JOCKEY JOHN JACINTO SWEEPS THE LAST THREE RACES ON THE PROGRAM
OPELOUSAS, LA- String King defended his victory in last year’s $100,000 Louisiana
Legends Turf with another Turf win on Saturdaynight at Evangeline Downs. His rider, John Jacinto, was the riding star of the evening with three wins in a row to conclude the program. Jacinto not only won the Turf with String King, he also won the Louisiana Legends Classic with The Pickett Factor and a Louisiana-bred maiden race with Street Honor.
String King sat off the pace-setting pair of Hail To The Nile and Hook during the early stages of the Turf through a solid opening quarter-mile of 23.33 seconds while the half-mile was covered in 48.40 seconds. As the field entered the stretch, String King powered to the front and withstood the closing charge of 28-1 longshot, Four Leaf Chief, to prevail by one-length in a final time of 1:43.27 for the 1 1/16 miles over the firm turf course.
String King was bred in Louisiana by the owner-trainer, Charles Smith. The 8-year-old gelding is by Crowned King and out of the Fly A Kite mare, String Dancer. The win is the 19th victory in 43 career races for String King and the $60,000 first-place purse pushes his career earnings to $1,071,052. String King returned $5.40 to win, $3.60 to place and $3.00 to show.
The $125,000 Louisiana Legends Classic was indeed a classic as The Pickett Factor and Mobile Bay dueled throughout the entirety of the 1 1/16 miles. The pair set fractions of 25.39 seconds for the quarter-mile and 48.92 seconds for the half-mile and were not separated by more than a half-length at any point of the race. The Pickett Factor proved to be the stronger of the two in the stretch, however, and eventually won the Classic by a neck in a final time of 1:44.28 over the fast track.
The Pickett Factor is owned by Melissa Cantacuzene and trained by Ralph Irwin. The 4-year-old gelding is by Gold Tribute and out of the Dynaformer mare, Dynaspice. The victory in the Classic is his seventh in 12 lifetime starts. The $75,000 first-place purse increases his lifetime earnings to $401,890. The Pickett Factor returned $6.40 to win, $3.00 to place and $2.60 to show.
There were six other stakes races on the Louisiana Legends Night program. One Survivor survived a speed duel with Red Production to win the $50,000 Starter. Betting favorite Believe In Bertie went gate-to-wire to win the $100,000 Soiree on the turf. Wheatfield won the $100,000 Mademoiselle with a stirring finish to defeat the favorite, Smittys Cougar, by just a nose. Extra Credit won by the largest margin of the night with a 2-3/4 length score in the $100,000 Cheval on the grass. Believeinsomething had to dig down deep to survive a stretch duel with Forest Lake, winning the $100,000 Distaff by ¾ of a length. Jockey Alex Cortez recorded his first-ever stakes victory aboard C U Tiger in the $100,000 Sprint.
Evangeline Downs will resume live racing on Wednesday night with a nine-race program. There is a carryover of $4,695.67 in the Super Hi 5 wager entering the Wednesday night program. Post time on Wednesdaynight is 5:50 pm Central Time.
For more information on the Thoroughbred season at Evangeline Downs, visit the track’s website at www.evdracing.com. Evangeline Downs’ Twitter handle is @EVDRacing and the racetrack is also accessible on Facebook at www.facebook.com/EvangelineDownsRacing.
About Evangeline Downs
Evangeline Downs Racetrack Casino & Hotel is owned by Boyd Gaming Corporation, a leading diversified owner and operator of 22 gaming entertainment properties located in Nevada, New Jersey, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana and Mississippi. Boyd Gaming press releases are available atwww.prnewswire.com. Additional news and information can be found atwww.boydgaming.com, or www.evangelinedowns.com.