The annual Louisiana Cup Day at Louisiana Downs will take place Saturday, Aug. 6. First post is 1:45 pm (Central) for the seven-race card which will feature six stakes for accredited Louisiana-breds with purses of $67,000 each.
The stakes action, which gets underway in the second race of the card, features a mix of multiple-stakes winning Louisiana champions and as well as a showcase for the rising stars of the Pelican state. Here is a preview of the exciting six Louisiana Cup stakes.
King’s Lute Takes on Eight Rivals in the $67,000 Louisiana Cup Juvenile
Stakes action gets underway in the second race with the running of the $67,000 Louisiana Cup Juvenile for Louisiana-bred 2-year-old colts and geldings. A field of eight will compete at five and one-half furlongs on the main track.
Four entrants make their stakes debuts off maiden-breaking efforts with morning line favoritism going to the partnership of Claiming Cajuns LLC (Donald King, et al) King Lute. Retired jockey Carl Woodley trains the son of Midnight Lute out of the Songandaprayer mare Sarahcarolu.
“He’s a big, gangly horse; one of those who may never get into stride quickly, but once he found his rhythm (in his debut victory on June 26), he drew off by six lengths,” explained Woodley.
Joel Dominguez will reunite with the dark bay gelding and Woodley is hoping he will notch his first stakes win.
“I have been fortunate to train for owner Donald Clark, but have never won a stakes for him,” added Woodley. “He has ALS and the ownership group is committed to fundraising efforts for the debilitating disease.”
World War IV Racing’s Ranch Water may be another contender poised for a good effort in the Louisiana Cup Juvenile. Trainer Allen Landry feels the gelded son of Palace, bred by Love Partnership Interests, L. P., will give a good account of himself.
“He won his first time out, despite breaking in the air and getting shuffled back” Landry explained. “When he circled the field and came running, we thought he had something special.”
Bisping, owned by Anna Guillot, broke his maiden on May 19 at Evangeline Downs and made his second start at Belmont Park in the $150,000 Tremont. Ricky Courville trains the gelding by El Deal with Devin Magnon breaking from post two.
Whispering Hill Farms homebred Kit Kat Kid also broke his maiden at first asking on June 4. The gelded son of Closing Argument prepped for this with a five furlong drill on July 13 for trainer Steve Flint. Rider Tim Thornton has the return call at odds of 5-1.
The field also includes Easy Chance, who improved in his second start, winning a $24,000 maiden special weight last month at Evangeline Downs. Sired by Klimt, he is owned by Norman Stables, LLC and trained by Lonnie Briley.
Defending Champion Net a Bear Returns in the $67,000 Louisiana Cup Distaff
The first turf stakes of the card, the $67,000 Louisiana Cup Distaff, drew nine fillies and mares who will travel a mile and one-sixteenth over the Franks Turf Course.
Bred by Lora Pitre and Elaine Carroll, Net a Bear is owned by Maximo Lamarche and Federico Deltoro and trained by Allen Landry. Since she began her career in 2018, the bay mare, versatile on turf or dirt, has won 12 of her 33 lifetime starts and following the victory at Evangeline Downs, upped her earnings to $615,970. Her first stakes win came at Louisiana Downs when she captured the 2019 Elge Rasberry and she was a convincing winning last year in the Louisiana Cup Distaff.
She exits a score at Evangeline Downs last month as the favorite in the $75,000 Turf Distaff. With Tim Thornton aboard, the 6-year-old daughter of Awesome Bet made her usual late run and drew off tin the one-mile turf stakes, winning by 1 ¼ lengths.
Remarkably, Net a Bear has been a stakes winner at each of the four Louisiana racetracks and will defend her title in the Louisiana Cup Distaff.
“She’s tough as hell,” said Landry. “Even when she gets in trouble, she gets clear and gives it her all. She just has an incredible turn of foot!”
Thornton will guide Net a Bear from post position two as the 8-5 choice. Landry gave her a final work at Evangeline on July 29 and plans on sending her to Bossier City on Saturday morning.
“We just gave her an easy work,” added Landry. “Didn’t want to ask for much in this heat.”
The high earner in the field will have to hold off eight rivals , including Fort Polk, a 6-year-old daughter of Behindatthebar, trained by Pat Mouton for owners Steve and Pat Roe. She won her last two turf races at Louisiana Downs, with a total of nine victories in 35 starts. Juan Vargas will ride from the eight hole. Cheapskate Diva makes her stakes debut for owner Keith Plaisance off a three-race win streak. The 4-year-old filly by Animal Kingdom last ran here on July 3, drawing off in a $25,000 turf allowance by 10 lengths under Carlos Marquez.
The Louisiana Cup Distaff will run as the third race on the card.
Free Like a Girl Headlines the $67,000 Louisiana Cup Filly and Mare Sprint
The $67,000 Louisiana Filly and Mare Sprint boasts a field of eleven exceptional Louisiana-bred fillies and mares.
Free Like a Girl will return to Louisiana Downs on Cup Day as the 3-1 morning-line favorite in the six-furlong sprint. Bred by retired jockey Kim Renee Stover and her sister, Lisa Osborne, the daughter of Flashy Prize, sired by El Deal, has won seven of her 14 starts for owners Gerald Bruno, Jr; Carl J, Deville; Chasey Deville Pomier and Jerry Caroom. She was honored as 2021 Louisiana Thoroughbred Breeders Association (LTBA) Champion 2-year-old filly and continues to progress through her 3-year-old campaign.
Free Like a Girl won the $100,000 Starlet by four lengths at Delta Downs before running fourth in the Grade 3, $300,000 Honeybee at Oaklawn Park February 26 to the much heralded Secret Oath. After winning the $75,000 Louisiana Legends Soiree at Evangeline Downs, Free Like a Girl ran a credible third in the $225,000 Iowa Oaks (G3) on July 9 at Prairie Meadows.
The bay filly has already banked $423,873 and drew the far inside post under jockey Pedro Cotto.
“She has made us proud stepping up in two tough grade 3 stakes and ran her butt off at Prairie Meadows,” said trainer Chasey Pomier. “I’m alright with her breaking from the rail and we all have faith in Pedro. He rode for my dad when I was a kid and worked this filly as a baby. He has always done such a good job for our barn.”
Hall of Fame conditioner Steve Asmussen has entered Canada’s Custom for longtime owners Spendthrift Farm LLC and Corinne and William Heiligbrodt. The 3-year-old daughter of Custom for Carlos won two allowance races here in May prior to shipping to Lone Star Park. Joel Dominguez has the call on the chestnut filly at odds of 4-1.
Trainer Ron Faucheux will saddle three entrants in the Filly and Mare Sprint. Fame Feather a 7-year-old mare, sired by Lion Tamer, sprang the upset in the $75,000 Louisiana Legends Mademoiselle on June 4 at Evangeline Downs for Picard Thoroughbreds Racing Stable LLC. Strong Beauty a 5-year-old daughter of Overanalyze, owned by Golden Rock Thoroughbreds, ran fourth in that feature and Daniel Dartin’s G’s Squeeze steps up to stakes company after back-to-back allowance scores at Evangeline Downs.
2021 Louisiana Cup Filly and Mare Sprint champion, Snowball returns for her third time. Owned by Tin Roof Farms LLC and trained by Sam Breaux, the striking gray daughter of Apriority has made 40 career starts. The multiple-stakes winner has $373,850 and will break from post four under rider Vicente Del-Cid.
Defending Champion Carlea’s Dream Prepped and Ready for the $67,000 Louisiana Cup Turf Classic
The $67,000 Louisiana Turf Cup Classic attracted eleven runners going a mile and one-sixteenth over the Franks Turf Course. Several proven turf stakes winners are entered with defending champion Carlea’s Dream, installed as the 5-2 morning line choice. Owned by Carl Moore Management, the 5-year-old son of Lea is out of the Corinthian mare Beat The Street. Lea banked over $2.3 million in his racing career for Hall of Fame conditioner Bill Mott.
Last year, Carlea’s Dream ran a formful race, splitting rivals and surging to the wire in 1.44.57.
“He’s matured a bunch since last year and is much better in the gate,” she said. “He loves the turf, like all horses sired by Lea. Lindey Wade had two days off from Canterbury Park last year and was great, but Iram has been working him and we feel very good about Saturday.”
Diego was in the irons for his impressive turf win here on June 21.
“We know he loves this turf course, so just felt better having him here,” added Jacks.
Other notables include Allen Cassedy’s Mangelsen, who ran third in last year’s Turf Classic for trainer Ron Faucheux and jockey Carlos Lozada. The 6-year-old gelding by Big Band Sound won the $60,000 Edward J. Johnston Memorial at Fair Grounds in March and prepped for this with a gate-to-wire turf victory at Louisiana Downs on July 9. Behemeh Star makes his Louisiana Downs debut for his breeder and owner, Evelyn Benoit. Trained by Jose Camejo, the 4-year-old son of Star Guitar captured the $75,000 Star Guitar last March at Fair Grounds and will be ridden by Cristian Torres as the 3-1 second choice.
Also, Kendall Standlee’s Big Chopper, who recently won the one-mile Louisiana Legends Cheval at Evangeline Downs, will make his second turf start for trainer Scott Gelner. The 3-year-old colt by Shackleford will be ridden by C. J. McMahon. Gelner and owner Kendel Standlee won the 2018 Louisiana Cup Turf Classic with In the Navy.
“His mama (Miss Well Molded) was a turf runner, so we thought this would be a good test for him,” said Gelner. “He came home to the farm for a freshening and worked well for this.”
The Louisiana Cup Turf Classic will run as the fifth race on the program, with an approximate post time of 3:37 pm.
Highly Competitive Edition of the $67,000 Louisiana Cup Juvenile Fillies
Nine accredited 2-year-old Louisiana-bred fillies will compete in what appears to be one of the best fields ever for the $67,000 Louisiana Cup Juvenile Fillies Several first-time winners will face off in the five and one-half main track sprint.
Flurry Racing Stable LLC’s homebred Lady Flurry turned heads at Louisiana Downs with a riveting nine-length maiden score on June 20. Owner Staton Flurry, who won the 201- Super Derby (on turf) with Mr Misunderstood, bred the daughter of Lord Nelson out of the Storm and a Half mare Patchofbadweather. Trained by Karl Broberg, Lady Flurry has been installed as the 7-5 morning-line choice.
“She has been training here and exploded in her debut, which might give us an advantage,” offered Flurry.” I bought her dam for $1,000 as a yearling. She won a few races, but this filly has a ton of speed. She was 3/1000ths off the track record here on June 20 and hopefully will move forward. Emanuel is injured, so I’m happy to give Cristian Torres the call. He’s a good, young rider who has done well for us at Oaklawn.”
Flurry has fond memories of winning the 2017 Super Derby with Mr Misunderstood. It was the only turf running on the esteemed championship and following the victory, the gelded son of Archarcharch won seven additional stakes. Trained by Brad Cox, Mr Misunderstood retired with earnings of $967,926 in 2020.
Flurry will not be at Louisiana Downs this Saturday as his proven graded stakes winning mare Shedaresthedevil will defend her title in Saturday’s Grade 1, Clement Hirsch at Del Mar,
“I’ve had some great horses in partnerships, but Mr Misunderstood will always be my favorite,” added Flurry. “He’s the one that set the foundation and put me there.”
Making her Louisiana debut will be Hoffman Family Racing LLC’s What Can I Say. The filly by Mo Tom won at first asking on July 4 at Horseshoe Indianapolis for trainer Tom Amoss.
“She was an impressive winner, even though she didn’t have the best break,” said Amoss. “She’s facing a nice field, but I like the fact that she has tactical speed, but can also rate.”
Amoss, who is currently six wins away from his 4,000th career milestone, will ship the bay filly to Louisiana Downs on Thursday.
“You always have concerns when horse travels for a race,” he added of his entrant, who will break from post eight under top Louisiana jockey Tim Thornton.
Janet is Ready will attempt to win her third in a row for conditioner Chasey Deville Pomier. The daughter of Custom for Carlos made her debut on May 13 in a $98,000 maiden special weight at Churchill Downs. After running second in Kentucky, she broke her maiden at Evangeline Downs and won the $100,000 Prairie Gold Lassie on July 8 in Iowa, at odds of 21-1.
“She came out of that race very well,” said Pomier. “It’s a tough field, but she’s a game filly.”
Dorgenois, who just broke her maiden on July 15 at Evangeline Downs, for trainer Ron Faucheux, is also entered. Jim and Natalie Montgomery, prominent in Louisiana Quarter Horse racing, bred the daughter of Gormley to the Fusaichi Pegasus mare Money Peg. She showed improvement in her second start and could very well outrun her 30-1 morning line.
Full Field in the Competitive $67,000 Louisiana Cup Sprint
The $67,000 Louisiana Turf Cup Sprint will close out the program with eleven talented Louisiana-breds traveling six furlongs on the main track.
Creole Charlie owned and trained by Howard Alonzo, has won seven of his 20 career starts and will break from post position two as the 3-1 choice. Claimed for $20,000 in February, the 4-year-old gelding by My Pal Charlie, was the runner-up in the Louisiana Legends Sprint at Evangeline Downs on June 4. He prepped for this with a victory one month later and will be ridden by Tim Thornton.
Set-Hut LLC’s X Clown makes his 23rd career start for trainer Jerry Delhomme off an allowance victory here on July 12. Joel Dominguez guided the 5-year-old son of Jimmy Creed, who drew post six at odds of 7-2.
Trainer Allen Landry, who won last year’s edition of this feature with Chu Chu’s Legacy, will saddle Brian’s Iron Mike and Double Barrel Man. Brian’s Iron Mike, a son of Iron Fist is owned by Buck Boys, LLC and makes his Louisiana Downs debut under jockey Joe Stokes.
“He’s a really good 3-year-old,” stated Landry. “Stakes-placed and ran a game second last out.”
Landry claimed the 9-year-old Double Barrel Man, who has an impressive career record of 14 wins and $533,912 earned in 68 starts. Calvin Borel has the call.
The Louisiana Cup Sprint runs as the seventh and final race on the card, with an expected post of 4:32 pm.