03/09/2007 1:00AM

Evangeline stakes top $1.7M


A total of 22 events worth a combined $1,785,000 make up the stakes schedule of the upcoming Evangeline Downs meeting, which gets under way in Opelousas, La., on April 4 and runs through Labor Day, Sept. 3.

Eleven races will be worth six figures, up from last year's total of five. The Evangeline Mile on Aug. 11, the meeting's premier event for older horses, will be worth $200,000, an increase of $50,000 from last season. Louisiana-breds will be in the spotlight on Louisiana Legends Night, which features 11 stakes worth more than $885,000.

Two-year-olds will once again go after what the track calls the "Evangeline Triple Crown." Each of the three races - the Shine Young Futurity, John Franks Memorial, and closing-night Lafayette Stakes - is worth $100,000.

New to the stakes docket this year are a filly division of the Shine Young and the Oak Hall at seven furlongs for 3-year-olds and up on July 21.