08/03/2005 12:00AM

Evangeline track report


Still flush from the success of the inaugural Louisiana Legends Night last Saturday, track officials this week announced a purse increase for the balance of the meeting, which runs through Sept. 24.

The eight statebred stakes that made up Louisiana Legends Night produced a big night not only locally, but also from a simulcast standpoint.

"Patrons continue to show approval for our product," said David Yount, executive director of racing operations. "We continue to have some of the largest field sizes in North America, and our slots operation also continues to do very well."

The 15 percent increase will go into effect immediately. Maiden special purses are now $19,900, while entry-level allowance purses begin at $20,400. The minimum purse, for those entered for a claiming price of $3,500, will be $8,900. Purses for Louisiana-breds are considerably higher as the state's breeding program continues to reap the benefits from slots revenue.

The new purse levels are the highest in the track's 40-year history.

"This provides horsemen with an even greater incentive to run," first-year racing secretary Jason Boulet said of the increase. "Purse money is now at an all-time high as we head into the second half of our season."