US Racing Track Guide: Louisiana Downs

Betfair now offers Exchange markets on a whole host of tracks in the United States. In his latest in-depth guide, US racing handicapper Dean Keppler takes a look at Louisiana Downs...

What kind of racecourse is it?

The Main Track is a traditional one mile oval with one-and-a-quarter and 7/8 chutes; distance from last turn to finish, 1,010 feet; width of stretch and backstretch, 80 feet. The Franks Turf Course is seven furlongs and 50 feet; distance from last turn to finish, 940 feet; width of stretch and backstretch, 70 feet.

Tell me something I don't know about this track?

Louisiana Downs, located on 350 acres near Shreveport in Bossier City, Louisiana opened on October 30, 1974 with approximately 15,000 fans in attendance for the first day of its inaugural meet.

Built by the late shopping-center magnate, Edward J. DeBartolo, Sr., the track was a success from the start, setting numerous national records for handle and attendance throughout the 1970's and '80's.

When do they race?

(Thoroughbred) Mainly Wednesday through Saturday afternoons May Through September - starting at 23:15 GMT (Quarter Horses) Mainly Saturday through Tuesday January Through March--starting at 19:00 GMT.

Best Ever Race?

Grade 2 Super Derby - September 30, 2000

Tiznow (trained by Jay Robbins and ridden by Hall of famer Chris McCarron) shipped to Louisiana for the $500,000 Super Derby, then a Grade 1 race. He won in wire-to-wire fashion by six lengths under a hand ride, breaking the course record for one-and-an-eighth miles in the process.

He used this championship race as a stepping stone to his victory in the Breeders' Cup Classic. A race he went on to win the following year in 2001 as well.

The Super Derby is now run at one-and-a-quarter miles with the hope of attracting the best three-year-olds in the country, and to optimistically have an impact on the end-of-the year championships.

On October 18, 1980, Belmont Stakes winner Temperence Hill won the inaugural Super Derby and became only the third Thoroughbred in history to earn more than $1m. The Super Derby has attracted four Kentucky Derby winners, four Preakness Stakes winners, five Belmont Stakes winners and seven Travers Stakes winners.

Most Popular Jockeys

Jacinto, John
Eramia, Richard E.
Mora, Gerardo
Most Popular Trainers
Foster, Joseph M.
Johnson, Jr., Henry B.
Caldwell, J. R.

How to find winners at Louisiana Downs...

Like so many mini-Thoroughbred meets, there's a strong jockey/trainer colony that win most of the races meet after meet. Here are some that are most potent winning profiles in Cajun country Louisiana Downs.

Trainer Joseph Foster does well with horses making their second and third start off a layoff, and with first and second off the Claim runners.

His go-to pilot is Gerardo Mora. Trainer Danny Pish with second career starters (24%); turf races (23%); & 3rd off a Layoff (32%).

Draw Positions

Posts 4 through 9 are the most operative draws in the sprint races at Louisiana Downs. Post 10 and 11 are the most ineffective slots. In distance races, post 1 through 9 win an equal amount of races. Post 10 through 12 are the least desirable. On the Louisiana Downs grass course post 1 and 2 are desirable as is the middle draws (post 4 through 7).

Running Styles

Early speed and presser types are equally effective in sprint and route dirt races. Wire-to-wire winners win 35% of the time in 5 ½ furlong dirt sprints. In route dirt races early speed types on the rail are the most potent combination. In turf sprint and route races early speed and tactical presser 'stalker" types win the most often especially along the rail and inside.

When betting at Louisiana Downs look out for...

speed or presser types starting from a middle post position in dirt sprint races. Any starter trained by J. R. Caldwell who usually maintains a solid overall 20% win clip at this meet. The jockey/trainer combination of Danny Pish and Richard Eramia which stands close to 30%.