Trainer Joseph 'Bobby' Felks Celebrates First Stakes Win On Louisiana Cup Day - Horse Racing News | Paulick Report
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Trainer Joseph ‘Bobby’ Felks Celebrates First Stakes Win On Louisiana Cup Day

Bobby Felks saddled his first stakes winner with Cheapskate Diva who took command in the $67,000 Louisiana Cup Distaff

There were plenty of wonderful moments on Louisiana Cup Day, the annual stakes card saluting Louisiana Thoroughbreds.

One special highlight was the victory of Cheapskate Diva who took command in the $67,000 Louisiana Cup Distaff. The 4-year-old daughter of Animal Kingdom was making her stakes debut for breeder/owner Keith Plaisance. Ridden confidently by Carlos Marquez, the bay filly crossed the wire of the mile and one-sixteenth turf stakes in 1.41.92, defeating a deep field of accomplished turf mares.

It was the first stakes win for the filly and her trainer Joseph “Bobby” Felks, and while he was reticent about taking credit for her victory, Marquez and Plaisance gave him his due.

“I give all the credit to Bobby,” said Marquez. “She used to be more hyper, but Bobby has worked with her, and she did it easy for me today.”

Plaisance also praised Felks in the post-race interview.

“It was his idea to enter her in this,” said Plaisance. “Bobby felt she deserved a shot and to win over tough mares like Net a Bear and Fort Polk was amazing. My hat's off to Bobby!”

“Bobby is my middle name,” explained Felks. “I never really liked being called Joseph; everyone calls me Bobby.”

Felks was born in Chicago and is the only member of his family who desired a career in the racing industry. He had a summer job hot walking horses at Arlington Park and made his way to Louisiana when he served as an assistant for the late Edward J. Johnston. The respected horseman succumbed to cancer on August 28, 2021 at the age of 74. Eddie's career spanned 30 years with stakes winners including Pacific Pink, Zarb's Luck, Grand Basin and Is Too earning over $12 million.

Felks has eight horses in training and admits that he had his challenges with Cheapskate Diva. She made six starts at Fair Grounds with little impact.

“She was difficult in the beginning,” he explained. “I didn't know what to do to get her focused. The lightbulb finally turned on at Evangeline Downs, where she began to relax and showed more and more in each work. Winning the maiden $20,000 (on May 14) was a confidence builder, for sure.”

Marquez rode for Johnston and Felks named him on the filly and several other runners.

“It has worked out very well with Carlos,” said Felks. “He has won eight of nine races for me this summer.”

Felks reports that Cheapskate Diva, who reeled off four consecutive wins since May, will have some time off and likely make her next start at Fair Grounds. Her performance on Louisiana Cup Day was very special for the 53-year-old horseman and he remains grateful to Plaisance for his support.

“Training for Keith has been amazing,” stated Felks. “There is no pressure in developing his horses. I couldn't ask for a better owner!”

Matt Crawford, in his first month as Louisiana Downs racing secretary, also applauds the hard work of Felks.

“Bobby is a very dedicated horseman,” stated Crawford. “Whether you have eight or 80, training racehorses is a very demanding job. It's great to see Bobby win his first stakes race and we are happy that it took place on Louisiana Cup Day!”

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