04/12/2008 12:00AM

Devereux pulls away in Inaugural


Heavily favored Devereux ($3.60) stalked the early pace in Friday night's $62,230 Inaugural Stakes at Evangeline Downs before drawing clear in the stretch under Donnie Meche to win by 2 1/2 lengths. Early pacesetter Bluehard held second, a length in front of longshot Fiery Choice.

Bluehard set legitimate fractions of 22.79 seconds and 45.97 under pressure from Fiery Choice, while Meche kept Devereux within striking distance on the outside. Meche moved Devereux closer while three wide turning for home before putting a head in front just inside the furlong pole and then drawing away steadily.

Trained by Steve Asmussen for Padua Stables, Devereux won for the third time in seven starts and for the first time in stakes company. A 3-year-old son of Forestry, Devereux covered the six furlongs in 1:10.32 over a fast strip and earned $38,000.