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Evangeline Downs Racetrack
Evangeline Downs is a racetrack in Louisiana, originally established in 1966 in Carencro before moving to the Opelousas region in 2005. Peninsula Gaming created a hybrid casino and racetrack at the new location before the company was purchased by Boyd Gaming in 2012. This track is the launching pad for many successful jockeys, such as Mark Guidry and Robby Albarado.
Evangeline Downs Horse Racing
The new Evangeline Down racetrack is composed of an inner grass turf course that measures 7/8 mile with a 1 1/8 mile chute. The outer track is a dirt oval that is one mile in length. Evangeline Downs as a whole occupies almost 750 acres.
Major Races and Events
This track hosts a variety of high-stakes competitions, including quarter horse and thoroughbred competitions. The biggest purse is the LQHBA Breeders Futurity for quarter horses while the brand-new Evangeline Downs Turf Sprint started with a bang by providing the richest payout for thoroughbred competitors at this location.
Evangeline Downs Turf Sprint
One of the biggest new races at Evangeline Downs is the Evangeline Downs Turf Sprint, which debuted successfully on June 21st, 2014. With a hefty purse of $300,000, this race immediately became the richest thoroughbred competition at the track, and one of the richest turf sprints in the United States. The first winner of the five furlong sprint is Heitai, which is Japanese for “soldier”.
LQHBA Breeders Futurity
The richest race at Evangeline Downs is the LQHBA Breeders Futurity, with a whopping purse of $1,000,000. This race usually takes place a bit later in the racing calendar, and is a 400-yard sprint for quarter horses. The event is categorized as the only Restricted Grade One event for Louisiana-bred competitors on the dirt track.
The Evangeline Mile is a one-mile handicap race on the dirt track for thoroughbreds three-years and older. In 2014, the event took place at the same time as the Evangeline Downs Turf Sprint as part of a wealthy undercard for the new big race. With a minimum purse of $100,000, the Evangeline Mile attracts strong competition from around the country.
Louisiana Legends Classic
Evangeline Downs hosts the Louisiana Legends Night, which has eight different stakes races for horses bred in Louisiana. This event has been run since 2004. The highlight of these races is the Louisiana Legends Classic, which is a 1 1/16 mile race for horses three-years and older with a purse of $100,000.