Hurricane Shuts Down Evangeline Downs

Hurricane Gustav has forced an early end to Evangeline Downs' Thoroughbred meet.

Evangeline Downs Racetrack and Casino, about 15 miles north of Lafayette, La., has canceled the racing programs set for Sunday, Aug. 31, and the final night of the spring/summer Thoroughbred racing season Monday, Sept. 1 in anticipation of the arrival of Hurricane Gustav.

The racetrack is near the intersection of Interstate 49 and U.S. Highway 190, two of the primary evacuation routes out of Southeastern Louisiana, which includes the state’s capital Baton Rouge along with New Orleans and nearby Lafayette.

There are no plans to make up the canceled program, which included the traditional closing night feature, the $100,000 Lafayette Stakes for 2-year-olds as well as the track’s first-ever turf event, the Inaugural Turf Race. 

The Sunday program was to feature a total of 11 Quarter Horse trials for the LQHBA Sales Futurity, a restricted grade I event for Louisiana bred 2-year-olds with a purse of $150,000 added. At this time no immediate plans for the rescheduling of the trials and possibly the final of the LQHBA Sales Futurity has been determined. 

Simulcast wagering both at Evangeline Downs and their four Races and Aces off-track betting and video poker parlors has also been canceled effective on Aug. 30, according to Steve Darbonne, director of racing at Evangeline Downs.