05/25/2004 11:00PM

Evangeline track report


CARENCRO, La. - Full fields continue to be the rule this meet. Lack of activity at the entry box has plagued this track in recent years but the effects of the track's new slots casino in nearby Opelousas have been immediate.

Racing operations will make the 15-mile shift to join the casino in a completely new facility in time for the 2005 season next spring.

The abundance of 12-horse fields is especially encouraging considering that Louisiana Downs, which also has slots-enhanced purses, moved up its opening day six weeks from the late June opening of recent years. The two tracks have competed for horses in summers past with Louisiana Downs seeming to enjoy the upper hand due to the presence of a turf course. Both tracks are faring well and join another slots track, Delta Downs in Vinton, in enjoying a resurgence in business.