Opelousas, Louisiana 70570
Evangeline Downs is an American race track and casino in Opelousas, Louisiana. With a seven furlong oval track, the facility provides close to 1,000 horse stalls for Thoroughbred flat racing and American Quarter Horse racing. The original track opened on April 28, 1966 at Carencro, Louisiana and remained there until 2005 when it moved to Opelousas, Louisiana as part of new racino operation.
The tracks 2008 program featured a total of ten events worth $100,000 or more, including the Evangeline Mile Handicap, the track's richest race with a purse of $200,000.
A number of highly successful jockeys began their professional racing careers at Evangeline Downs including Robby Albarado, Ronald Ardoin, Calvin Borel, Curt Bourque, Eddie Delahoussaye, Kent Desormeaux, Mark Guidry, Randy Romero, Shane Sellers, and Ray Sibille. James Avant and Curt Bourque share the record for most wins on a single racecard, each winning six races in 1988 and 1995, respectively.
On September 5, 1977, U.S. Racing Hall of Fame inductee, John Henry won his first-ever stakes race at Evangeline Downs, capturing the Lafayette Futurity.
In 2009, the Horseplayers Association of North America introduced a rating system for 65 thoroughbred racetracks in North America. Of the top ten, Evangeline Downs was ranked #6.