05/12/2005 11:00PM

Evangeline suspends racing


Evangeline Downs has suspended racing at its new facility until next Thursday because of unsafe track conditions. Several horses were injured or didn't finish during the early part of Thursday night's program, prompting the cancellation of the card after the sixth race.

The surface has proved problematic since racing began in February, and at least one Quarter Horse program was canceled.

Mike Howard, Evangeline's general manager, said the decision to suspend racing was made after a meeting Friday morning involving the Louisiana Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association, the jockey colony, and track management.

"The jockeys have concerns, and we are addressing their concerns," Howard said. "Evangeline Downs has not and never will race on a surface where jockeys or horses are unsafe."