The Pickett Factor (outside) wins the Louisiana Legends Classic at Evangeline Downs
2016 Louisiana Legends Stakes Results
On Saturday, Evangeline Downs hosted the 11th annual Louisiana Legends Night, a series of 8 stakes races for Louisiana-breds. Conditions were excellent at the Opelousas, Louisiana, oval with clear skies and temperatures in the high 80's, with the main track listed as fast and the turf course firm.
The highlight race of the night was the $125,000 Louisiana Legends Classic, for older horses going 1 1/16 miles. Just 5 went to post with Sunland Park Handicap winner Mobile Bay sent off as the even-money choice over 2-1 The Pickett Factor and 5-2 Sunbean. The Pickett Factor set fractions of 25.39, 48.92, and 1:12.29 while pressed by Mobile Bay and stalked by Sunbean. Entering the stretch, The Pickett Factor and Mobile Bay left the rest of the field behind, with The Pickett Factor holding on to win by a neck after dueling for the entire race, stopping the timer in 1:44.28. It was a long 8 1/4 lengths back to late-running 15-1 One King's Man third.
Full results chart
Left: The Pickett Factor in the winner's circle. Winning trainer Ralph Irwin said, “We knew we were in for a fight with Mobile Bay. I had John (Jacinto) watch a lot of tape of (The Pickett Factor) and he studied film for 10 days. Then when he worked him at Louisiana Downs, we would have two horses in front. When you get ready for something like this with only five horses, you don’t underestimate any of the other horses. There’s always the unexpected. We wanted to get to the front. The horse does have an explosion to him and he looked like a Lear Jet out there.”
Right: Second place finisher and beaten favorite Mobile Bay in the post parade.
String King wins the Louisiana Legends Turf Stakes
Immediately before the Classic, a field of 11 older horses contested the $100,000 Louisiana Legends Turf Stakes at 1 1 1/16 miles on the turf. 5-1 Hail to the Nile was loose on the lead through fractions of 23.33, 48.40, and 1:12.19 over the firm going while stalked by 25-1 Hook. Entering the lane 8-5 favorite String King, 5th early, came out 4 wide for room and took command midstretch through 1 mile in 1:36.90. Kept to task by John Jacinto he held off late-running 28-1 Four Leaf Chief for the win by a length in 1:43.27. It was a neck back to 12-1 Benwill third.
This was String King's second straight Legends Turf win. Trainer Charles Smith said, “I thought we would just break it and let him go the way (String King) wanted, let him run his own race." Jockey John Jacinto added, “The horse knew what it was supposed to do. There were some good horses in this race and I was there to show him the way home. It turned out great."
The $100,000 Louisiana Legends Sprint featured a full field of 12 older horses sprinting 5 1/2 furlongs on the main track. 10-1 Smooth Money set early fractions of 21.93 and 45.17 while pressed by 19-1 Storm Viper and stalked by 2-1 favorite Sir Genghis. Smooth Money continued to lead to midstretch before tiring badly to finish 9th, as 9-1 C U Tiger, 9th early, came out 5 wide for room to circle the field and win going away by 2 1/2 lengths over Sir Genghis in 1:04.15. It was a heack back to 40-1 Aaron's Bluff third.
Believeinsomething 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. 3-1 second choice Believeinsomething went to the lead and set fractions of 24.44, 48.94, and 1:13.85 while pressed by 29-1 Wesley's Dream and stalked by 9-1 Private Promise. In the stretch, even-money favorite Forest Lake, 6th early, came out 4 wide to challenge and lef midstretch through 1 mile in 1:39.45, but Believeinsomething fought back to regain the lead late to win by 3/4 length in 1:46.16. It was another 2 1/4 lengths back to 19-1 Giant Cruiser third.
Winning trainer Brian Schweda said, “I thought we had a shot if we were not going too fast. That was the plan. She seems like she runs better on a fast track and that’s what we had. I thought she ran relaxed.”
Extra Credit wins the Louisiana Legends Cheval Stakes
The $100,000 Louisiana Legends Cheval Stakes at 1 mile on the turf featured a full field of 12 three-year-olds. Jockey Ashley Broussard sent 15-1 Zendelphian to the lead first time by through fractions of 23.91, 47.65, and 1:14.3 while pressed by 24-1 Slideruler and stalked by 14-1 Rock N Sake. Zendelphian held the lead to the 1/8 pole through 7f in 1:26.49 but even-money favorite Extra Credit, 6th early, rallied 3 wide to win going away by 2 3/4 lengths in 1:38.22. It was a neck back to 9-1 Mageez third.
Wheatfield wins the Louisiana Legends Mademoiselle Stakes Stakes
A field of 8 older fillies and mares contested the $100,000 Louisiana Legends Mademoiselle Stakes at 5 1/2 furlongs. 9-5 favorite Smittys Cougar set the pace of 21.99 and 44.80 while pressed by 21-1 Fancy Madelyn and 12-1 Persuade Me Lady. Smittys Cougar opened up a 2 1/2 length lead midstretch through 5f in 57.18 but 3-1 third choice Wheatfield, 5th early, rallied 4 wide to get up by a nose in 1:03.81. It was another 1 1/2 lengths back to Fancy Madelyn third.
Believe in Bertie wins the Louisiana Legends Soiree Stakes
The $100,000 Louisiana Legends Soiree Stakes featured a field of 10 3-year-old fillies going 1 mile on the turf. 1-2 favorite Believe in Bertie was sent to the front immediately by Shaun Bridgmohan through fractions of 23.32, 47.19, and 1:11.58. 5-1 second choice Calamity Jane, 5th early, put in a late rally but Believe in Bertie cruised to a 2 length win in 1:36.85. It was another 2 lengths back to 8-1 Sunny Oak third.
The most interesting looking horse of the night was Painting The Sky who broke badly, trailed all the way, and finished 10th and last place, beaten 30 1/4 lengths as a 47-1 longshot under jockey Junior Inirio. The 3-year-old "chestnut" filly is by Yankee Gentleman (Storm Cat) out of Lone Star Quest (Lone Star Sky) and is dual registered as a paint. Despite her poor performance here, her lifetime record is 2 wins in 6 starts with $59,160 in earnings.
One Survivor 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. 6-1 Red Production set the pace of 24.26 and 48.66 while pressed by 7-2 One Survivor and stalked by 2-1 Masculino. At the top of the lane One Survivor moved up to gain a short lead through 1 mile in 1:39.12, and held on to win by 1 length over Red Production in 1:45.93. It was a long 4 lengths back to Masculino third, while 9-5 favorite Arkansas Martini checked in fifth.