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Harrah’s Louisiana Downs will honor the first class of its Racing Hall of Fame on Saturday, July 13. It will serve as an opportunity to honor the achievements of horse owners, trainers, jockeys, horses and property contributors who have played pivotal roles in the rich history of Harrah’s Louisiana Downs.
The Harrah’s Louisiana Downs Racing Hall of Fame Committee selected the following recipients for the inaugural class. In addition, fan voting was offered and the public contributed to honor one additional inductee in the category of trainer, jockey, racing contributor and horse. Those results will be announced in Saturday’s induction ceremony, which will take place in the lobby of Harrah’s Louisiana Downs following the races. The festivities are open to the public.
These are the inductees into the 2019 Harrah’s Louisiana Downs Racing Hall of Fame:
LAD Racing Hall of Fame Owner
· John Franks – John Franks was the leading owner at Louisiana Downs for 18 years and much of the track’s success can be attributed to him. Franks was an Eclipse Award winning owner and his homebred Answer Lively was honored as 1998 Two-Year Colt of the Year.
LAD Racing Hall of Fame Trainer
· Frank L. Brothers – Winner of nearly 800 races at Louisiana Downs and nine consecutive training titles from 1980 – 1988. Brothers is the all-time leader in Stakes victories with 127. Louisiana Downs named a stakes race in his honor in 2019.
· C.W. Walker – The track’s second all-time leading trainer with 820 wins. A mainstay at Louisiana Downs he was best known for his prowess with claiming horses but also had 16 stakes winners. He was the leading trainer in 1977.
LAD Racing Hall of Fame Contributor
· Edward J. DeBartolo, Sr. – Instrumental in the early development of Louisiana Downs as one of the first owners. The track was a success from the start, setting numerous national records for handle and attendance throughout the 1970’s and ’80’s under his oversight.
LAD Racing Hall of Fame Jockey
· Ronald Ardoin – A resident of Haughton, Louisiana, Ardoin is the all-time winningest jockey at Louisiana Downs. He made history as the 16th jockey nationally to have 5,000 wins when he rode Heart of an Angel to victory at Louisiana Downs.
· Larry Snyder – Legendary Jockey with a 35-year riding career. Loved by fans at Louisiana Downs and Oaklawn Park, Larry worked as a steward at the track after retiring from the saddle in 1994.
LAD Racing Hall of Fame Horses
· Sunday Silence – The Super Derby Winner in 1989 in the same year that he was named Horse of the Year and Champion 3-Year-Old Male. He was winner of The Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes and Breeder’s Cup Classic. Sunday Silence was inducted into the National Museum of Racing Hall of Fame in 1996.
· Free Spirits Joy – Louisiana-bred winner of the Super Derby in 1991. He made 29 Louisiana starts and 3 at Remington Park. He died at the age at 27 in 2015.