Super Derby 101: How to Enjoy the Biggest Race of the Year at Harrah’s Louisiana Downs

Featured Photo: Super Derby Prelude Winner Autumn Warrior. Photo by Hodges Photography, used courtesy of Harrah’s Louisiana Downs. 

Super Derby 39 is coming up on Sunday, Sept. 2, 2018 at Harrah’s Louisiana Downs in Bossier City. The day’s racing card will include the $300,000, Grade III Super Derby as well six $60,000 races leading up to the Super Derby. In addition to the Thoroughbred races, Harrah’s Louisiana Downs has planned a busy day of activities including a children’s play area, food trucks, the annual Super Derby Hat Contest, and more.

RSVP to the Facebook event for Super Derby 39 for more updates.

As a fan of live Thoroughbred racing, I’ve spent a lot of time at Harrah’s Louisiana Downs over the years – beginning when my grandfather would take me to the races as a child. In my opinion, there’s no better time to visit Harrah’s Louisiana Downs than the day of the Super Derby. There’ll be big crowds, fast horses, ladies in sun dresses and men in seersucker, and all of the pomp and circumstance that contributes to the excitement of live Thoroughbred racing.

A photo of Harrah's Louisiana Downs
Harrah’s Louisiana Downs will host Super Derby 39 on Sunday, Sept. 2, 2018.

If you’re a newcomer to racing, try to get there for the handicapping (“handicapping” is the term for selecting winners in Thoroughbred racing) seminar at 11 a.m. It’s a fast-paced, educational crash course in how to to wager, how to read past performances, and how to speak the language of the racetrack. There’s also plenty to do beyond the races on Super Derby day. Here are my picks for some of the highlights:

10:30 a.m.
Jockey Meet & Greet with Autograph Signing
Harrah’s Louisiana Downs Lobby
Photo for autograph will be available for $5.00 with proceeds benefiting injured jockeys

11 a.m.
Children’s Area and Food Trucks Open
Racing Apron
Face painting is available for an additional charge. Children can join in the fun with the Super Derby stilt walkers and hula hoop stars! Food trucks from across the region will be serving up great local bites for purchase.

11 a.m.
Free Handicapping Seminar at the Inside Rail Lounge (located on the first floor)

12 p.m.
Live Thoroughbred racing begins

After 3rd Race
Food Truck Face-Off
Competitors will have five minutes to scarf down some of the yummiest foods available for purchase on the Racing Apron. Seven local celebrities and three participants from the crowd will compete to win bragging rights plus $250 in cash.

After 6th Race
Harrah’s Louisiana Downs Super Derby 39 Opening Ceremony
The opening ceremony will feature a Proclamation by Bossier City Mayor Lorenz Walker, posting of the colors by the Bossier Sheriff’s Young Marines and The National Anthem performed by American Idol cast member Garrett Jacobs.

After 7th Race
Super Derby Ladies Hat Contest
Ladies, pull out your hat and get creative for a chance to win some cash. Registration starts at 12 p.m. in the Harrah’s Louisiana Downs lobby. Hats will be judged in three categories: Spirit of Louisiana, Classic, and Most Original. Winners will receive $100 cash. Please contact for more information.

11th Race: Running of Super Derby 39
Harrah’s Louisiana Downs premiere race is a Grade III, $300,000 stakes race returning to the main track this year. The official state song for Louisiana, “You Are My Sunshine,” will be performed by Casey Boddie before the race.

If you come out for Super Derby 39, please celebrate responsibly and – if you happen to be nearby for the Food Truck Face-Off, stop by and say hello. I’m competing!

Like Harrah’s Louisiana Downs on Facebook.
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