06/21/2006 12:00AM

10 Legends stakes draw 174 horses


A total of 174 Louisiana-breds were pre-entered in the 10 stakes races worth a total of $720,000 that make up the Louisiana Legends Night, to be held at Evangeline Downs Racetrack and Casino on July 1. Entries will be drawn Wednesday.

Each of the 10 races honors individuals who have had an impact on Louisiana racing. In only its second year of existence, Louisiana Legends Night has quickly established an identity as a showcase evening not just for Evangeline Downs but also for all of Louisiana racing.

With a purse of $150,000, the D. S. "Shine" Young Memorial for 2-year-olds at five furlongs is the richest race of the evening, and it matches 12 horses who earned their way into the race by finishing in the top four in three trials held last month.

Run every year since the inception of Evangeline Downs in 1966, the Shine is the official start of stakes season for juveniles in Louisiana and is also the first of four races worth $100,000 or more for 2-year-olds at Evangeline Downs this year.

Margarita Man, who ran the fastest time in his trial victory, is a son of Mr. Shawklit and is one of three qualifiers from the powerful Steve Asmussen barn. Paljo, who won his trial, and Validjo are the other Asmussen runners in the final. Atta Boy Jake, by Wire Me Collect, won his qualifying heat wire-to-wire and figures prominently as well.

Six of the races will have a purse of $75,000, including the Frank A. "Buddy" Abadie Memorial Stakes for 3-year-old fillies going one mile. It drew 28 nominations, the most of all stakes on the card.

Three-year-old colts and geldings also will compete at a mile, in the $75,000 B.B. "Sixty" Rayburn Stakes.

Sprinters will meet in the $75,000 Junius Delahoussaye Memorial Stakes and the $75,000 Pierre Leblanc Memorial Stakes. The other $75,000 stakes, the Pola Benoit Memorial and the J. Archie Sebastien, are set for a 1 1/16 miles and a mile and 70 yards, respectively. The Pola Benoit is for 4-year-olds and up and the J. Archie Sebastien is for fillies and mares.

Three $40,000 starter stakes close out the program: the Gene Norman Memorial for fillies and mares at a mile, the Mervin Muniz Memorial for 3-year-olds and up at a mile and 70 yards, and the Attaway Darbonne for 3-year-olds and up at five furlongs.