Louisiana Downs approved to race, but the Super Derby's off

Louisiana Downs approved to race, but the Super Derby's off
Photo: Hodges Photography

The 2020 Thoroughbred racing season at Harrah’s Louisiana Downs, which was originally scheduled to begin last Saturday, will commence on June 6. An emergency meeting of the Louisiana State Racing Commission took place granting unanimous approval for the revised date.

Due to state mandates regarding COVID-19, Harrah’s Louisiana Downs concluded its 2020 Quarter Horse meet on March 16, two days ahead of the scheduled final date. Thoroughbreds have been training there since April 13 when a judge's ruling allowed horsemen to be permitted on the grounds.

The stable area opened Wednesday for horsemen who have been allocated stalls for the 2020 Thoroughbred season.

“We appreciate the patience of all of our horsemen and wish them a safe transition in shipping their runners to Harrah’s Louisiana Downs,” said David Heitzmann, director of racing. “This has been an incredibly difficult time for our industry, and we will all be grateful to see the return of live racing here next month.”

The meet will be run spectator-free, until further notice, in accordance with sanctions by Gov. John Bel Edwards. Harrah’s Louisiana Downs is in constant communication with the Louisiana Department of Health on procedures and protocols to ensure the safety of horses, horsemen and essential employees.

The first condition book will be available on Equibase in the near future. Further information on the Thoroughbred stakes schedule will be forthcoming, but officials have confirmed that the Grade 3, $300,000 Super Derby will not be contested in 2020.

The 64-day meet will continue through Sept. 23 with live racing to run Saturday, Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday at 2:15 pm ET.

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