01/15/2006 12:00AM

Night Doc victorious in A Toast to Junius


It was not a good weekend to be favored in stakes company at Evangeline Downs.

On Friday night, New York invader and two-time winner at Saratoga Halo Humor suffered a narrow defeat at the hands of Cutie Sabrina in the $75,000 Lil' Liza Jayne Stakes in her local debut while 1-5 on the tote board. Saturday night, it was 3-5 public choice Here Tiger's turn as he too was forced to settle for second behind Night Doc in the $75,000 A Toast to Junius Stakes. Direct Splash finished third in the five and a half-furlong affair for Louisiana-breds while Zarb's Pleasure reported home fourth.

Night Doc ($14.00) settled off the early pace that Here Tiger helped set under patient handling by Michael Wright before unleashing a strong rally four wide exiting the turn. Wright gained command past the furlong marker and drove clear by a length and three quarters, stopping the timer in 1:05.09 over a fast track.

The victory was Night Doc's third straight, as he remained perfect for trainer Ann Watermeier since changing barns for his winter campaign. The son of Man of the Night picked up $45,000 for owner Vinton Crosby and has now earned over $92,000.

Following racing as usual on Sunday night, the schedule will move to a Wednesday through Saturday slate beginning next week. First post time will remain 6:45 p.m. local time.