OPELOUSAS, LA –The 2023 Thoroughbred season opens at Evangeline Downs on Friday, April 7.  The meet will consist of 61 racing days running through August 12.  First post each night will be at the new time of 5:30pm Central.  The racing schedule will feature racing on Wednesday through Saturday for the first five full weeks of the meet.  Beginning the week of May 18, racing will switch to a Thursday through Saturday schedule.

Vicente Del-Cid has taken the Louisiana racing scene by storm and will be the top returning rider in 2023.  Del-Cid captured his first riding title at Evangeline Downs last summer and followed that up with a runaway championship at the recently concluded Delta Downs meet.  C.J. McMahon, Tim Thornton, and Joe Stokes are among some of the other riders looking for a big season.  Jose Luis Rodriguez joins the jockey colony and will be represented by former trainer Ron Faucheux.

Karl Broberg regained his spot at the top of the trainer standings in 2022 following a runner-up finish in 2021.  The Broberg barn connected with 44 winners from 228 starters to take top honors last season.  Eduardo Ramirez, the 2021 training champ, is among the trainers looking to unseat Broberg.  Robertino Diodoro will bring a division of his stable to the Opelousas oval this year. Trainers Justin Jeansonne, Isai Gonzalez and Allison Escobar will also be new additions to the backside.  Other notable trainers include Keith Bourgeois, Sam David, Sam Breaux, Rylee Magnon, and Allen Landry.

The popular “Exotic Animal Racing” will make a return to Evangeline Downs on April 22.  The Saturday card will include a couple of non-wagering events featuring racing camels and zebras sure to delight and entertain the crowd.

The 2023 season will feature an expanded stakes schedule, starting with a pair of stakes on opening night.  The $60,000 Spotted Horse and $60,000 Acadiana are the main events.  The first Saturday card includes the $60,000 Lafayette and Strong Eagle will look to defend his title in the $100,000 Evangeline Mile.

Racing fans will want to make plans to attend the races the first weekend of May for simulcasting of the Kentucky Oaks on Friday and the 149th Kentucky Derby on Saturday from Churchill Downs.  The EVD Classic highlights the live Derby Day card.

The marquee night of the season will take place on Saturday, June 3 with Louisiana Legends Night.  The program will feature six stake races for Louisiana-bred runners, with each purse increased to $100,000 guaranteed this year.  Free Like a Girl and Net a Bear were popular winners on the 2022 Legends Night.

The Friday, July 7 card features the $75,000 Louisiana Stallion Stakes presented by Coteau Grove Farms and the filly division of the $60,000 Shine Young Futurity.  Saturday, July 8 will have the $60,000 Shine Young colts and gelding division, along with the $75,000 Louisiana Stallion Stakes presented by Coteau Grove Farms.

For more information on Evangeline Downs, including a full stakes schedule, 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 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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