05/10/2012 8:54AM

Evangeline: Apprentice jockey Menard gets first win on 75-1 shot


OPELOUSAS, La. – Brandon Menard recorded his first career victory when 75-1 shot Jace’s Ace closed with a rush to win the eighth race at Evangeline Downs Wednesday evening. Jace’s Ace paid $153.20.

Jace’s Ace, trained by Firal Ryder, raced well back early before Menard steered him down to the rail, and they caught the leader and won by 2 1/4 legnths.

Menard,17, started his apprenticeship here on April 21, with the win coming in just his eighth mount. A native of nearby Broussard, Menard comes from a racing family. His grandfather Kenward Bernis is a trainer and former jockey.

Apprentic C. J. McMahon, who led the standings with 16 wins before breaking his leg in a freak accident Saturday, was on hand to help Menard, his best friend, celebrate in the jockeys’ room. McMahon is getting around on crutches after having a rod inserted in his left tibia and is expected to be out for two months, said his mother, Sandra Calais, the track’s claims clerk. McMahon, also 17, was bringing a horse back from a gallop when another horse kicked and caught his leg, she said.