Broberg waiting out Harvey
Karl Broberg will win the Evangeline Downs training title by a pole when the Opelousas, La., track’s meet closes on Saturday night, but he was far from celebrating on Monday. Broberg was working the phones as floodwaters were threatening his farm near Delta Downs in Vinton, La.
There has been ongoing flooding in coastal areas in Louisiana and Texas since Hurricane Harvey made landfall late Friday night in Rockport, Texas.
“We are in a bad spot right now,” Broberg said. “I’m talking with the guys at the farm, getting things ready if we do need to get mares out of there.”
Delta Downs, which opens its Thoroughbred meet Oct. 18, closed for simulcasting on Monday and Tuesday. Sam Houston, located two hours away in Houston, closed for simulcasting on Sunday and Monday. Chris Warren, director of racing for Delta and Evangeline, was hopeful that Delta would be able to resume simulcasting Wednesday.
“It was real bad here this morning in Vinton,” Warren said Monday. “It was coming down in buckets. There was a little break, the sun was out, and now it’s dark again. It’s been waves of rain. The wind has never really gotten out of hand.”
Delta’s facilities are in good order, said Warren, with the plan still being to open the backstretch to horses on Sept. 18 in advance of the meet.
Broberg said he will be there with a division, and with new goals for the season. He will be coming off an Evangeline meet at which he had won 85 races from 233 starts through Tuesday, putting him 64 wins clear of his closest pursuer in the standings, Sam Breaux.
“Delta is probably my favorite track to run at, period,” Broberg said. “We’ve got some very ambitious goals this year on what we want to accomplish. We want to make sure we win more races there than we did last year. I’m trying to win more higher-priced claiming races this year, if we can find the right horses, instead of just races near the bottom.”
Broberg owns many of the horses in his care, and his racing stable, End Zone Athletics, will win the Evangeline owner title come Saturday. End Zone also is the leading owner in wins in North America, while Broberg himself leads all trainers in wins in North America.
“I’m the principal owner of End Zone Athletics,” Broberg said. “I would much rather that be a client than myself in that role. End Zone is a necessity to keep everyone employed. I don’t want to lose the help I have. It’s getting tougher and tougher to get clients. I get more horses.”
Broberg said his thoughts on Monday were with those fighting flooding and dealing with property destruction, as well as his own staff and the horses at his farm.
The leading rider at the Evangeline meet will be Tim Thornton, who has been a regular aboard horses trained by Broberg.
Sir Genghis goes in dirt sprint
Sir Genghis, who won the $100,000 Louisiana Legends Classic at Evangeline Downs in July, will see allowance action at Evangeline Wednesday night.
Sir Genghis has raced once since the Legends Classic, finishing fourth in the $50,000 Louisiana Cup Turf Classic on Aug. 5 at Louisiana Downs. He moves back to dirt and a sprint distance for the eighth race at Evangeline, a six-furlong allowance that carries a purse of $26,500.
Kerwin Clark has the mount for co-owner and trainer Kirk Harris.
Others making up the field include U S Officer, who last year won the $100,000 Clever Trevor at Remington Park, and Nubin Ridge, who ran a big second to Jockamo’s Song in the $50,000 Louisiana Cup Sprint on Aug. 5 at Louisiana Downs.
Solid card at Remington
Remington Park in Oklahoma City has two high-end races and two interesting maiden special weight races on Wednesday night’s card.
An optional $25,000 claiming race over a mile on the grass goes as race 8 and drew the stakes winners Z Rockstar, Holiday Mischief, Sky Flight, and Phantom Trip. However, a pair of horses who have yet to win stakes, King Ptolemy and Macho Gabacho, could vie for favoritism off third-place finishes in optional $40,000 claiming races at Lone Star Park.
Karl Broberg, the nation’s leading trainer in wins who won the first race of the Remington meet last Friday night, will see action in the seventh race, a first-level allowance sprint, with the promising 3-year-old Blabimir. The horse was third last out in a quick first-level allowance at Prairie Meadows.
Broberg finished seventh in the trainer standings at last year’s Remington meet.
“We’re hoping to have a muchimproved meet at Remington Park this year,” said Broberg.
Minefield, a half-brother to Arkansas Derby winner Gayego who was second in the race that Blabimir exits, is a leading contender for trainer Ron Moquett.
Also on the card, a maiden special weight race for Oklahoma-breds (race 9) drew Shotgun’s Star, a 3-year-old half-brother to Grade 3 winner Shotgun Kowboy. Earlier on the card, a maiden special weight for 2-year-old fillies will mark the debut of Tic Three, a halfsister to multiple stakes winner Okie Ride.
Sir Genghis will switch from turf to dirt and shorten up to a sprint in an allowance Wednesday.