Evangeline Downs quarterhorse meet begins Wednesday

OPELOUSAS — The 2011 Quarter Horse meet at Evangeline Downs kicks off this Wednesday at 5:40 p.m. This year’s meet will feature a total of 46-nights of racing, the same amount offered in 2010. Running primarily on a four-evening a week schedule, the fall season will feature racing on Wednesday through Saturday evenings with additional racing offered on Tuesday evenings on the following dates, Nov. 22, Dec. 6, and Dec. 13 and will run through Saturday, Dec. 17, 2011. There will be no racing on Thursday, Nov. 24, Thanksgiving Day.

The LQHBA Futurity, a restricted Grade I event with a purse of $200,000 added, is the richest race of the year at Evangeline Downs, either thoroughbred or quarter horse and is one of seven stakes events scheduled for the 46-night season. The last four runnings of the LQHBA Futurity has featured a purse of more than $500,000, and last year’s edition was worth $526,593 and was won by the sensational Jls Mr Bigtime in a track record performance as the Bigtime Favorite gelding drew away from his overmatched rivals to win by two lengths while stopping the teletimer in 19.411 seconds for the 400 yards, besting the previous mark by more than 1/10 of a second and earning a sensational speed index figure of 114. Owned by local breeder John L. Soileau and trained by his brother Darrel, Jls Mr Bigtime was ridden by Jarrod Deschamp.

Colman Lloyd, racing secretary at the Opelousas track stated, “In addition to the stakes program, we will once again have a solid and varied overnight program which will provide plenty of opportunity for everybody.” Lloyd added “Last year we tried daytime racing but after carefully reviewing everything we have decided to return to evening racing while maintaining our Wednesday-Saturday schedule.”

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