JOCKEY JOSE GUERRERO ABOARD THE FIRST STAKES WINNER OF THE SEASON
OPELOUSAS, LA –Evangeline Downs kicked off the 2022 stakes calendar with a renewal of the $60,000 Acadiana Stakes on Friday night. Jerry Cart’s Miss Jana took control on the turn and pulled away for a convincing victory. The race for three-year-old fillies, formerly restricted to state-bred runners, was absent from the stakes schedule the past couple of seasons.
Sassy Emma was quickest out of the gate and was quickly joined by Brinee and Run Natalie Run in the charge down the backstretch. After a sharp start, jockey Jose Guerrero had Miss Jana well within striking distance, rating in fourth position, as the leaders went the opening quarter-mile in 22.32 seconds. Miss Jana rushed up to challenge with a four-wide bid midway on the turn, challenging Brinee and Run Natalie Run, as Sassy Emma was the first to bow out. After a half-mile in a swift 45.74 seconds, Miss Jana surged forward to take a half-length lead. Run Natalie Run and Brinee were also beginning to tire, while Wholelottamo and Splenda Gail started to commence with their closing rallies.
Miss Jana opened up her lead to a convincing four lengths as they passed the final furlong marker and was in hand nearing the wire a comfortable 3-1/4 lengths in front. Wholelottamo sustained her bid to finish in the runner-up spot, 1-1/2 lengths in front of Splenda Gail, who finished third. Miss Jana stopped the timer in 1:11.32 seconds for six furlongs over a track rated fast.
Trained by the owner, Miss Jana earned $36,000 for the victory, her third from nine career starts. The purse from the first stakes victory increased her lifetime bankroll to $103,640.
The 3-year-old filly was bred in Louisiana by Robert E. Hewlett. Sired by Ruler’s Court, the bay is out of the Mauk Four mare Jettin Jana.
Miss Jana returned $7.20 to win as the second choice in the wagering, $3.40 to place and $2.60 to show. Favored Wholelottamo paid $2.60 to place and $2.10 to show. Splenda Gail returned $3.20 to show.
Live racing resumes on Saturday with a 5:30pm first post. The featured event is the $60,000 Lafayette Stakes. The Evangeline Downs Thoroughbred season runs on a Wednesday thru Saturday schedule until August 27.
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.