05/30/2007 12:00AM

Evangeline Downs: Witt Ante heads feature


Friday night's Evangeline Downs feature, an optional claiming sprint, should prove to be an excellent warm-up act for Saturday's $50,000 Need for Speed Stakes. Witt Ante, a stakes veteran and winner of more than $607,000 in his 45-race career, runs in the 6 1/2-furlong Friday feaature and will take on six foes, including recent stakes winner Elite Etbauer. Elite Etbauer was the surprise winner of the Rainbow Stakes for Arkansas-breds on April 1 for trainer Steve Wren. Marlon St. Julien will handle the riding chores.

Also in the lineup is Ruston Robber, an impressive winner in allowance company here on April 20. Trained by Corale Richards, he will be ridden by Gerard Melancon.

* Jockey Curt Bourque pulled off a double-double last week, winning both the first and second races on Wednesday and Thursday nights. Bourque has increased his lead in the rider standings to 33-24 over Joe Patin and Gerard Melancon.