03/26/2009 12:00AM

Super Derby purse boosted to $750K


Louisiana Downs in Bossier City, La., has boosted the purse of its richest race, the Grade 2 Super Derby, from $500,000 to $750,000 in the most significant change to its 34-race stakes schedule, worth more than $3.3 million. The 1 1/8-mile race for 3-year-olds will be run on Sept. 19.

"All of the history that Louisiana Downs has with the Super Derby - that's our name recognition race - we just felt like at $500,000 it was losing some of that national significance," said Trent McIntosh, the new director of racing for Louisiana Downs. "Moving it to $750,000, we thought that would be a huge boost as far as staying on the national scene."

Louisiana Downs will open for an 83-date meet on May 15. The season will run through Oct. 4. The Super Derby will anchor a card of six stakes worth more than $1.2 million, with the $50,000 Temperence Hill at six furlongs new to the program. The race takes the place of the $150,000 Tiznow, which was a Win and You're In race for the Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile and one of eight stakes cut for 2009. The Super Derby undercard will again include a pair of six-figure turf stakes for 2-year-olds, led by the $150,000 Sunday Silence.

McIntosh believes the Sunday Silence has a chance of being graded in the future, citing the quality of last year's winner, City Style, who went on to finish fourth in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf and has since won twice in Dubai.

The Super Derby card is one of three major race days during the meet. A Louisiana-bred program of eight stakes worth $750,000 will be run on Aug. 1. Formerly called Louisiana Downs Champions Day, the program has been renamed the Louisiana Cup. The Super Derby Prelude Day card of four stakes worth a cumulative $250,000 is set for Aug. 15. It again will be headed by the $100,000 Prelude.

There will also be four stakes worth a cumulative $300,000 on Oct.3, all for 2-year-olds. Two are for horses bred in Arkansas, and two for those eligible for the Louisiana Stallion Stakes.