Bucking the national trend, Louisiana Downs posted gains at the close of the 2008 meet. According to a release from the track, the race meet posted increases in handle of 6% on-track, 2% off-track and 2.5% overall.
Owners are seldom at a loss for words but when Marvin and Joel Cunningham were informed that their 2-year-old homebred filly Tiger Eyed had given birth they were speechless.
- By Claire Novak
Jockey Patrick Valenzuela, on three years' probation for a California DUI and unable to apply for a riding license in that state until Dec. 31 of this year, plans to begin riding races at Louisiana Downs in Bossier City, La., according to a report in the Daily Racing Form.
Louisiana horsemen have approved a deal allowing Youbet.com and Premier Turf Club the signal to Louisiana Downs, the first agreements reached with any advance deposit wagering companies under the auspices of negotiating with the Thoroughbred Horsemen's Group.
Fair Grounds will expand its racing season by two weeks next season and begin a locally-based meet prior to Thanksgiving for the first time in nearly 30 years, track president Randy Soth announced April 15.
New races, including a prep for the Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile, have been added to the stakes schedule at Louisiana Downs for the 2008 meet, which begins May 17.
Jockey Joe Patin Jr., arrested earlier this month on 11 criminal counts including possession of crack cocaine, has been suspended indefinitely by the Louisiana Racing Commission.
Trainer Cole Norman was arrested and charged Nov. 26 with driving while intoxicated, hit and run, simple criminal property damage, and possession of the drugs Lortab and Xanax without a prescription in his hometown of Haughton, La.
Entering the $500,000 Super Derby Stakes (gr. II) Sept. 22 at Louisiana Downs, Going Ballistic had not won since May. With help from jockey Clifton Berry, Mike and Mary Kindred's 3-year-old colt soared through the middle of the racetrack to overtake heavy favorite Grasshopper to win by a length.
All the talk leading up to the $500,000 Super Derby (gr. II) has been centered around race favorite Grasshopper. But several of the 10 contenders in the Harrah's Louisiana Downs feature event Sept. 22 have more than enough credentials to make bettors give the 1 1/8-mile event a second look.
Lucy Burch, 28, a jockey who had been competing at Harrah's Louisiana Downs, has died in a car accident, according to reports. She had been slated to ride in the fourth race at Louisiana Downs Aug. 17.
The Super Derby at Harrah's Louisiana Downs will double in value to $1 million if Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) winner Street Sense, Preakness Stakes (gr. I) winner Curlin, or Belmont Stakes (gr. I) winner Rags to Riches participate in the Sept. 22 race.
Trainer Bret Calhoun earned the 1,000th victory of his career July 12 when first-time starter Timely Reflection, his only entrant on the Louisiana Downs program, rallied for a 2 3/4-length tally in the seventh race for maiden special weights.
Harrah's Entertainment Inc., which is being bought by private equity firms in a $17.1 billion deal, said May 8 its first-quarter earnings edged up 2%, as higher Las Vegas and Atlantic City revenue offset increased operating costs.
Harrah's Entertainment Inc. shareholders approved a $17.1 billion buyout by two private equity groups April 5 in the largest deal ever to take a publicly held casino company private, officials said.
A Super Derby day worth $1.3 million, a new Super Derby prelude day, Louisiana Downs champions day, and the richest prep race in the nation for the new Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf, highlight a stakes schedule worth more than $3.4 million at Harrah's Louisiana Downs in 2007. The racing season begins Friday, May 4 and continues through Oct. 20.
- By Ryan Conley
Racing can learn much from its partners from the casino business, a panel of analysts told a couple hundred participants Dec. 5 in the 33rd Symposium of Racing & Gaming in Tucson, Ariz.
The 2006 race meet at Harrah's Louisiana Downs came to a close on Saturday with a 4% increase in average daily handle.
Magna Entertainment Corp. chairman Frank Stronach announced Monday that Corey Johnsen has been named the president of MEC Operations in the Southwest.
Jockey Carlos Gonzalez won his 2,000th race on Friday when he guided Del Norte to victory in the ninth race at Louisiana Downs.
Youbet.com and Harrah's Louisiana Downs have joined forces on a multi-year program that will make the online wagering company the official wagering provider for the Bossier City, La., racetrack.
Sam Houston Park's Tony Patterson has been named racing secretary at Harrah's Louisiana Downs.
Mark Midland has been promoted to vice president of racing operations for Harrah's Louisiana Downs.
Fair Grounds Race Course concluded a shortened and relocated 134th season of racing on Sunday. The meet was moved to Harrah's Louisiana Downs in Bossier City, La., after Hurricane Katrina caused significant damage to and forced the temporary closure of Fair Grounds' home site in New Orleans.
Trainer Cole Norman was injured in an all-terrain vehicle accident at his Haughton, La., home Dec. 19. Norman was scheduled to undergo surgery on his neck Wednesday at the LSU Medical Center near Shreveport, La.
Welcome to the "new normal." No red beans and rice. No oysters on the half shell. No cornbread dressing. The 134th season of Thoroughbred racing at Fair Grounds in New Orleans opened Nov. 19 in, of all places, Shreveport, Louisiana.
Except for many of the faces, very little is "usual" about Fair Grounds' 134th season of Thoroughbred racing that opens Saturday.
The Fair Grounds meet at Harrah's Louisiana Downs will begin Nov. 19 with a $500,000 increase in purses.
A schedule of 34 stakes races worth more than $3.5 million headlines the 37-day Fair Grounds meet beginning next month at Harrah's Louisiana Downs.
- By Gary West
George McDermott will be the new track superintendent at Lone Star Park in Grand Prairie, Texas.
In the wake of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, which severely damaged the Fair Grounds and Delta Downs, the Louisiana Racing Commission approved a shift of racing dates and locations during a Sept. 30 meeting.
Louisiana horsemen are busy shuffling race meetings between Evangeline Downs and Louisiana Downs after Delta Downs became the second track in the state to suffer severe damage due to a hurricane. Delta Downs was scheduled to open its 88-day Thoroughbred meeting Oct. 21.
Louisiana Downs casino and restaurants to continue normal operations.
A unique Fair Grounds at Louisiana Downs meet is not expected to have any effect on the way the Louisiana Thoroughbred Breeders' Association distributes breeders' awards money, according to Tom Early, LTBA executive director.
- By Ron Mitchell
As a result of damage to Fair Grounds Race Course from Hurricane Katrina, there will be no live racing there this year and plans are being made for a "unique" meet at Louisiana Downs in its place, according to Churchill Downs president and CEO Tom Meeker.
Churchill Downs Incorporated announced Friday the company is exploring options to conduct a portion of Fair Grounds Race Course's 2005-2006 live race meet at Louisiana Downs in Bossier City, La.
Choosing Choice's first two winners are both from this year's 2-year-old crop.
Harrah's Louisiana Downs announced today that they have increased purse offerings for the 2005 racing season, which opens April 29 and runs through Oct. 9, to average $210,000 per day. In addition, the purse for the Super Derby XXVI (gr. II) was increased from $500,000 to $750,000 and the distance returned to 1 1/4 miles.
The Louisiana Thoroughbred Breeders' Association is bringing back the Louisiana Stallion Stakes program. The program originally began in the late 1970s and was discontinued during the 1990s.
Jennifer Ray has been appointed director of marketing at Ellis Park. Ray, who held the same position at Louisiana Downs for the past 17 years, replaces Bob Cunningham, who recently resigned due to relocation.
Imperialism, the third-place finisher in this year's Kentucky Derby (gr. I), heads the list of 3-year-olds who remain eligible for the Sept. 25 Super Derby at Louisiana Downs.
Delta Downs Racetrack & Casino reigned as Louisiana's top moneymaking racino in the first six months of 2004, according to figures from the Louisiana Gaming Control Board. Overall, the state's three racinos generated more than $19.8 million for purses in the first six months of this year.
Jockey Donnie Meche will return to the saddle Friday at Louisiana Downs for the first time since the Delta Downs stewards suspended him in January 2003. Meche is scheduled to ride Unbridled Tick (6-1) in the eighth race for trainer Steve Asmussen.
Harrah's Louisiana Downs in Bossier City, La., has rejoined the National Thoroughbred Racing Association.
Kerwin "Boo Boo" Clark recorded his 2,000th career winner May 6 when he won the sixth race at Evangeline Downs aboard Golden Rail.
Harrah's Louisiana Downs opened its new slot-machine casino April 30, with a grand opening tied to the start of live Thoroughbred racing May 14.
The slot-machine parlor at the Delta Downs Racetrack & Casino reigns as the most profitable racino in Louisiana, having generated more than $33 million in purse money the past two years, according to the Louisiana Gaming Control Board. In all, three racinos have produced more than $40 million for horsemen.
A memorial service for prominent Thoroughbred owner and breeder John Franks, who died Dec. 31 at the age of 78, is set for Jan. 3.
The $1-million Delta Jackpot Dec. 5 at Delta Downs generated so much exposure and money for the racetrack that it will return next year, said general manager Jack Bernsmeier, who would like to see similar big-money races at all Louisiana tracks.
Louisiana Downs concluded its 2003 racing season Sunday with increases in on-track, off-track, and total handle. With the opening of the slots casino earlier this year, the track no longer keeps attendance records.
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