OPELOUSAS, LA –The 2022 Thoroughbred season at Evangeline Downs will begin on Wednesday, April 6.  The meet will consist of 84 days of racing, running on a Wednesday through Saturday weekly schedule and concluding on August 27.  First post each night will be at the new time of 5:30pm Central time.


The stakes calendar features a couple of new additions with the Acadiana and Lafayette Stakes.  Both of these races were previously contested under state-bred conditions, but are now open stakes events.  The Acadiana, for 3-year-old fillies, will be run on Friday, April 15, with the Lafayette, for 3-year-olds, the following night.  The May stakes action features the EVD Distaff, for 4-year-old and up Louisiana-bred fillies and mares, on May 6 and the EVD Classic, for Louisiana-bred 4-year-olds and up, on May 7.


The featured night of the Thoroughbred racing season will take place on Saturday, June 4 with the Louisiana Legends Night.  The exciting card will include six stakes races for horses bred in the Bayou State, each with a purse of $75,000.  A new star emerged last year as Cilla took the Legends Mademoiselle Stakes and later scored a graded stakes win in the Prioress (G2) at Saratoga in September.


July will see the renewals of the Opelousas and John Henry Stakes turf races.  The Opelousas, on Friday July 1, is for 3-year-old and up fillies and mares.  The John Henry, to be run on Saturday, July 2, is for 3-year-olds and up.


The final month of the racing season will include a couple of stakes weekends.  The Friday, August 5 card will include the Spotted Horse, a stakes for 3-year-old and up fillies and mares.  The Evangeline Mile, for 3-year-olds and up, will be contested Saturday, August 6.  Louisiana-bred 2-year-olds will take center stage on closing weekend with the D.S “Shine” Young Futurities.  The fillies division will be run on Friday, August 26, with the colts and geldings division on the final night of the meet Saturday, August 27.


Tim Thornton, a three-time riding champion at Evangeline Downs, will be the top returning rider in 2022.  Thornton, who captured his fourth consecutive riding title at Delta Downs over the winter, finished second in the standings last season with 100 wins.  Gerard Melancon eclipsed the 5,000 career wins mark last summer and returns looking to add to his stellar career numbers.  Apprentice Vincente Del-Cid will be a new face in the jockey colony this season.  Joe Stokes, Pedro Cotto, Jr., Devin Magnon, Kevin Smith and Aubrie Green are among some of the riders looking to have a solid meet.


Eduardo Ramirez will be back to defend his 2021 leading trainer title and will face a stiff challenge from the Karl Broberg barn.  The former Broberg assistant notched 44 wins and a 31% winning clip to unseat the perennial leader last year.  Other regulars returning with stables to the Opelousas oval include Keith Bourgeois, Sam David, Sam Breaux, Rylee Grudzien, Ron Faucheux and Allen Landry.  Ricky Courville, trainer of Kentucky Derby hopeful Un Ojo, will also return with a stable for the 2022 season.


For more information on Evangeline Downs, visit the track’s website at www.evdracing.com.  Evangeline Downs information can also be found on Twitter @EVDracing and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/EvangelineDownsRacing.


Evangeline Downs Racetrack Casino and Hotel, a property of Boyd Gaming Corporation (NYSE:BYD), features exciting casino action, live horse racing, the new Fan Duel sportsbook and fun dining experiences. Evangeline Downs is located in Opelousas, Louisiana, off I-49 on Cresswell Lane at Exit 18.

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