Post times to move back, hoping to spark more off-track wagering on LaDowns

By TONY TAGLAVORE, Journal Sports

Soon, for the third time during the 2023 Louisiana Downs thoroughbred meet, there will be a different starting post time.

The track announced via Twitter that beginning July 22, each race day will begin at 4:05. That’s 35 minutes later than the current post time, and two hours later than post time (2:05) when the meet began May 6.

The latest move was recommended by the Louisiana Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association, with hopes of more money being bet on races at the Bossier City track at off-track sites around the country.

Since July 1, when the Downs began racing at 3:30, handle has increased significantly. The later the post time, the less the Downs competes with other tracks which run during the afternoon.

Some horsemen have expressed a desire to have lights at the Downs, which would allow for night racing, like what takes place at Evangeline Downs in Opelousas. Last week, the Journal reported that adding lights will be discussed by the Louisiana State Racing Commission.

More good news for Louisiana Downs: despite concerns from horsemen and state racing commissioners, a Sunday morning inspection revealed the turf track did not sustain any significant damage from temporary accommodations to facilitate the staging of the Balloon Rally on the infield of the oval on Saturday.  

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