The $300,000 Evangeline Downs Turf Sprint, a newly created event for 3-year-olds and up at a distance of five furlongs on the grass course that will be run on Saturday, June 21, is the centerpiece of the 2014 Evangeline Downs Stakes Schedule released today, which has been revamped and beefed up to feature 23 races worth a total of $2.15 million for the Thoroughbred meeting beginning April 9 at Evangeline Downs Racetrack, Casino & Hotel.
The $300,000 Evangeline Downs Turf Sprint, featuring the largest purse ever offered for a Thoroughbred race at Evangeline Downs, highlights a daytime program on June 21 that is bolstered by three open stakes and a total of five stakes races on the card. Special post time for that program will be 2:15 p.m. with normal post remaining at 5:40 p.m. Central Time for the season.
In addition to the new Turf Sprint, some of the major changes to this year’s stakes schedule include moving of the Louisiana Legends Night, a card that features the best Louisiana-bred horses in training squaring off in eight stakes races worth $750,000, from the first weekend in July to its new position on Saturday, May 24. Also, the D. S. “Shine” Young Memorial, a futurity for Louisiana-bred 2-year-olds, which has been held every year at Evangeline Downs (run previously as the Southwest Louisiana Futurity and the Cajun Futurity), has been moved to Saturday, July 5. Featuring two divisions, one for fillies, and one for colts & geldings, the “Shine” offers a $100,000 purse for each division. Trials for the “Shine” have been discontinued.
“We are very excited about our upcoming Thoroughbred stakes schedule, headlined by the inaugural Turf Sprint, which should draw top grass sprinters from around North America as a showcase event for Evangeline Downs, and along with the other marquee races scheduled, should provide a memorable day of racing and entertainment,” said Chris Warren, Director of Racing Operations for Delta Downs & Evangeline Downs.
Warren added, “We are also confident that restructuring of our stakes schedule, including the new date for Louisiana Legends Night, will also be a benefit to our horsemen and fans throughout the entire meeting.”
The Turf Sprint, along with the $100,000 Evangeline Mile for 3-year-olds and up on the main track, and the $100,000 Opelousas Stakes for fillies & mares, 3-year-olds and up on the turf at the distance of 1 & 1/16 miles, headline a much anticipated card that will also highlight Louisiana-bred 3-year-olds in a pair of $70,000 events, the Lafayette Stakes for colts & geldings, and the Acadiana Stakes for fillies. Each race will be contested on the main track at the distance of seven furlongs. There will be a $100,000 guaranteed Pick 4 wager anchored by the Turf Sprint.
Thoroughbred Racing will return to Evangeline Downs for the 49th consecutive season in Cajun Country with an 84-night season on Wednesday, April 9 that will run through Saturday, August 30. As in past seasons, racing will be conducted on a four-evening-a-week schedule, Wednesday-Saturday, with a first post of 5:40 p.m. Central Time, with the previously noted exception of Saturday, June 21.
For additional information contact Evangeline Downs at (337) 594-3000 or 594-3149.