Saturday night was another double stakes night at Evangeline Downs and the marquee event on the program was the $100,000 Evangeline Mile, which featured a field of eight. The winner of the Mile was a 10-1 longshot, Mocito Rojo, who has never been defeated in four career starts over the main track at Evangeline Downs.
Sir Genghis took the lead in the race right out of the starting gate and held it through solid fractions of 24.32 seconds for the quarter-mile and 47.24 for the half-mile. As the field entered the stretch, Mocito Rojo was the first to make a move on the pacesetter and took the lead just outside the final furlong. The 1-5 betting favorite, Dazzling Gem, started his rally a little late and Mocito Rojo was able to stave off the belated effort to win by 1-3/4 lengths in a final time of 1:37.69 over the fast track.
Mocito Rojo paid $22 to win, $5.40 to place and $3.40 to show. Dazzling Gem paid $2.20 to place and $2.10 to show. Sir Genghis held third and returned $2.80 to show.
Mocito Rojo was bred in Kentucky by Paul and Andrena Van Doren. The 4-year-old colt is by Mutaada and is out of the Orientate mare, Blushing Royale. He is owned by Wayne T. Davis, trained by Shane Wilson and was ridden to victory by Filemon Rodriguez. The win was the ninth in 13 lifetime starts for Mocito Rojo and the $60,000 first-place purse increases his lifetime earnings to $175,900.
The $50,000 Lafayette Stakes for Louisiana-bred 3-year-olds also took place on Saturday night at Evangeline Downs and the winner was the even-money wagering favorite, Autumn Warrior. The gelding was engaged in a speed duel through the early stakes with O'L Red, as that pair posted swift fractions of 22.21 seconds for the quarter-mile and 44.73 for the half-mile. Once in the stretch, however, Autumn Warrior easily dispatched O'L Red and surged to a 6-3/4 lengths victory in a final time of 1:24.19 for the seven furlongs.
Autumn Warrior paid $4.20 to win, $2.80 to place and $2.40 to show. O'L Red returned $3 to place and $2.40 to show and Discreetly D paid $3.60 to show.
Autumn Warrior was bred in Louisiana by the owners Autumn Hill Farms Racing Stables Inc., is trained by Al Stall, Jr. and was ridden to victory by Colby Hernandez. The 3-year-old gelding is by 2013 Kentucky Derby winner, Orb, and is out of the Posse mare, Kinsolving. He is now two-for-two in his career and the $30,000 first-place purse increases his lifetime earnings to $43,200.
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