GERARD MELANCON REACHES MILESTONE 5,000TH VICTORY AT EVANGELINE DOWNS

LOUISIANA NATIVE BECOMES THE 37TH NORTH AMERICAN RIDER TO SURPASS THE MARK

 

OPELOUSAS, LA –Evangeline Downs fans were treated to a historic evening as jockey Gerard Melancon picked up a milestone victory in the final race on Thursday.  Melancon’s heavily favored runner, Reposado, led gate-to-wire, as he became the newest member of the 5000-victory club.  With countless friends and family in attendance, Melancon was able to celebrate early, even flashing five fingers as he crossed the wire in a 5-3/4 length victory.

 

The win was made more special as the victor was trained by longtime friend Glen Delahoussaye.  Running for owner Charles Carlton, the gelded son of Shackleford, Reposado is out of the Two Punch mare Bronze Abe.

 

Melancon began his professional riding career at Delta Downs in 1984.  His first victory came with his third career mount with Dash and Cash on February 9, 1984.  His first victory over the original Evangeline Downs oval, was astride Cajun Lawman on April 7 the same year.

 

A multiple graded stake winning jockey, he piloted Bonapaw to a Grade I winning score in the 2002 Vosburgh at Belmont Park.  Melancon claimed two editions of the $1,000,000 Delta Downs Jackpot, first with Saber Cat in 2011 and then with Rise Up in 2013.  His most recent graded-stakes score came in 2019 in the Lukas Classic Stakes at Churchill Downs with Mocito Rojo.

 

The native of Rayne, LA has ridden in over 31,900 races and his mounts have earned nearly $88 million in purse money.  He recently passed Ramon Dominguez on the career wins list and the next rider to catch is Alex Solis with 5,035 wins.

 

He considers the 2004 Super Derby aboard Fantastic Cat his biggest win.  “It was a race I had dreamed about winning, and to do it twenty years into my career was pretty special,” he stated.

 

Several people have been integral in the storied career of Melancon.  “I have to thank my wife, Annette, for all of her support through the years.  Manuel Robin was integral in giving me a chance to get started, and my agent Louis Coco has been a great partner for the past 25 years.”

 

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.

 

Lone Star Cancels Through Week; Melancon Tests Positive for COVID-19

By Bill Finley

 

With Lone Star Park officials having little to say about the abrupt shut down of racing after Sunday’s first race, it was unclear when racing would resume at the Dallas area track or if the meet will be canceled.

Citing a conversation with racing secretary Tim Williams, the Daily Racing Form reported Monday that the three days of racing scheduled for this week would not be held.

Lone Star’s decision to stop racing may be related to the news that jockey Gerard Melancon has tested positive for the coronavirus. A regular at Delta Downs and Evangeline Downs, Melancon last rode June 28 on shipper Mocito Rojo (Mutadda) in the Lone Star Mile.

Read TDN Article

Jockeys Melancon, Batista Organize Relief Supplies For Hurricane Harvey Refugees

by Paulick Report Staff

Jockeys Gerard Melancon and Alexis Batista worked together to organize a relief effort for people displaced by Hurricane Harvey last week, according to the Daily Racing Form. The riders gathered more than 50 cases of water and a stash of diapers to a shelter in Lake Charles, La. which has taken in Texas residents fleeing the flooding from the storm.

Melancon said the project was a combined effort of riders at Louisiana Downs, along with their valets and chaplain Dwight Brown.

Also on Wednesday, NTRA Charities announced it would donate more than $5,000 to the Penn National Gaming Foundation, which is helping Sam Houston Race Park employees affected by the storm.