Evangeline Downs hosted its annual celebration of the Louisiana-bred Thoroughbred on Saturday night with Louisiana Legends Night. There were eight stakes races with purses totaling $550,000, making it the richest night of the entire Thoroughbred season.
The first stakes race of the evening featured a returning champion in Ours to Run, who defended her victory in the $75,000 Mademoiselle by winning the race once again over a game Our Millie. Ours to Run was sent off as the biggest betting favorite of the night at odds of 1-9 and covered the 5-1/2 furlongs over the fast main track in a final time of 1:03.48 to win by 1-1/4 lengths.
Ours to Run was bred in Louisiana by Clifford Grum, is owned by Colonel Thoroughbreds, LLC, trained by Larry Jones and was ridden to victory by Roberto Morales. The 5-year-old mare is by Half Ours and is out of the Mineshaft mare, Brown Eyed Baby and has now extended her winning streak to six stakes races in a row.
Snowball was sent right to the lead in the $75,000 Soiree by jockey Diego Saenz and she took that cue to lead every step of the way to score a 6-1 upset victory, finishing the one mile distance in a time of 1:39.69 to win by three-quarters of a length.
Snowball was bred in Louisiana by 4M Ranch, is owned by Tin Roof Farms, LLC, and trained by Sam Breaux. The 3-year-old filly is by Apriority and is out of the Value Plus mare, Inner Peace.
Jockey Diego Saenz then made it back-to-back stakes wins on Louisiana Legends Night by coming through with a 3-1/2 length victory aboard Galaxy Thirtysix in the $50,000 Distaff Starter. The win was the second stakes victory of 2019 for Galaxy Thirtysix, who had previously won the $60,000 Premier Night Ladies Starter Stakes at Delta Downs on February 9.
Galaxy Thirtysix was bred in Louisiana by Gerald Averett, Jr., is owned by Arian Haxhillari and trained by Ron Faucheux. The 5-year-old mare is by Greeley's Galaxy and is out of the Forty Won mare, Stang Thirtysix.
Shang, who was sent off as a strong 3-5 favorite in the $75,000 Cheval, rewarded the faith of the betting public with a victory by one length over the 2019 Equine Sales Derby winner, Power Jet. Power Jet tried to go last-to-first, but his challenge was rebuffed easily by Shang, who finished the one mile in 1:38.26.
Shang was bred in Louisiana by Cloyce Clark, Jr. The 3-year-old colt is owned by Corrine and William Heiligbrodt, trained by Steve Asmussen and was ridden to victory by Richard Eramia. Shang is by Shanghai Bobby and is out of the Humble Eleven mare, Humble Janet.
The first of two turf races on the program was the $75,000 Turf Distaff and Diego Saenz collected his third stakes victory of the night with Bermuda Star, who covered the one mile over the firm turf in a time of 1:37.19. Bermuda Star got first run on the pace-setting longshot, Mi Copa Rebosa, and then fended off a challenge from the 4-5 favorite, Is Too, to win by a half-length.
Bermuda Star was bred in Louisiana by Tom Curtis and Wayne Simpson. The 5-year-old mare is owned by Brittlyn Stable, Inc. and trained by Victor Arceneaux. She is by Star Guitar and out of the Runaway Groom mare, Bermuda Bride.
There was another winner from last year's edition of Louisiana Legends Night defending his crown on Saturday night and that was the 2018 Louisiana-bred Horse of the Year, Monte Man, in the $75,000 Sprint. Monte Man had to overcome a slow start and rally five-wide on the far turn, but he managed to survive those troubles and win by three-quarters of a length in a final time of 1:03.48 for the 5-1/2 furlongs.
Monte Man was ridden to victory by Gerard Melancon, who was also aboard for that 2018 score. The 6-year-old gelding was the second win on the night for trainer Ron Faucheux. He was bred in Louisiana by Val C. Murrell and is owned by Ivery Sisters Racing. Monte Man is by Custom For Carlos and is out of the Sutter's Prospect mare, Sarah's My Angel.
It was a return to the grass for the $75,000 Turf, which provided one of the more exciting finishes of the night, as Mageez just beat out In the Navy for the win and denied Diego Saenz a fourth stakes victory. Instead, it was Roberto Morales who collected win number two on the evening, as Mageez won by a head and finished the 1-1/16 miles in a time of 1:43.27.
Mageez is owned by Double Dam Farm, LLC, of Delmar Caldwell, who is also the trainer. The 6-year-old horse was bred in Louisiana by James A. McGehee, Jr. Mageez is by Musket Man and is out of the Spectacular Bid mare, Spaseeba.
The $50,000 Starter was the final stakes race on the program and the 3-5 favorite, Just Stormin, proved best after being headed on the turn by I Am Ready Again. Just Stormin re-rallied in the stretch and ended up winning by 1-1/2 lengths in a time of 1:45.40 for the 1 1/16 miles.
Just Stormin was bred in Louisiana by Tom Curtis and Wayne Simpson. The 7-year-old gelding is owned by Craig Drago, trained by Allen Landry and was ridden to victory by Kerwin Clark. Just Stormin is by Freud and is out of the Cryptoclearance mare, Crypto Cream.
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