06/20/2007 12:00AM

Evangeline Downs: Anticipation grows for Legends Night

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Interest is running high for this year's Louisiana Legends Night, scheduled for Saturday, June 30. A total of 173 of the state's best have been pre-entered for the 12-race program devoted exclusively to Louisiana-breds. Some $935,000 in purse money will be offered.

The evening's races honor individuals and their families who have had a positive impact on Louisiana racing. In only its third year of existence, the Louisiana Legends Night has quickly established an identity as a showcase evening, not just for Evangeline Downs but for all of the state's racing.

With purses of approximately $125,000 each, the two divisions of the D. S. "Shine" Young Memorial for 2-year-olds at five furlongs are the richest races of the evening. The colt and gelding division as well as the inaugural running of the filly division both feature 12 juveniles who earned their way into the event by finishing in the top three in trials, held last month.

Run every year since Evangeline Downs opened in 1966, the Shine is the official start of stakes season for 2-year-olds in Louisiana and is also the first two of five $100,000 races held for the youngsters at Evangeline Downs this year. Must Acquit, who recorded the fastest running time of 58.20 seconds in his trial victory, is a son of Successful Appeal owned by Heiligbrodt Racing Stables and is one of three qualifiers from the powerful Steve Asmussen barn in the colt and gelding division. Jumpin for Jason, who captured his trial, and Booth are the other Asmussen trainees in the final.