Sunbean wins the Louisiana Legends Classic at Evangeline Downs
2014 Louisiana Legends Stakes Results
On Saturday, Evangeline Downs hosted the 10th annual Louisiana Legends Night, a series of 8 stakes races for Louisiana-breds. Conditions were excellent at the Opelousas, Louisiana, oval with partly cloudy skies and temperatures in the 80's.
The highlight race of the night was the $100,000 Louisiana Legends Classic, for older horses going 1 1/16 miles. Just 5 went to post with Sunbean sent off as the 1-20 favorite off his third place finish in the New Orleans Handicap (G2), over 8-1 Arkansas Martini, with the rest at long odds. 16-1 Coneyo Fontova set the early pace of 24.80 and 48.96 over the fast track while stalked by Sunbean, who easily gained the front on the far turn through 3/4 in 1:13.43. Kept to task by jockey Richard Eramia, Sunbean cruised to a 5 length win over 19-1 Heavy On Themister in 1:44.21. It was another 4 lengths back to Arkansas Martini third.
Full results chart
Left: Sunbean in the winner's circle. Jockey Richard Eramia said, "This horse (Sunbean) is very special. It was hard to race him (Saturday night) in short field like it was (five horses), but I had the best horse. I wanted to keep (Sunbean) clean of the others. He is a great horse. I have only lost one race with him since I started riding him." Trainer Ron Faucheux added, "He's just a good horse to be around. With him it's always a good day at the barn. As far as Louisiana-bred, (Sunbean) is as good as it gets. The good thing, is we are fortunate to be in this position."
Right: Second place finisher Heavy on Themister in the post parade.
Tensas Harbor wins the Louisiana Legends Distaff at Evangeline Downs
A field of 8 older fillies and mares contested the $100,000 Louisiana Legends Distaff at 1 1/16 miles. 19-1 She Loves Runnin' was sent to an uncontested lead through fractions of 23.35, 47.02, and 1:12.45 while stalked by 3-2 favorite Mischievous Mama. She Loves Runnin' continued to lead to the 1/8 pole through 1 mile in 1:38.66 but 3-1 Tensas Harbor, last early, came out widest of all to win by 2 1/2 lengths over 2-1 Little Ms Protocol in 1:45.29. It was another 1 1/4 lengths back to She Loves Runnin' third, while favorite Mischievous Mama was fifth.
Winning jockey Colby Hernandez said, "I just let her fall away, and then I rode (Tensas Harbor) like Mr. (former jockey Mark) Guidry, coming off the pace."
Skipberry Wine wins the Louisiana Legends Turf Stakes
Immediately before the Classic, a field of 8 older horses contested the $100,000 Louisiana Legends Turf Stakes at 1 1 1/16 miles on the turf. 14-1 Rodeo Champion battled for the early lead with 7-2 second choice Hopeful Notion through fractions of 24.17, 49.12, and 1:13.75. Hopeful Notion led into the stretch getting the mile in 1:38.48, but 5-1 third choice Skipberry Wine, last early. rallied 6 wide to win by 1/2 a length in 1:44.55 over the firm course. It was another 1/2 length back to 4-5 favorite Benwill third.
Trainer Sam Breaux said, "It was the first time he faced any Louisiana breds on grass and he showed up." Jockey Gerard Melancon added, "I was holding (Skipberry Wine) close at first, but the race didn't go as well as we wanted. I think he felt more at home once I got him to the outside."
The $100,000 Louisiana Legends Sprint featured a field of 11 older horses sprinting 5 1/2 furlongs on the main track. 49-1 Reece's Wildcat led briefly through 1/4 in 21.13 before 3-5 favorite Heitai took over through a half in 43.87. Kept to task by jockey Diego Saenz, Heitai opened up a 4 length lead at the 1/8 pole and cruised under the line 2 lengths in front of 5-2 Marv in Lafitte in 1:03.38. It was another 1 1/2 lengths back to 22-1 Strong and Tough third.
Owner Frank Rowell said "Heitai is simply a good horse with a good trainer." Jockey Diego Saenz added, "I just let him run his race."
Drewssasin wins the Louisiana Legends Cheval Stakes
The $100,000 Louisiana Legends Cheval Stakes at 1 mile on the turf featured a field of 12 three-year-olds. Jockey Tracy Hebert sent 9-1 Drewssasin to the lead through fractions of 22.83, 46.49, and 1:11.29 while stalked by 43-1 Win Lion Win and 19-1 Forerun. Into the lane, Drewssasin opened up a 2 length lead through 7/8 in 1:24.25, and easily held that advantage over late-running 13-1 Da House for the win in 1:37.19. It was another 2 1/2 lengths back to 5-1 Let Me In third, while even-money favorite Gold Appointment was 10th.
Winning trainer Lonnie Briley said, "He has a little trouble in the dirt, so we like to keep (Drewssasin) on the grass. I really like this colt; we bought him at a Copper Crowne sale (in Opelousas)."
U Snappy Girl wins the Louisiana Legends Mademoiselle Stakes Stakes
A field of 10 older fillies and mares contested the $100,000 Louisiana Legends Mademoiselle Stakes at 5 1/2 furlongs. 6-1 Fast City set the early pace of 21.86 and 44.48 while stalked by 3-1 favorite Snappy Girl. At the 3/16 pole Snappy Girl took over from the tiring Fast City and drew off to win by 1 1/4 lengths over 9-2 Blessed Immaculata in 1:03.43. It was another 1 1/4 lengths backk to 6-1 Lady Grantham third.
All Woman wins the Louisiana Legends Soiree Stakes
The $100,000 Louisiana Legends Soiree Stakes featured a field of 9 3-year-old fillies going 1 mile on the turf. 5-1 Closing Report battled for the lead with 9-2 Our Quista through fractions of 22.31, 47.16, and 1:11.70 while stalked by 3-1 All Woman. Closing Report lead in midstretch through 7/8 in 1:24.52 but All Woman came through on the rail to win by 1/2 a length over Our Quista in 1:37.63. It was another head back to Closing Report third, while 9-5 favorite Artist Cry was 8th.
Dorsey's Dream wins the Louisiana Legends Starter Stakes
The first stakes event of the night was the $50,000 Louisiana Legends Starter Stakes featuring 8 older horses at 1 1/16 miles on the main track. 8-1 Bucktown set the pace of 23.98, 47.30, 1:12.09, and 1:38.01. 5-2 Dorsey's Dream, 6th early, rallied in the stretch to win going away by 4 3/4 lengths in 1:4.53. It was just a neck back to 9-2 My Orthodoc third, while 7-5 favorite Awesome Bandit was 5th.