05/30/2013 12:10PM

Evangeline: Lattin Devil may be hard to catch in Ragin Cajun


Lattin Devil, impressive winner of the Inaugural Stakes against open company on opening night at Evangeline Downs in mid-April, looks to make it 2 for 2 in stakes this meeting when he takes on four Louisiana-bred 3-year-olds in Saturday night’s $50,000 Ragin Cajun. The seven-furlong feature makes an early appearance on the 11-race program as the second half of the early daily double.

Contesting the pace from the outset in the Inaugural, Lattin Devil helped set early fractions of 21.02 and 44.34 seconds before pulling away down the lane without feeling the whip. Trained by Jorge Lara, Lattin Devil covered the six furlongs in a sparkling 1:08.63, earning a 90 Beyer Speed Figure, in winning for the third time in six starts. He should easily control the pace under Donnie Meche and rates as the one to beat.

Hero Force, twice a winner in stakes company over the winter at Delta Downs and second in the Crescent City Derby at Fair Grounds in his most recent start, will be making his Evangeline debut in the Ragin Cajun. Colby Hernandez, aboard for Hero Force’s last two starts, will return to the saddle.

Skinny, whose three-race win streak ended with a third-place finish in the Crescent City Derby, will represent trainer Steve Asmussen’s first starter at the meet. He figures to do his best running late, which puts him at a tactical disadvantage, He will be ridden by Gerard Melancon.