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April 03, 2007

For Immediate Release
April 3, 2007

Company Contact:
Evangeline Downs Racetrack & Casino
David A. Yount
(337) 594-3611

Public Relations Contact:
Calzone & Associates
Julie Calzone
(337) 235 2924 ext. 3

2007 Thoroughbred Horse Racing Season Underway Tomorrow at Evangeline Downs Racetrack & Casino

(Opelousas, La.) – Officials at Evangeline Downs Racetrack & Casino are gearing up for the 2007 Thoroughbred Racing season and there is a sense of excitement as the management and staff prepares the racetrack and facilities in Opelousas. There is good reason for them to be excited about the upcoming season.

The 2007 Evangeline Downs Racetrack & Casino thoroughbred horse racing season is being celebrated by the introduction of “Thundering Hooves” a special artist print by Brian Reso that will also appear on the cover of the official racing program.

Reso, born and educated in South Africa, studied at the Hornsey College of Art in London. He then relocated to Southern California, where he studied the techniques of the Old Masters while developing his own distinctive style. His works are highly sought after worldwide. Mr. Reso currently resides in Lafayette.

“We are proud to offer and showcase Mr. Reso’s fine work,” said David A. Yount, Executive Director of Racing Operations. “Our fans have enjoyed the display of these outstanding prints of racing personalities and settings. ‘Thundering Hooves’ captures the thrilling visual of the sport and you can almost hear the galloping horses at the finish line.”

Reso specializes in creating visual images of extraordinary depth and color. His works are highly sought after and hang Internationally in private collections in Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, Aspen, Tampa, St. Petersburg, Dallas, Houston, New Orleans, Baton Rouge, Lafayette, South Africa, England and Australia. He is scheduled to sign posters on opening night and the racetrack is giving 2,000 away that evening.

Evangeline Downs Racetrack & Casino concluded its 2006 spring/summer thoroughbred season, the second at the new facility, with across the board gains in all major categories including on-track handle, total handle, purse distribution, and average field size for the 92 night meet.

Sparked by three $2,000,000 plus nights, including an all-time record handle of $2,182,506 wagered on the Second Annual Louisiana Legends night, all sources handle posted the largest gains, as a total of $142,571,255 was wagered on the 92 nights, an increase of more than $45 million. The average nightly handle of $1.55 million was more than 32.5% higher than the 2005 season.

Increased business and casino proceeds also drove purses to an all-time level. The daily purse distribution of more than $170,000 was a full $10,000 more than last year’s and featured a bulked up stakes program. A total of seventeen stakes worth $1.5 million were contested during the meet highlighted by the $150,000 Evangeline Mile and the $150,000 D.S. “Shine” Young Memorial Futurity. Dreamsandvisions rallied from last to win the Mile under jockey Luis Quinonez, while Carolina Panthers’ quarterback Jake Delhomme received his biggest thrill in racing as his two-year-old Woozy captured the “Shine” for jockey Willie Lozano Jr. Horsemen responded in kind to the rich offering’s and produced an average field size of almost 10 runners per race over 922 races, one of the highest in the nation.

In addition to improved business, racing also showed a dramatic increase in quality. Local fans were treated to the sight of many new outfits making their way to South-Central Louisiana to take advantage of the rich stakes offerings as well as the strong overnight program. A plethora of Graded Stakes performers too numerous to mention made appearances this summer as well as many notable horsemen and riders.

The 2007 Thoroughbred horse racing season gets underway Wednesday, April 4 and runs through Labor Day, Monday, Sept 3, the traditional closing night of the 89-program meet. Racing will once again be conducted on a Wednesday through Saturday evening schedule with a first post of 6:20 p.m. central time.

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