04/28/2017 2:40PM

Evangeline delays opening of turf course


Evangeline Downs in Opelousas, La., has delayed the start of turf racing until May 24. The track had planned to begin racing on turf Friday.

In addition, the status of two turf stakes that were to have been run Friday and Saturday, the Opelousas and John Henry, will be determined by May 3. One option is to run them on dirt, but that is being discussed with horsemen, according to Chris Warren, director of racing for Evangeline.

Evangeline brought on a new turf consultant this year and changed maintenance procedures in order to build a better course foundation for the long haul, Warren said. The turf, however, has not grown in as quickly as anticipated, leaving some bare areas on the course. On Friday, the decision was made to push back the start of turf racing.

“We feel this will give us the needed time to have the course ready for the remainder of the season,” Warren said.

Warren said the Louisiana Racing Commission was updated on the course condition at a meeting Monday. He also said he discussed the status of both the course and the postponed stakes with horsemen on Friday.

Jagged Warrior back in overnights

Jagged Warrior, who faced stakes rivals last out at Oaklawn, returns to the overnight ranks Sunday at Lone Star. He will start as a top contender in the eighth race, a six-furlong sprint for 3-year-olds and up who have never won three races.

Others making up the field include Dirty Steve, a winner of his last two starts, and Shaded, who was placed first in last year’s $90,000 males’ division of the Texas Thoroughbred Futurity at Lone Star.

Jagged Warrior was fourth in the $150,000 Bachelor in his last start April 13. He rallied from last in the six-furlong race won on the front end by Recruiting Ready. The Bachelor went in a quick 1:09. Danny Pish trains Jagged Warrior and has given the mount to Ted Gondron.