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Louisiana Downs

Louisiana Downs is a thoroughbred racing track in Bossier City, Louisiana. It features live thoroughbred racing from May to November and quarter horse racing in November and December. It is considered to be one of the premier racetracks in the Southern United States.

Louisiana Downs' signature race is the Super Derby. It is touted as a preparatory race for prospective participants to the Breeders' Cup Classic. The race tests the nation's best three-year-old thoroughbreds at a distance of one and one-eighth mile. It is the highlight of Louisiana Downs' distinguished stakes schedules. Among the other stakes events are the following:

  • John Franks Memorial
  • Chapel Belle
  • Fleur de Lis
  • Dixie Miss
  • Independence Handicap
  • Island Whirl Handicap
  • Folklore Handicap
  • Razorback Futurity
  • Lady Luck
  • Harrah's Louisiana Downs Breeders' Cup Handicap
  • LA Breeders' Derby
  • LA Bred Quarter Horse Stake

Louisiana Downs Track Facts

• Main Track : one mile, oval
• Turf Course : 80 feet, all around
• Distance from last turn to finish line : 1,117 feet

History of Louisiana Downs

1973

  • Louisiana Downs started construction on reclaimed swampland near Shreveport, Louisiana. The reported cost was $20 million. Backing for the project came from Kemmons Wilson, chairman of Holiday Inn of America and real estate developer Edward J. DeBartolo, who also owned Thistledown racetrack in Ohio. He eventually built Remington Park in Oklahoma City.

1974

  • The inaugural day of racing was held on October 30.

1980

  • The track's centerpiece event - the Super Derby - was first run as a Grade 3 event.

1984

  • The Super Derby was given Grade 1 status.

1999

  • Edward J. DeBartolo's daughter Denise York assumed control of Louisiana Downs in March after winning a lawsuit against her brother Edward DeBartolo Jr. who had been involved in a gambling scandal.

2000

  • Edward J. DeBartolo's daughter Denise York assumed control of Louisiana Downs in March after winning a lawsuit against her brother Edward DeBartolo Jr. who had been involved in a gambling scandal.

2001

  • The Super Derby was downgraded to Grade 2 effective the 2002 running.

2002

  • On December 20, Harrah's Entertainment, Inc. announced that it has completed its acquisition of a controlling interest in Louisiana Downs.

2003

  • Improvements to the racing facility included upgrades to the racetrack turf rail system, barn and stable areas, turf course irrigation, paddock area, winner's circle, racetrack apron areas, exterior entry landscaping and a new VIP Lounge.

2004

  • The second phase of the expansion was completed in late May and included an additional 150,000 square feet of space that will house 1,500 slot machines.

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