The 2018 Thoroughbred racing season will get underway at Harrah's Louisiana Downs on Saturday, May 5. The 84-day meet will include 14 stakes featured in two premier events, Louisiana Cup Day on Saturday, August 4 and Super Derby Day on Sunday, September 2.
The live racing season will be highlighted by the running of the Grade 3, $300,000 Super Derby, which will be run at the distance of a mile and one-sixteenth. Contested on the Frank's Turf Course in 2017, the Super Derby will revert to a main track feature and has been awarded Grade 3 status by the American Graded Stakes Committee.
The Super Derby, which had its first running in 1980, had a noted history as a graded stake run at nine furlongs on the dirt. The nationally acclaimed racing event produced 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 a race with tremendous historic significance for Louisiana Downs,” said Trent McIntosh, Louisiana Downs assistant general manager. “Horsemen will have a solid prep race on August 4 in the Super Derby Prelude with the winner earning a berth to the $300,000 Super Derby on September 2. We appreciate the consideration from the American Graded Stakes Committee in granting graded stakes status to the Super Derby and look forward to presenting a quality field of 3-year-olds on September 2.”
In addition to the Super Derby, six additional stakes will be contested on Sunday, September 2 with total purses for the holiday card totaling $660,000. Officials felt that the move to Sunday of Labor Day weekend would be positive for both handle and local racing fans and families.
“There are few major stakes on Sunday,” added McIntosh. “Most are run on Saturday or on Labor Day. We feel that the move to Sunday will create strong interest from horseplayers, here and on a national level. In addition, we will offer many family-friendly promotions to attract local fans looking for an enjoyable holiday outing.”
The annual Louisiana Cup will feature six divisional stakes for horses bred in Louisiana, with four six-furlong main track stakes as well as the $50,000 Louisiana Cup Turf Classic and the $50,000 Louisiana Cup Distaff to be contested at a mile and one-sixteenth on the turf. The program also includes the $60,000 Prelude, a 1 1/16-mile race on the turf for 3-year-olds that serves as the local prep race for the Super Derby. Purses for the Louisiana Cup Day stakes will total $360,000.
Live racing will be conducted Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday and Saturday with a 3:15 p.m. (Central) post time through September 26. For more information on the upcoming racing season and special events, visit https://www.caesars.com/
Louisiana Downs 2018 Stakes Schedule
$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
$60,000 River Cities 3 YO & Up F&M 1 1/16 miles (T)
$60,000 Happy Ticket
$60,000 Sunday Silence
$300,000 SUPER DERBY (G3) 3 YO
$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)
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