05/11/2005 12:00AM

Evangeline Downs track report


Since Louisiana Downs began its season a couple of weeks ago in Bossier City, a thrilling chase in the rider standings has calmed down a little, but the race is still tight. After beginning their seasons here, Guy Smith, Gerard Melancon, Tracy Hebert, and Jerri Nicholas all shifted their tacks to Louisiana Downs to thin the ranks a bit, but heading into this week's action, only three wins separate the top four spots in the standings.

Steve Bourque holds a slight advantage over Brian Hernandez, with 18 wins to Hernandez's 17. Jason Eads is enjoying a solid first part of the first season at the new oval with 16 victories, and veteran C.J. Woodley has 15 wins.

Woodley has also made frequent trips to Bossier City, where he has made a dent in the track's rider standings with several wins, including a stakes tally there opening weekend. Guy Smith, who has also logged time over both ovals, is tied with Jill Kinsey in the standings here with 11 wins.

The trainer standings are not nearly as tight, with Keith Bourgeois well in front with 15 winners from 63 starters through Monday. Dale Angelle is second with nine victories, followed by Sam Breaux with eight.