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March 31, 2005


March 31, 2005

One of Nation's Top Racetrack Superintendents Takes Over at Evangeline Downs

OPELOUSAS, LA - A Lone Star Park racetrack superintendent, Ron Collier, is moving to Evangeline Downs Racetrack & Casino on Monday. Considered one of the best track superintendents in the United States, Collier has been with Lone Star since it opened eight years ago.

The 20-year former veteran jockey has a unique perspective on the job both as a former rider and as an expert in racing surfaces. Having raced on tracks from New York to California, Collier knows first-hand the need for maintaining a safe racing surface for jockeys and horses.

Collier is used to big league action. Lone Star was the site of the 2004 Breeder's Cup races and the track is credited with having the first Breeders' Cup where no horse sustained major injuries during the championship race day.

"We know we have hired one of the best," said Mike Howard, general manager for Evangeline Downs Racetrack & Casino. "Ron was part of the track crew that resurfaced the main track at Lone Start and developed a composition that was suitable for the weather condition in north Texas during their spring/summer thoroughbred race meet and for their fall quarter horse meet."

"We could not have found a better person who has worked with exactly the same weather conditions and race schedule that we have," said Howard.

Collier's understanding of soil analysis and decision-making skills with respect to suitable composition for the required environment were consistently given high marks by Lone Star management.

Collier has been an active participant in maintenance and preparation of the turf track at Lone Star, which will prove invaluable since Evangeline Downs is currently installing its own 7/8-mile turf track. The turf surface is scheduled to be complete for the 2006-racing season.

As a key employee at Lone Star, Collier not only has knowledge of the track operation, he has a fundamental knowledge of all areas of track maintenance, stable area, landscaping, and equipment maintenance. Collier's immediate supervisor at Lone Star was Ron Moore who is considered to be one of the top track superintendents in the country.

"We are getting one of the best," said Howard. "As we move forward with our racing season, we continue to be committed to do our part in ensuring that the jockeys and horses have the safest surface possible on which to train and race."

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