OPELOUSAS, LA – Touchuponastar was brilliant once again with an impressive score in the $60,000 EVD Classic on Saturday night. The race for 3-year-olds and upward was one of three stake races for Louisiana-bred runners on the Derby night card.
Away in good order under jockey Tim Thornton, Touchuponastar was allowed to settle into stride as Calculated sprinted to the lead. The early fractions were solid with an opening quarter-mile in 23.62 seconds and a half-mile in 47.21. As the field headed towards the far turn, it wasn’t a question of who was going to win, but by how wide of a margin. Touchuponastar steadily increased his lead on the turn while Highland Creek and Double Star chased the leader.
With six furlongs covered in 1:12.07, the Jeff Delhomme-trained Touchuponastar spurted away and widened the margin in the run to the wire. The winning margin was a convincing 9-1/4 lengths in the end, with Double Star second and Highland Creek another 1-3/4 lengths back in third. The finishing time for the mile distance was 1:37.87 over a track rated fast for the evening.
Owned by Set Hut LLC (Jeff Delhomme), Touchuponastar is a winner for the seventh time in nine career starts. The winning share of $36,000 increased his lifetime earnings to $334,100.
The 4-year-old bay gelding was bred by Coteau Grove Farms and was sired by Star Guitar. He is out of the Lion Heart mare Touch Magic.
Heavily favored in the wagering, Touchuponastar returned $2.60 to win, $2.10 to place and $2.10 to show. Double Star paid $16.60 to place, $13.40 to show and Highland Creek paid $2.80 to show.
Macho Beanie made a bold bid on the far turn and pulled off a mild upset winning the $60,000 Ragin Cajun. A new addition to the stake calendar for 3-year-olds, the Ragin Cajun was narrowed down to a three-horse field after scratches.
Macho Beanie and jockey C.J. McMahon were last as the trio moved down the backside with Allnight Moonlight and Late September disputing the early lead. The Scott Gelner trainee made a bold bid outside of rivals midway on the turn and the three runners were separated by less than a length at the top of the stretch.
As they straightened away, Macho Beanie edged forward to challenge Allnight Moonlight as Late September backed out of the battle. Inside the final furlong Macho Beanie began to edge clear and hit the wire a neck to the good of Allnight Moonlight. It was 7-3/4 lengths back to Late September. The running time for the seven furlongs was hand timed in 1:23.50.
Owned by Oak Tree Stables LLC (Bennett Powell), Macho Beanie wins for the second time in four starts. The first stakes victory was worth $36,000 and increases his career bankroll to $94,000.
The 3-year-old bay colt was bred by Coteau Grove Farms. Sired by Mucho Macho Man, he is out of the My Pal Charlie mare My Pal Beanie.
Macho Beanie went off as the longest odds in the short field and returned $8.40 to win and $3 to place. Allnight Moonlight returned $2.20 to place. No show wagering was offered on the Ragin Cajun.
Black Sword proved best in the inaugural running of the $60,000 King Creole under jockey Vicente Del-Cid. Away in good order, Black Sword settled in mid-pack as Bertie’s Galaxy and X Clown battled for the lead through an opening quarter-mile in 23.10 seconds and a half-mile in 46.35.
Black Sword made a four-wide bid at the top of the stretch and wrestled the lead away from a stubborn X Clown nearing the furlong pole. The Ronnie Averett runner pulled away from the field in the final yards and was four lengths clear at the wire. X Clown battled on for second, one length better than a late closing Big Chopper. The final time for the 5-1/2 furlongs for the field of 3-year-olds and upward was 1:04.30.
Owned by Treanor MD LLC (Leonard Treanor, MD), Black Sword is a winner for the seventh time from 24 career starts. The winning purse of $36,000 increases his lifetime earnings to $214,705.
Bred by Margie Averett, Black Sword is a 6-year-old dark bay or brown gelding. Sired by Awesome Sword, he is out of the Devil His Due mare Black Mariah.
Black Sword paid $6 to win, $3.40 to place and $2.40 to show. X Clown returned $6.60 to place, $3.40 to show and Big Chopper paid $2.40 to show.
Live racing resumes on Wednesday with a 5:30pm first post. The Evangeline Downs Thoroughbred season runs until August 12.
Evangeline Downs Racetrack Casino and Hotel, a property of Boyd Gaming Corporation (NYSE:BYD), features live horse racing, exciting casino action, the Fan Duel sportsbook and fun dining experiences. Evangeline Downs is located in Opelousas, Louisiana, off I-49 on Cresswell Lane at Exit 18.