Ballerina winner Happy Ticket makes her seasonal debut against state-breds Saturday.

Ballerina winner Happy Ticket makes her seasonal debut against state-breds Saturday.

NYRA/Adam Coglianese

Happy Ticket Makes 2006 Debut at Evangeline Downs

Edited press release
The return of grade I winner Happy Ticket highlights the 2006 edition of "Louisiana Premiere Night" to be held at Evangeline Downs Racetrack and Casino Saturday. Premiere Night, held for the first time at Evangeline Downs, features Louisiana-breds in six stakes events worth a total of $570,000. The events include four races with six-figure purses and two events worth $60,000 apiece.

A fan favorite and the toast of Louisiana racing, Happy Ticket rose to national prominence when she won the grade I Ballerina Stakes last year. In addition, she finished second, beaten just a half-length by multiple Eclipse Award winner Ashado in the grade I Beldame Stakes before her disappointing effort in the Emirates Airline Breeders' Cup Distaff (gr. I). After surgery for an entrapped epiglottis following the Distaff, the now 5-year-old daughter of Anet has been in training at both Oaklawn Park and Louisiana Downs in preparation for her 2006 campaign.

Trained by Andrew Leggio, Jr., for owner-breeder Stewart Madison, Happy Ticket is set to square off against seven other fillies and mares at the distance of a mile in the $100,000 Distaff. Robby Albarado, a Lafayette, La., native, will fly in from Oaklawn Park for the mount. In addition, Happy Ticket has also been crossed entered in the $60,000 Matron at the distance of 5 ½ furlongs, but is most likely to run in the Distaff according to her connections.

Louisiana Premiere Night Distaff, Purse $100,000, 1 Mile:
Post position -- horse, jockey, morning-line odds
1--Tensas Star, G. Melancon, 15-1
2--Bonita's Reinbeau, L. Quinonez, 8-1
3--Bittersweet Bonnie, E. Maldonado, 12-1
4--Raspberry Wine, J. Riquelme, 6-1
5--Karate Katie, A. Lovato, 20-1
6--Catlaan, C. Gonzalez, 4-1
7--Her Badness, S. Carmouche Jr., 15-1
8--Happy Ticket, R. Albarado, 4-5