Live Racing to Resume at Louisiana Downs
While live racing is set to resume June 6th at Harrah's Louisiana Downs, for the first time since 1979, there will be no Super Derby.
Due to Covid-19 restrictions, the annual Quarterhorse racing meet ended two days early, on March 16, 2020. The same restrictions prevented the Thoroughbred racing season from starting as scheduled on Saturday, May 2, 2020.
While some Thoroughbred have been in training on the property since April 13th, after a judge ruled to allow horseman on the property, others weren't allowed to start shipping in their strings until May 6th.
An emergency meeting of the Louisiana State Racing Commission took place last week and that's when they approved racing at Louisiana Downs from June 6th through September 23, 2020. That's a 64 day meet with live racing on Saturdays, Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays starting at 1:15 pm.
One caveat... the races will be run without fans in the stands, at least until Governor John Bel Edwards lifts mitigation restrictions.
As someone who has spent the majority of their life living near Louisiana Downs, seeing it so slow is disheartening. I remember as a child in the '80s having to wait through multiple traffic lights to be able to turn on Stockwell Road for home. Over the years, the traffic has dwindled, but now, the parking lot looks like a ghost town. As a horsewoman, I know that these athletes need to be exercised to remain healthy, hence trained and raced.
I, for one, want to see Louisiana Downs succeed. We have a rich history of horse racing in our area and I'd hate for this to be an industry that failed because of the shutdown.