The 2010 thoroughbred horse racing season gets under way Wednesday at Evangeline Downs Racetrack & Casino in Opelousas with a 10-race card. Despite economic conditions in 2009, Evangeline Downs reports that it was able to hold its own with the purse structure, including a 10 percent increase in mid-season.

Entries have been drawn for the first three nights of racing, and horsemen have filled the entry box with a total of 362 horses, an average of almost 12 runners per race set to compete on the opening night and Thursday and Friday programs.

“We continue to have a good mix of stables bringing in horses from some of the top circuits,” said Lloyd Coleman, racing secretary. “The local powerhouse barns and others should make for an exciting season for both fans and horsemen.” Highlighting the stakes schedule is the Louisiana Showcase Night, formerly Louisiana Legends Night, which features 24 stakes events worth in excess of $1.75 million.

Post time is earlier this year, 5:40 p.m., versus 6:20 p.m.  

This year’s meet will once again run through the traditional closing night, Monday, Sept. 6, Labor Day, with racing conducted Wednesday through Saturday. Find more information  here or contact Evangeline Downs at 594-3000.

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