in the standings with 52 wins and Gerardo Mora, last year’s top jockey, is third with 49 victories. Richard Eramia follows with 38 trips to the winner’s circle, but has departed to ride at Remington Park. Hector Del-Cid rounds out the top five riders with 35 wins.

End Zone Athletics, Inc. tops the owner standings with 12 wins. Dream Walkin Farms, Inc. follows closely with 11 first-place finishes. Patti Turner has nine wins and Indian Creek Thoroughbred Farms, LLC has won eight races in the 2018 Thoroughbred meet.

 

Super Derby Handicapping Seminar Set for Sunday, September 2

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.

 

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.

 

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.

 

SEVERAL FROM THE $60,000 SUPER DERBY PRELUDE SET THEIR SIGHTS ON THE GRADE 3, $300,000 SUPER DERBY AT HARRAH’S LOUISIANA DOWNS

Lone Sailor Nominated to the Super Derby by Trainer Tom Amoss

 

Bossier City, LA – A full field in last Saturday’s $60,000 Super Derby Prelude put on quite a show at Harrah’s Louisiana Downs. Three of the top four finishers from the Prelude now have their sights set on the Grade 3, $300,000 Super Derbyon Sunday, September 2.  The richest race of the 2018 Louisiana Downs Thoroughbred racing season will also be contested on the main track at a distance of a mile and one-sixteenth.

Robert Guidry’s Autumn Hill Farms Racing Stable Inc’s homebred Autumn Warrior was sent off as the even-money favorite in the Prelude. Stretching out for the first time for trainer Al Stall Jr.,  the son of Orb out of the Posse mare, Kinsolving entered the Prelude off two convincing wins, but his trip on Saturday was far from simple! He stumbled out of the gate and found himself seventh heading into the far turn. Jockey Colby Hernandez remained patient and guided his charge to the outside where he was finally able to shake free, winning in a photo-finish.

Stall was at Saratoga on Saturday and had a few anxious moments as he watched the race.

“At the five furlong mark, I didn’t think he would even hit the board,” acknowledged Stall. “He missed the break, which was an issue as he had previously run forwardly placed. Colby did a good job, but I give a lot of credit to the horse. He handled adversity for the first time; that will help him as he goes forward.”

Stall added that Autumn Warrior came out of the Prelude in good order.

“He was on the muscle; sound and eating well,” he said. “He’s a bull of a horse!”

G’s Turn with rider Thomas Pompell in the saddle, ran a game second. Owned by Tom Galvin of Dallas, Texas, the son of Alternation was making his 14th career start in the Prelude. Campaigned on both turf and dirt by trainer Patricia West, G’s Turn was dismissed by the betting public at odds of 23-1. He had a similar challenging trip to that of Autumn Warrior, but finally got clear and rallied for second.

“He was stuck behind a wall of horses and couldn’t get clear,” said West. “Tom is a strong rider and makes good decisions; he did a good job on Saturday.”

West has 11 horses in her barn, and stated she will nominate G’s Turn for the Super Derby.

“We will run as long as he stays healthy and we feel he can be competitive,” she added.

Rosemont Farm’s homebred Zanesville ran third, by  a nose, for trainer Tom Amoss. The son of Tiznow was ridden by Gerard Melancon.

“He made a brilliant move at the half-mile pole to the head of the stretch,” said Amoss. “He’s back in Kentucky now and we have not made a decision yet about the Super Derby.”

However, Amoss does have one of his top 3-year-olds possibly headed to the Super Derby.

“I nominated Lone Sailor this morning,” Amoss reported from his base at Saratoga.

G M B Racing’s Lone Sailor, a colt by Majestic Warrior, ran eighth in the Grade 1, Kentucky Derby and followed that with solid efforts in the Preakness Stakes, Ohio Derby and most recently, the Grade 1, Haskell Invitational at Monmouth Park, where he finished third.

Oakwood Stable Inc.’s McFeely completed the superfecta in the Prelude and is also on target for the Super Derby. The colt by Scat Daddy was making his stakes debut last weekend under jockey Ashley Broussard. He broke his maiden at Evangeline Downs on May 25, adding an allowance win three weeks later for trainer John Ney.

David Heitzmann, Louisiana Downs Director of Racing, was pleased with the quality of the Louisiana Cup Day card and response from horseplayers locally and across the country.

“We were up a little over 18% per race, from last year,” said Heitzmann. “The Prelude was an excellent race and served as a great springboard to the Super Derby. My staff is already working on the Super Derby Day card and we are hopeful that we will run 13 races on September 2.”

 

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 personor $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.

 

Trainer, Jockey and Owner Standings

As of August 7, Al Stall, Jr. and Karl Broberg top the trainer standings with 17 wins each.  Danny Pish is second with 14 victories and Jorge Lara and Joe Duhon have each saddled 13 winners.

Emanuel Nieves has been steady throughout the 2018 Thoroughbred meet and is the current leader in the jockey standings with 52 wins. He guided Cabo’s Rumor to victory in Saturday’s $60,000 Louisiana Cup Juvenile for Northpointe Thoroughbreds and trainer Steven Duke. Last year’s leading jockey Gerardo Mora is second with 47 trips to the winner’s circle and Joel Dominguez, who lost his bug on May 24, is third with 43 wins. Rounding out the top four is Richard Eramia, who has won 33 races this season.

End Zone Athletics, Inc. has won 11 races to take the lead in the owner standings. Dream Walkin Farms, Inc. follows closely with 10 wins and Jorge Gomez, Patti Turner and Indian Creek Thoroughbred Farms LLC  are tied for third with seven wins each.

 

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.

 

NOMINATIONS FOR LOUISIANA CUP DAY AT HARRAH’S LOUISIANA DOWNS CLOSE SATURDAY, JULY 21

Bossier City, LA – The Louisiana Downs racing office is busy this week taking nominations for Louisiana Cup Day on Saturday, August 4. Nominations for the seven stakes will close this Saturday, July 21.

Trainer H. B. Johnson has three runners pointed to Louisiana Cup Day, including Berniestrike, who pulled the upset in last year’s$50,000 Louisiana Cup Turf Classic. Bred and owned by James Boyd,  the son of Wilburn out of the Unusual Heat mare Unusual Strike wore down his rivals under rider Eguard Tejera.

 Sent off at 22-1, Berniestrike, who ran third in the 2016 edition of this stakes, paid $46.20 for the victory. He won off an eight-month layoff last year and will be making his first stakes in six months,as his last race was the Dixie Poker Ace on March 3 at Fair Grounds.

“He ran in New Orleans and got hurt, so we had to give him some time off,” said Johnson. “I think he’ll do well again; turf is his best surface.”

The 5-year-old gelding has won four of his 19 starts, earning $169,470 to date.

His half-brother Jimi’s a Star, also owned and bred by Boyd, will make his stakes debut in the $50,000 Louisiana Cup Juvenile. Sired by Star Guitar out of Unusual Strike, he ran a game second to Liaisons Halo in a $23,000 maiden special weight here on July 9. Jockey Emanuel Nieves had the call.

“He’s a pretty nice horse,” said Johnson. “In his debut, he was a little erratic, but came running late. I think he’ll improve in his second start.”

Johnson’s third runner is Smokin’ Truth, who is slated to run in the $50,000 Louisiana Cup Sprint. The 3-year-old son of Yes Its True is co-owned by Johnson and Drop 23, LLC. He ran third in the 2017 Louisiana Cup Juvenile and eighth in the Sunday Silence here on Super Derby Day.

Another veteran trainer Robert Schultz has nominated Double Star for the $60,000 Prelude. Owned by Four Star Racing, the son of Star Guitar out of the Stormy Atlantic mare Bond Queen, has won four of his 12 career efforts, including two stakes earlier this year at Evangeline Downs. Schultz shipped the bay colt to Louisiana Downs and ran him in a turf allowance on July 6, where he finished sixth.

“Either he didn’t like the turf or facing that company, it wasn’t his best race,” stated Schultz. “Sometimes 3-year-olds get funny when they are up against older horses.”

Schultz looks for a good performance from Double Star, who will be ridden by Jose Guerrero.

“He’s been on him all but once,” he added. “Jose is a good, young rider.”

 

Mary Rampellini of the Daily Racing Form broke the news that Analyze This Jet is being pointed to the Prelude by his trainer, Terry Eoff.  The stakes winner has been gelded since running fourth in the $65,000 Prairie Mile at Prairie Meadows June 8.

The Prelude serves as a prep for the Grade 3, $300,000 Super Derby which will be run on Sunday, September 2.

 

Louisiana Cup Day nominations for the following stakes close on July 21.

$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

 

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.

 

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 27. The 84-day meet will include 14 stakes highlighted by two major events, Louisiana Cup Day on Saturday, August 4and Super Derby Day on Sunday, September 2. As previously announced one major change for the upcoming season is that the Grade 3, $300,000 Super Derby will return to the main track at a distance of a mile and one-sixteenth on Sunday, September 2.

 

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.