04/11/2006 11:00PM

Evangeline Downs track report


These are heady times at Evangeline Downs. Not only are things great at home with burgeoning fields and correspondingly lucrative handle figures, but horses and outfits that chose to spend the winter and early spring at the track have made a real impact when they have shipped to the region's major racing centers.

Chin High, a maiden winner for trainer Neil Pessin at Evangeline on March 15 in his second local start, made the biggest noise last week when he showed up in the Grade 3, $150,000 Transylvania Stakes on opening day at Keeneland last Friday.

Rallying furiously down the straight under Shaun Bridgmohan, Chin High finished with a flourish to win, paying $139 for a $2 win ticket.

Screen Idol, unplaced in an high-priced optional claimer at Evangeline on March 15, made his next start in the final race of last Saturday's card at Oaklawn Park. Overlooked at 6-1, Screen Idol ran a huge race after being hung out five wide most of the way to make short work of a group of quality allowance types.

Winning shippers coming from Evangeline are not restricted to the allowance or stakes ranks. Last Wednesday at Oaklawn, Mr. Meso and Smalltown Slew produced an all-Evangeline $38.40 exacta in a $32,000 claiming race. Both horses were coming out of races for lesser claiming prices at Evangeline.

With the Lone Star Park meeting under way this week, there should be plenty of other opportunities to catch runners that are putting Evangeline Downs on the map.