EVANGELINE DOWNS SET TO KICK OFF 2022 THOROUGHBRED SEASON ON APRIL 6

THE 84-DAY SEASON WILL RUN THROUGH AUGUST 27

 

 

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.

Oaklawn Increases Purses

Oaklawn will offer across-the-board purse increases beginning  Mar. 11. Claiming and starter allowance races will receive a $4,000 bump, with maiden special weights and allowances up by $6,000. The minimum purse is now set at $29,000 with maiden special weights at $90,000 and allowances at $106,000.

With the past three weeks having seen an increase in both on and off track wagering, Oaklawn has added an additional day to its schedule on Apr. 7. The live meet will run through May 8.

 

STALL APPLICATIONS FOR 2022 EVANGELINE DOWNS THOROUGHBRED SEASON DUE BY FEBRUARY 15

THE 84-DAY SEASON BEGINS ON WEDNESDAY, APRIL 6

 

 

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 is scheduled for 5:50pm Central time.

 

Stall applications are due by Tuesday, February 15.  Horsemen interested in an application can visit the track website at www.evdracing.com and click on the Horsemen’s Info tab.  The racing office can be contacted directly at 337-594-3000.

 

The stakes calendar features a couple of new additions with the Acadiana and Lafayette Stakes.  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 filly 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 is on Saturday, June 4 with the Louisiana Legends stakes program.  Six stakes races for Louisiana-bred runners, each with a purse of $75,000, will highlight the card.  Legends Mademoiselle winner Cilla was the star of the 2021 night with her big victory, and subsequent efforts in open stakes company last summer.

 

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 filly 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 have a couple of stakes weekends.  The Friday, August 5 card will include the Spotted Horse, a stakes for 3-year-old and up filly 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 filly division will be run on Friday, August 26, with the colts and geldings division on the final night of the meet, August 27.

 

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 atwww.facebook.com/EvangelineDownsRacing.

 

Oaklawn Park Cancels Racing Through Weekend

Due to the effects of a winter storm hitting Arkansas, Oaklawn Park canceled racing Feb. 4-6. The lost race dates will be replaced with racing added March 17, 24, and 31, a series of Thursdays.

“It’s never an easy decision to cancel live racing, but it’s the right decision for the safety of our horses and our fans traveling this weekend,” Oaklawn Park general manager Wayne Smith said. “We’re looking forward to an outstanding weekend Feb. 11-13 featuring two graded stakes and the Voices of Rock concert in the Oaklawn Event Center next Saturday. We appreciate the cooperation from the horsemen and our commission in rescheduling the races.”

In addition, the $250,000 Bayakoa Stakes (G3), originally scheduled for Saturday, will now be run Feb. 12. The Bayakoa, a 1 1/16-mile race for older fillies and mares, will now be the supporting feature on a card highlighted by the $600,000 Razorback Handicap (G3) for older horses at the same distance.

Extreme Cold Forces Oaklawn To Cancel Racing, Training On Friday

Due to extreme cold temperatures in the region, Oaklawn Park in Hot Springs, Ark. will cancel training and racing on Friday, Jan. 21.

The National Weather Service predicts temperatures as low as 16 degrees (F) on Thursday night, with a high of just 35 on Friday. Wind chills on Friday could be as low as 7.

According to the track’s Twitter feed, the goal is to resume racing and training on Saturday, Jan. 22, with post time Saturday afternoon moved to a 1:00 PM (Central) start time.

Normal schedules are expected to resume on Sunday, Jan. 23.

Nominees Released for Road to the Derby Kickoff Day Gun Runner and Untapable Stakes

Nine additional stakes to be run December 26th and 27th

New Orleans, LA (December 2, 2021) – December 26 marks the inaugural running of two new Kentucky Derby and Oaks prep races at Fair Grounds Race Course and Slots – the $100,000 Gun Runner for 2-year-olds and the $100,000 Untapable Stakes for 2-year-old fillies – and nominations for both races have been released.

With a first post of noon CT, six stakes will be run on the Road to the Derby Kickoff Day card on Saturday, December 26, with the newly anointed races leading into to Fair Grounds’ traditional Kentucky Derby preps – the Lecomte (G3), Risen Star (G2) presented by Lamarque Ford and the Twin Spires Louisiana Derby (G2), and traditional Kentucky Oaks preps – the Silverbulletday, Rachel Alexandra (G2) presented by Fasig-Tipton and the Twin Spires Fair Grounds Oaks (G2). The Gun Runner, which will award 10-4-2-1 points on the Road to the Kentucky Derby, closed with 21 nominations and the Untapable, which will award 10-4-2-1 points on the Road to the Kentucky Oaks, closed with 22 nominations.

Post positions for the December 26 card, which also includes the Tenacious Stakes, Richard R. Scherer Memorial Stakes, Blushing KD Stakes, and the Buddy Diliberto Memorial Stakes will be drawn on Thursday December 16. The Joseph E. “Spanky” Broussard Memorial, The Woodchopper, Sugar Bowl, Letellier, and Pago Hop Stakes, to be run on December 27, will be drawn on Friday December 17.

“With the type of horses and trainers we have on the backside here year in and year out we thought it was the perfect opportunity to have these stakes with Derby and Oaks points attached four weeks out from Lecomte Day,” Fair Grounds’ racing secretary Scott Jones said. “It’s perfect timing too, as most of our open horses come from Churchill Downs and it’s four weeks removed from their Stars Of Tomorrow card. You’ll see a lot of 2-year-olds that ran on that day reappear here on Dec 26.”

Run over 1 1/16 miles, the Gun Runner is named for the local winner of the 2016 Risen Star and Louisiana Derby. He also counts the 2017 Breeders Cup Classic (G1) and 2018 Pegasus World Cup (G1) among his top stakes scores.

Brad Cox leads all trainers with six Gun Runner nominees, including Dean Maltzman’s Kaely’s Brother, the adjudicated winner of the Jean Lafitte Stakes at Delta Downs, and Frank Fletcher Racing Operations and Ten Strike Racing’s Rocket Dawg, a dominant winner at first asking at Churchill Downs on November 19.

Hall of Fame trainer Steve Asmussen has a trio of horses nominated to the Gun Runner including dominant recent maiden winners in Ed and Susie Orr’s All In Sync and Winchell Thoroughbreds’ Epicenter.

Other top nominees to the Gun Runner include: Tom R. Durant’s Tejano Twist, who has already racked up three wins for trainer Bret Calhoun, including the Lively Shively last out on the November 27 Stars of Tomorrow card at Churchill Downs and C2 Racing Stable and La Milagrosa Stables’ White Abarrio, who has two wins and a recent third place finish behind Smile Happy and Classic Causeway in the Kentucky Jockey Club (G2) at Churchill Downs on his resume for trainer Saffie Joseph, Jr.

Trainer Ken McPeek has a pair of potential aces nominated to the Untapable, to be run over 1 mile and 70 yards, in Dixiana Farms’ Cocktail Moments and Bret Jones and Cold Press Racing’s Park on the Nile, both of whom won impressively at first asking on the Stars of Tomorrow card.

Cox and Asmussen each boast a trio of Untapable nominees. Cox’s fillies include the Godolphin homebred Matereya, who won at first asking in advance of a fifth place finish behind her stablemate Ju Ju’s Map in the Alcibiades (G1) at Keeneland and a runner-up performance in the Fern Creek at Churchill Downs last time out. Famed, a Godolphin half sister to likely champion Essential Quality, who was last seen finishing fourth in the Golden Rod (G2) at Churchill and Gregory Hoffman’s Golden Sights, a recent maiden dominator at Keeneland, are also Untapable options for Cox.

Asmussen’s Untapable nominees are led by an impressive first out winner in the Stonestreet homebred La Crete, who is a half sister to last year’s Rachel Alexandra winner Clariere.

Chris Walsh’s California Angel, the 17-1 upset winner of the Jessamine (G2) on the Keeneland turf in advance of a disappointing 11th place finish in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1) at Del Mar, is also nominated to the Untapable, which is named for the 2014 winner of the locally-run Rachel Alexandra and Fair Grounds Oaks in addition to the Kentucky Oaks and Breeders Cup Distaff that same year.

The list of nominees and the past performances for all 11 stakes to be run at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots on December 26-27 can be found here https://www.equibase.com/premium/eqbHorsemenAreaSNHW.cfm?trk=FG.

-30-

About Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots

Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots, one of the nation’s oldest racetracks, has been in operation since 1872. Located in New Orleans, LA, Fair Grounds, which is owned by Churchill Downs Incorporated (NASDAQ Global Select Market: CHDN), also operates a slot-machine gaming facility and 15 off-track betting parlors throughout Southeast Louisiana. The 150th Thoroughbred Racing Season – highlighted by the 109th running of the Louisiana Derby – will run from November 25, 2021 through March 27, 2022. More information is available online at http://www.fairgroundsracecourse.com.

Delta Downs Could Be Back Under Lights By Nov. 12

By T. D. Thornton

A two-phase fix to the allegedly unsafe new lighting system at Delta Downs is underway that could allow the Louisiana track to switch back from afternoon programs to traditional weekend night cards by Nov. 12.

The recently installed light-emitting diode (LED) system, which was necessitated by the old lights getting wrecked by a hurricane in August 2020, was only operational for three races on the first night program of the season Oct. 15 before a horse fell at the top of the stretch.

Fueled by complaints from some jockeys and trainers that areas on the turns were dangerously dark and shadowy, the remainder of that card and the Oct. 16 program were cancelled. Delta resumed racing during afternoons without lights Oct. 20-23.

 

Read TDN Article

Delta Downs Cancels Racing Under New LED Lighting System

by

 

Delta Downs was forced to cancel the remainder of its Friday night program after a third-race spill and will not conduct its scheduled Saturday night program.

The Vinton, La., racetrack, which opened its 2021-22 meet with two afternoon programs on Oct. 13-14, was racing under its new LED lighting system for the first time on Friday when Its a Deal fell at the top of the stretch in the third race. Jockey Jorge Guzman fell heavily to the track.

According to the Equibase chart, Its a Deal walked off after the incident. Guzman’s condition is not known.

 

Read Paulick Report Article

ENTRIES TAKEN FOR OPENING DAY AT DELTA DOWNS RACETRACK CASINO & HOTEL

– NEW 84-DAY THOROUGHBRED SEASON KICKS OFF WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 13 –

 

 

VINTON, LA. – Delta Downs racing office took entries on Tuesday for the opening day program of its upcoming 2021-22 Thoroughbred season. The 84-day stand will kick off on October 13 and run through March 5. First post time each Wednesday and Thursday will be at 12:55 pm Central Time and the first race every Friday and Saturday night will begin at 5:55 pm.

 

A total of 92 horses, including also eligible horses, were entered in the nine-race program to start the season. Delta Downs allows a maximum of 10 horses to compete in each race, however the track does include up to two ‘also eligible’ horses in each event if there are enough entries to warrant it. The track began using ‘also eligible’ horses a few years ago and it has led to larger average field sizes and more betting opportunities for the wagering public.

 

The first stakes activity of the season will take place on opening weekend with the $100,000 Magnolia Stakes for 3-year-olds and up fillies and mares on Friday night, October 15 and the $100,000 Gold Cup for 3-year-olds and up going as the Saturday night headliner. Both races are restricted to horses bred in Louisiana.

 

Several streaks will be on the line this season in the horsemen ranks at Delta Downs this year. Karl Broberg will attempt to win his 11th consecutive training title while Tim Thornton will try to extend his streak to four straight riding titles. The ownership group of End Zone Athletices, Inc., which includes Broberg and Matt Johanson, will be looking to extend their run of six titles in a row this meet. Overall, they have captured nine of the last 10 owner crowns at the southwest Louisiana oval.

 

For more information about the upcoming season, including the entire stakes schedule, visit the track’s website at www.deltadownsracing.com. Fans can also get information about the track through Facebook by visiting the page ‘Delta Downs Racing’. The track’s Twitter handle is @deltaracing.

 

Dollars and Sense: Texas-Sized Returns

 

At last thrown a relatively small bone by state lawmakers two years ago, Texas racing is taking full advantage.

In September 2019 Texas lawmakers approved legislation that would commit an additional $25 million to the state’s horse racing industry, split equally between Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse purses. Texas has made the most of that small investment.

While Texas is surrounded by racing states that boost purses with money from added gaming—Louisiana, Arkansas, Oklahoma, and New Mexico—it has found a way forward behind its equine and racing tradition along with a pair of quality tracks in major metropolitan areas built in the 1990s in Lone Star Park, in the Dallas-Fort Worth area; and Sam Houston Race Park, in Houston.

 

Read BloodHorse Article