11/29/2006 12:00AM

Evangeline schedules sale for March

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Evangeline Downs has announced March 18, 2007 as the date for its fifth annual John Franks Memorial 2-year-olds in training and paddock sale. The juveniles who pass through the ring will be eligible for a pair of $100,000 stakes named for Franks, the Eclipse Award-winning breeder and owner from Louisiana. The stakes will be run in August 2007.

Stemmans Inc. manages the sale for Evangeline, and last March a sale record was set when the 2-year-old Manhattan Model brought $105,000. The juveniles in the 2006 sale averaged $12,887. Entries for next year's sale close on Jan. 8.

Evangeline will open its Thoroughbred meet on April 4.

* Evangeline closed out its Quarter Horse meet last Saturday, marking the end of 22 straight months of live racing at the track in a schedule dictated by hurricanes Katrina and Rita. During the 40-night meet for Quarter Horses, handle on the track's live races from all sources averaged $353,963, almost identical to the corresponding meet in 2005.

Kenneth Roberts won his second straight training title, while Danny Lavergne was the meet's leading rider for the second consecutive year. The highlight of the season was First Down Toro's win in the $517,964 LQHBA Futurity, the richest race ever run in the 40-year history of Evangeline.