LQHBA Insider - By Martha Claussen May  28, 2024


Delta Downs wrapped up its live racing season on July 31 with horsemen and fans eagerly awaiting the return of live Quarter Horse racing in Louisiana! The wait will soon be over as the 2021 Evangeline Downs Quarter Horse meet begins on Wednesday October 6.

It will be 53-days of action, with a Wednesday-Saturday (5:35 pm) schedule with plenty of lucrative stakes. The $20,000 EVD Dash will be contested on opening night with a full field of Louisiana-breds competing drawn for the opening night feature.

Patrick Richardson’s Sheza Freighttrain T, a daughter of Freightrain B, bred by Rusty Trahan, is one of the top contenders in the 220-yard dash. Winner of the 2020 Lassie Futurity (RG2) at Delta Downs, the flashy filly has won eight of her 13 starts and $413,259 in purses. She runs well everywhere she runs and continues to impress her trainer Eric Long.

“I don’t think there is a word in the dictionary to describe how fast and talented she is,” said Long. “She’s ready to go!”

The undefeated Blood Money will be back in action, according to his trainer Rosendo Valdez, Jr. Bred in Louisiana by Spring Hill Farms LLC, Blood Money is a son of Apollitical Blood, out of the Shazoom mare Zoom to the Money. Rojas Racing Stables LLC purchased the bay colt for $17,000 at the 2020 LQHBA Yearling Sale. With four victories this year, including the $826,620 Lee Berwick Futurity (RG1), Blood Money has already banked $601,131.

Valdez gave an update about Blood Money heading into the Evangeline Downs meet.

“We gave our horses a little break and they seemed to like it,” he said. “The owners and I talked and we were going to hold off on running Blood Money until the (LQHBA) Million. But, he had a complete evaluation, including X-rays and everything checked out fine. It looks as though we will run him in trials for the LQHBA Sale Futurity.”

Those trials are slated for Friday, October 8 with the $150,000-added final to be contested on Saturday, October 30. Trials for the LQHBA Louisiana Million will run on November 26 with the richest race in Louisiana set for Saturday, December 18.

Kenneth Roberts, Sr., who won the 2019 Evangeline Downs training title and was honored as LQHBA Champion trainer, looks forward to the upcoming live racing season.

“I think we will have a very good meet,” said Roberts. “The purse structure is deep and the upcoming passage of sports betting in Louisiana will help our industry as well.”

Roberts looks forward to trials for the LQHBA Louisiana Million. He has won eight editions of the prestigious futurity, including victories with Ol Time Preacher Man (2013) and You Drive I Fly (2017) since the purse was elevated to the million-dollar level.

“We don’t have what I would call a “super horse”, but do have a couple that I really like,” he added. “A lot of babies take time to mature and can surprise you toward the end of the year.”

Racing fans will hear a new voice calling races this season. Michael Chamberlain is now at Hoosier Park in Indiana with Rob Tuel taking over as Evangeline Downs announcer in April.

The 2021 Evangeline Downs Quarter Horse season will conclude on Saturday, December 30. The final two months of this year will be filled with tremendous opportunities for the breeders, owners, trainer and jockeys who continue to show their support for Louisiana Quarter Horse racing!

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The LQHBA Insider is a monthly feature written by Martha Claussen for www.lqhba.com. She served as publicity director at Sam Houston Race Park for ten years. She continues to be active in writing, fan education and Quarter Horse racing publicity in Texas, Louisiana and other regions in North America.