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September 13, 2012


Star Guitar Winning on Legends Night.

(Opelousas, La.)–Evangeline Downs Racetrack & Casino recently concluded spring/summer thoroughbred horse racing season and recorded solid numbers including increases in average nightly handle, average nightly on-track handle, and total on-track handle for the 84-night season. The season, which ended on Saturday, September 8, posted a nightly average handle of $1.389 million, an increase of 4.3% from 2011’s average of $1.331 million. Nightly average on-track handle rose sharply, up 9% to $62,751 from last year’s $57,551. Total on-track handle was $5,208,405, up from $5,064,557, despite a total of five less racing nights compared to 2011. Total handle for the season was $115,291,118, compared to last year’s $117,202,645.
 
Evangeline Downs, known as the “Home of the Biggest Fields” continued to live up to that moniker as average field size was once again one of the highest in the nation. A total of 8,145 horses started during the 877 races, an average of 9.29 per race.
 
Steve Darbonne, director of racing operations at Evangeline Downs stated, “We set the bar high here at Evangeline Downs, and I’m proud but not content with our results. Like everyone else, we are facing difficult economic times here in Louisiana, but we continue to offer an exciting and varied product featuring full fields, often producing big payoffs that horse racing fans and bettors across the United States have come to embrace and expect from us.”

“This year, Evangeline Downs hosted events and promotions all season long in our Clubhouse, paddock area and trackside,” said Darbonne. “The live action of racing with its roots in the Cajun culture created a party atmosphere for people of all ages. We definitely saw lots of families every night.”  Plenty of money was also available to horsemen, as a total of $15.831 million was paid out over the season, an average of more than $190,000 a program.
 
Diego Saenz 2102 Leading Jockey

Live racing will return to the Opelousas, La. oval on Wednesday, October 3, 2012 with the start of the fall quarter horse season. The 46-night season will primarily have a four-evening-a-week schedule, Wednesday-Saturday and runs through Thursday, December 20.
 
Full-card simulcast wagering continues daily on-track, at Off Track Betting facilities and via betlouisiana.com.
 
For more information contact Evangeline Downs at 337-594-3000.
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