SIX $70,000 STAKES FOR LOUISIANA-BREDS HIGHLIGHTS AN EXCITING PROGRAM
OPELOUSAS, LA –A pair of recent stakes winners highlight the entries for Louisiana Legends Night at Evangeline Downs Saturday night. The celebration of Louisiana-bred Thoroughbreds will feature six $70,000 stakes races on the nine-race card. A total of 52 runners were entered in the stakes races, and the card also features a Louisiana-bred 2-year-old race.
The $70,000 Soiree is the first stakes on the card and tests a field of five 3-year-old fillies going one mile on the turf. The 8/5 morning line favorite Winning Romance is a recent stakes runner-up from the barn of W. Bret Calhoun. Cilla, a graded-stakes placed filly from the barn of Brett Brinkman, is the second choice at 9/5.
The $70,000 Cheval, for 3-year-olds at a mile on the turf, brings together a competitive field of 10 runners. Beauregard is one of three entrants riding multiple-race winning streaks into the contest. After losing his dam shortly after birth, the gritty gelding was raised by a nurse mare named Hope. He reeled off three straight victories at Will Rogers Downs and will run for his breeders Southern Legacy Thoroughbreds and trainer Karl Broberg. The morning line favorite Unanimously, a Steve Asmussen trainee, enters after facing a tough stakes field at Oaklawn Park in his last start.
A solid field of ten will contest the $70,000 Sprint over the 5-1/2 furlong distance. This field has combined to produce 28 wins over the Evangeline Downs surface, and looks to be a fantastic wagering event. Monte Man drew the attention of the morning line maker as the 9-5 favorite, but defending champ Laughingsaintsong, and Bertie’s Galaxy among others, should have a say in the outcome. Born Again George brings a resume with eight local wins to the affair, and Wild Bert is an ultra-consistent runner.
The $70,000 Turf Distaff at one mile on the turf for 3-year-olds and up, fillies and mares, is another competitive bunch. One could make a case for a handful to have been the morning line favorite, with that nod going to Net a Bear, listed at 9-5. The Allen Landry trainee will have the services of Tim Thornton, and must overcome an outside post draw. Net a Bear was a fast closing second in her last turf effort and will look to turn the tables on Offspring, who bested her on that day. Listed as the second choice at 5-2, Offspring has been absent from the races since that March event. Distractor Factor, runner-up in the Evangeline Downs Distaff, is another that should draw attention at the mutuel windows.
The winner of the Evangeline Downs Distaff, Snowball, leads the entries for the $70,000 Mademoiselle. The race for fillies and mares over 5-1/2 furlongs will attempt to display the versatility of the defending champ. Sam Breaux trains and Tim Thornton will be in the saddle. Southern Beauty brings a two-race winning streak into the race, and Saints N Muskets will try reverse her fortunes after being defeated in the Distaff three weeks ago.
The $70,000 Turf closes out the stakes action on the card with recent Classic winner Treys Midnite Moon listed as the morning line favorite. Tim Thornton will handle the reigns for trainer Corale ‘Bunky’ Richards in the one-mile race. A pair of the rivals trying to turn the tables from the result in the Classic are Grand Luwegee and Mageez. Trained by Gerard Perron and piloted by Diego Saenz, Grand Luwegee led until deep stretch in the Classic and should have his speed on display once again. Mageez, trained by Delmar Caldwell, will have Ashley Broussard in the irons after finishing a hard-charging third at 40-1 in the Classic.
The Louisiana Thoroughbred Breeders Association will be awarding two $1,000 scholarships during the evening. Students are encouraged to attend the races and enter the drawing, with the winners to be selected after the fifth race. First post time for the nine-race card Saturday will be 6:00pm Central Time. The Belmont Stakes card, and many other simulcast options, will provide plenty of action for wagering leading into Legends Night.
For more information on racing at Evangeline Downs, visit the track’s website at www.evdracing.com and on Twitter @evdracing. Racing continues on a Wednesday thru Saturday schedule until the end of the meet on September 18.
Evangeline Downs Racetrack Casino and Hotel, a property of Boyd Gaming Corporation (NYSE:BYD), features exciting casino action, live horse racing and fun dining experiences. Evangeline Downs is located in Opelousas, Louisiana, off I-49 on Cresswell Lane at Exit 18.