LEADING JOCKEY TIM THORNTON AND LEADING TRAINER KARL BROBERG WILL ATTEMPT TO DEFEND THEIR 2018 TITLES
OPELOUSAS, LA – The 54th season of Thoroughbred racing will be getting started at Evangeline Downs on Wednesday, April 3. It will be the first of 84 evenings of racing action held on a Wednesday through Saturday schedule with a nightly first post time of 5:50 pm Central Time.
The 20-race stakes schedule will feature purses totaling $1,375,000 and will begin the final weekend of April with the $75,000 Evangeline Downs Distaff on Friday, April 26 and the $75,000 Evangeline Downs Classic on Saturday, April 27. The highlight night of the stakes schedule is Louisiana Legends Night on Saturday, May 25. Louisiana Legends Night will feature eight stakes races for Louisiana-breds with purses valued at $550,000.
The richest stakes race of the season will be the $100,000 Evangeline Mile at one mile on the main track for three-year-olds and up to be run on Saturday, June 22. The 2018 edition of the Mile might have produced a 10-1 upset winner in Mocito Rojo, but the colt has gone on to prove that he is one of the best horses running in Louisiana right now. Since his win in the 2018 Mile, Mocito Rojo has captured four more victories, including scores in the $75,000 Delta Mile and the $60,000 Owner Appreciation Cup, both at Delta Downs. Mocito Rojo was bred in Kentucky by Paul and Andrena Van Doren. He is owned by Wayne T. Davis and trained by Shane Wilson.
There were three jockeys that managed to eclipse 100 victories during the 2018 season at Evangeline Downs. Tim Thornton led the way with 141 wins, while Colby Hernandez had 122 wins and Diego Saenz scored 119 times last summer. Thornton then went on to win his first-ever riding title at Delta Downs over the winter as well. His 142 wins at the Vinton, LA track were a stunning 56 wins better than the runner-up, Saenz.
All three of these riders are expected to return to Evangeline Downs for the 2019 season. They will be part of an excellent jockey colony that will also include veteran riders Gerard Melancon, Kerwin “Booboo” Clark, and Thomas Pompell.
As always, there will be a strong influence of female riders at Evangeline Downs in 2019. Ashley Broussard, who finished fourth in standings in 2018 with 45 wins, is returning, and a new face on the scene will be apprentice Paulina Ramirez, who made her mark at Delta over the winter with 31 wins.
The perennial leading trainer at Evangeline Downs, Karl Broberg, is once again poised to have a successful season in 2019. He won the 2018 training title with 59 victories and a winning percentage for the season of 35%. Sam Breaux, who finished as the runner-up last summer with 32 victories. Also returning are other local top trainers Scott Gelner, who posted 28 victories and Brett Brinkman, who had 27 wins in 2018.
Silks Clubhouse will be open for each live racing night this season at Evangeline Downs and will feature an a la carte menu on Wednesday and Thursday nights and a buffet on Friday and Saturday nights. The buffet price will be $18.99 per person and $9.99 for children. Evangeline Downs has also opened The Café seven days a week once again with extended hours to allow racing fans to enjoy their menu before, during and after the racing program. Also, throughout the month of April, the Crawfish Buffet will be available to all patrons for just $29.99 on Wednesday and Friday nights.
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.