BIG FAMILY NIGHT CROWD ON HAND FOR MARQUEE NIGHT OF RACING
OPELOUSAS, LA –Evangeline Downs hosted the annual celebration of the Louisiana-bred Thoroughbreds with an exciting Louisiana Legends Night card on Saturday. The card featured six stake races each worth $100,000 for state-bred runners and were contested over courses rated fast and firm.
Evangeline Downs honored some past Louisiana Legends throughout the evening. Race fans were asked to nominate their own legends on Facebook. Merrill Scherer, Ray Sibille, Ron Ardoin, Doris Hebert, Buster Leger and Harold Delahoussaye were the top nominees by the fans and were recognized during the card.
FREE LIKE A GIRL STAYS UNBEATEN AT EVANGELINE DOWNS IN MADEMOISELLE VICTORY
Free Like a Girl again showed her fondness for the local racing strip in her Mademoiselle win. With Jockey Tim Thornton aboard, Free Like a Girl was in midpack running down the backstretch as Wupkar and Beleout sped through early fractions of 22.50 seconds for the opening quarter-mile and a half-mile split in 46.22. Moved outside to produce a four-wide bid, Free Like a Girl was able to collar the leaders nearing the furlong pole and pulled forward in the final 100 yards. The winning margin was 1-3/4 lengths at the wire, with Beleout second and First I’ve Seen another 1-1/4 lengths back in third. The Chasey Deville Pomier trainee moves to a perfect five for five over the local strip. The final time for the 5-1/2 furlongs was 1:05.17.
Bred by Kim Renee Stover and Lisa Osborne, the 4-year-old bay filly was sired by El Deal and is out of the Flashy Bull mare Flashy Prize. Owned by the partnership of Gerald Bruno, Jr., Carl Deville, Chasey Deville Pomier and Jerry Caroom, she wins for the thirteenth time in 27 starts and earns $60,000. Her career bankroll now stands at $930,378.
Free Like a Girl returned $3.80 to win as the wagering favorite, $3 to place and $2.10 to show. Beleout paid $7.60 to place, $6 to show and First I’ve Seen paid $4.40 to show.
CHEAPSKATE DIVA PREVAILS IN TURF DISTAFF
Keith Plaisance’s Cheapskate Diva made a sharp bid for the lead turning for home and held off favored A G’s Charlotte to capture the Turf Distaff. Away in good order under jockey Carlos Marquez, Cheapskate Diva tracked the early lead of Eve’s Delight through fractions of 24.08 seconds for the opening quarter-mile and 47.43 seconds for the half-mile. Cheapskate Diva made a move to take the lead at the top of the stretch and remained clear in the run to the wire to win by 2-1/2 lengths. A G’s Charlotte made a mild bid without threatening the winner and won a photo for second by a nose over a late closing Wholelottamo. The winner stopped the clock in a time of 1:35.80 for the mile distance.
The Joseph Felks trained runner is a 5-year-old bay mare sired by Animal Kingdom and is out of the Candy Ride (ARG) mare Beautiful Liar. Bred by the owner, Cheapskate Diva wins for the fifth time from 15 career starts. Earning $60,000 in the victory, her career bankroll increases to $176,640.
Cheapskate Diva returned $11.40 to win, $4.80 to place and $2.80 to show. A G’s Charlotte returned $2.80 to place, $2.20 to show and Wholelottamo paid $2.40 to show.
ALLNIGHT MOONLIGHT GETS NECK VICTORY OVER MANGUM IN CHEVAL STAKES
Roger Smith’s Allnight Moonlight dug in late to win a spirited stretch battle over Mangum in the Cheval. With Tim Thornton in the irons, Allnight Moonlight broke smoothly but was caught with a wide trip through the clubhouse turn as Calibrachoa Kid set the pace with Macho Beanie and Clear as a Bele the closest pursuers. Mangum made a bid to take the lead at the top of the stretch, as Allnight Moonlight ranged up while still covering extra ground. The pair squared off and battled to the wire with Allnight Moonlight winning by a neck. It was a big gap of ten lengths back to The Boss Soss in third. The running time for the mile was 1:39.59.
Bred by Coteau Grove Farms LLC and trained by David Terre, the winner is a 3-year-old colt sired by Ransom the Moon and out of the Medaglia d’Oro mare Gingertini. A winner for the fourth time from eight career starts, the $60,000 winner’s share pushes his career bankroll to $229,000.
Allnight Moonlight rewarded his backers with a $6 win price, $4.80 to place and $3.60 to show. Mangum paid $6.80 to place, $5.20 to show and The Boss Soss returned $6 to show.
LOUISIANA LIBERTY TAKES SOIREE STAKES IN DRAMATIC FASHION
Jockey Gerard Melancon and Louisiana Liberty sustained a wide rally in a last to first move to capture the Soiree. The early fractions were steady as Highly Wicked set the pace with New Destiny and Sixth Anniversary close behind through an opening quarter mile in 24.08 seconds and a half-mile in 48.38 seconds. Louisiana Liberty was wide down the backside at the tail of the field and began to make some headway with a bid entering the far turn, as favored Star Moment also moved into contention. The duo moved in tandem to battle for the lead inside the final furlong, with Louisiana Liberty edging clear in the final yards to win by a half-length. It was another 1-3/4 lengths back to Highly Wicked holding on for the show spot. The final time for the mile was 1:40.79.
Bred by Coteau Grove Farms LLC and owned by Whispering Oaks Farm LLC (Carrol Castille), Louisiana Liberty is a 3-year-old filly sired by Cloud Computing. She is out of the Pleasant Tap mare Pleasantly Blessed. Winning for only the second time in 11 career starts, her career bankroll increases to $135,230.
Louisiana Liberty, trained by Steven Flint, paid $23.20 to win, $6.80 to place and $4 to show. Star Moment returned $2.60 to place, $2.20 to show and Highly Wicked paid $4.60 to show.
WOODS N WATER VICTORIOUS IN TURF STAKES
Jockey Tommy Pompell sent Woods N Water through a narrow opening on the far turn to battle for the lead and edged clear to win the Turf. Always in close attendance to the early pace being set by Carlea’s Dream, Woods N Water was caught in some traffic as longshot Double on the Red made a bid nearest the rail entering the far turn. As the field approached the top of the stretch, Woods N Water kicked into another gear and burst through the pack to take the lead. The Lee Thomas trainee pulled away to win by 1-1/2 lengths in the end, with late closing Budro Talking running second and Deer Crossing another length back in third. The running time for the mile and a sixteenth on the turf was hand timed in 1:42.28.
Owned by Richard Painter and Dewberry Farm (John Kent III), the winner was sired by Palace and is out of the First Samurai mare Said and Done. Bred by Orange Grove Thoroughbreds, Inc. and Richard Painter, Woods N Water is a 4-year-old bay gelding. A winner for the sixth time in 17 starts, his career bankroll increases to $186,255.
Woods N Water returned $5.80 to win, $3.20 to place and $2.60 to show. Budro Talking paid $4.40 to place, $3.40 to show and Deer Crossing paid $3.80 to show.
DEL-CID PILOTS BLACK SWORD TO SPRINT VICTORY
Black Sword captured his second stakes win of the season in the Sprint. Jockey Vicente Del-Cid was able to work out a trip similar to his triumph in the King Creole last month with a sharp start. Sitting just off the early fractions of 22.27 and 46.15 being set by Grunt, Black Sword ranged up to take the lead at the top of the stretch and pulled away to a convincing two-length margin over Big Chopper. Grunt held on well to finish third just a nose better than Mike J. The final time for the 5-1/2 furlongs was 1:04.84.
Trained by Ronnie Averett and owned by Treanor MD LLC (Leonard Treanor, MD), Black Sword is a 6-year-old dark bay or brown gelding. Bred by Margie Averett, he was sired by Awesome Sword and is out of the Devil His Due mare Black Mariah. A winner for the eighth time from 25 starts, his career bankroll increases to $274,705.
Black Sword returned $6.40 to win, $3.40 to place and $2.60 to show. Big Chopper paid $4.80 to place, $3.40 to show and Grunt paid $6.80 to show.
For more information on racing at Evangeline Downs, visit the track’s website atwww.evdracing.com and on Twitter @evdracing. Live racing resumes Thursday with a 5:30pm Central first post. The racing calendar for the remainder of the 2023 season is Thursday through Saturday schedule until the end of the meet on August 12.