US Racing Track Guide: Evangeline Downs

Betfair now offers Exchange markets on a whole host of tracks in the United States. In his latest in-depth guide, US racing handicapper Dean Keppler takes a look at Evangeline Downs...

What kind of racecourse is it?

The main dirt track is a 1-mile conventional oval. The turf course is 7 furlongs.

Tell me something I don't know about this track?

• Evangeline Downs Racetrack & Casino is the first "Racino" built in the United States from the ground up.
• Evangeline Downs is known for having more horses per race than any other track in the country. The more horses in a race, the better the odds of winning and the larger the payouts.

When do they race?

Thoroughbreds: Mainly Wednesday-Saturday afternoons, April-August, starting at 23:40GMT
Quarter Horses: Mainly Wednesday-Saturday afternoons, September-December, starting at 23:35GMT

Best Ever Race:

Louisiana Legends Classic June 30, 2012

Evangeline Downs hosts an annual Louisiana Legends Night, a series of eight stakes races for Louisiana-breds. The highlight race of the event is the $125,000 Louisiana Legends Classic, for older horses going 1 1/16-miles. In 2012, Star Guitar won a record fourth straight Legends Classics and will go down in history as the all-time leading Louisiana-bred earner.

Star Guitar, a homebred son of Quiet American out of the Malagra mare Minit Towinit, raced for Maurice and Evelyn Benoit's Brittlyn Stable and was trained by Al Stall Jr. In all, Star Guitar won 24 of 30 starts and earned $1,749,862.

Most Popular Jockeys

Hernandez, Colby J.
Diego, Saenz
Broussard, Ashley

Most Popular Trainers

Broberg, Karl
Breaux, Samuel
Ramirez, Eduardo

How to find winners at Evangeline Downs

The large competitive fields at Evangeline Downs makes for an exciting and attractive wagering product for all handicappers. This Cajun country bush track attracts some of the most underrated jockeys and trainers. A leg up on finding winners begins with some familiarity of successful connections and angles.

Leading trainer and record holder Karl Broberg wins with 32% of his overall starters at this meet the past five years. The barn excels with 1st, 2nd and 3rd off the Claim runners, and 1st and 3rd off the Layoff. Samuel Breaux is a conditioner that does well with shippers coming from Delta Downs ridden by Gerard Melancon. Trainer Eduardo Ramirez excels with 1st and 3rd off the layoff runners and all recent claims.

Draw Positions

The successful post draws change significantly at Evangeline depending upon the distance and surface. In 5 ½-furlong dirt races the outside draws (7-12) are usually the most successful. In 6-½ furlong dirt events it's completely the opposite. Posts 1-3 are most flattering. In 1-mile main track dirt races the inside draws are the most favourable.

In turf sprint races the inside draws (post 1-3) are beneficial and in route grass events the middle draws (post 4-7) are complimentary.

Running Styles

Early speed and presser 'stalker' types are equally effective in sprint and route dirt races at Evangeline. Wire-to-wire speed wins 31% of the races in 5 1/2 -furlong dirt races and 33% of turf sprints.

When betting Evangeline Downs look out for...

Strong speed and an outside draw going 5½ furlongs on the main track is a winning combination. Inside speed in turf sprints is very effective. Anything trained by Karl Broberg and ridden by Colby Hernandez must be considered a 'live' runner at Evangeline. This jockey/trainer combination have won several back-to-back race meets. The only true negative is the short price that's usually attached to their entrants.