It’s a big day of racing across the US with a plethora of races. While the major sports are still trying to get their restart plans off the ground, horse racing is running strong on Saturday. Even though they can’t race with fans in attendance, tracks are benefiting greatly from off-track betting. The betting handle has been off the charts, with records broken for the majority of facilities in the country.
It’s not all sunshines and rainbows, though. Some of the smaller tracks don’t take in as much of a cut from the handle as the big boys do. 100% of money accepted at the window in-person goes to the track, though it typically falls between 3% to 8% for off-track wagers. 5% to 8% is still a decent return given the off-track handle numbers at places like Churchill Downs, Belmont, and Santa Anita. However, a track like Evangeline Downs depends heavily on people showing up to bet in-person.
Boyd Gaming, who owns Evangeline Downs and Delta Downs, has started the process of laying off some workers at Evangeline, so it’s not all pretty despite what you read regarding the high betting numbers online. In any case, Evangeline Downs will continue to host events, and they have nine races on the card for this evening. Evangeline and Charles Town are two track racing on Saturday with cards that begin in the evening hours. Head below for our free Evangeline Downs Pick 3 selection for June 13, 2020.
Post Time: 5:50 p.m. CST
Distance: 2 ½ Furlongs
If you think that a typical 6 ½ furlong to a mile horse race takes too long to complete, then you’re going to love Race 1 at Evangeline Downs on Saturday. In any event that will only take 2 ½ furlongs to complete, seven horses will sprint on the dirt for a $22,000 purse. It will be a mad dash to the wire in this one, something more familiar with quarter horse racing. Stone Dreamer and Crusader Express are going to be the most dangerous horses in the event. Good form appears to be on their side recently in workouts.
Crusader Express, like everyone else in this race, is a first-time starter on Saturday. He’s had three recorded workouts from May 23 to June 6. Crusader Express completed three 3-furlong workouts with times of 36.40, 36.80, and 38.20 seconds. Compared to what you’re going to find at some of the more elite racetracks around the country, that’s not particularly impressive, and Crusader Express has gotten slower with each passing workout. However, not a whole lot is being asked of Crusader Express in this one against a relatively easy field. Stone Dreamer is likely the only competitor that Crusader Express must worry about.
Purchased for $12,000, you probably aren’t going to see Stone Dreamer turn into a perennial powerhouse. However, if his trainer picks his spots, plenty of wins can pile up for Stone Dreamer. His most recent was very impressive. Stone Dreamer finished 3 furlongs at 35.60 seconds, which would indicate the best form in the event. That would be more than enough for a win on Saturday in Race 1. He doesn’t have to be perfect, but a solid run should be sufficient.
Post Time: 6:17 p.m. CST
A mile in Race 2 is going to feel like an eternity compared to Race 1. We go from 2 ½ furlongs to a full mile of racing at Evangeline Downs. The purse size goes down, though, from $22,000 to $13,000 in Race 2. Miss Neko and Decorated for Gold should be the horses to watch in this one. Decorated for Gold is coming off two promising performances on May 6 and May 18 at Will Rogers Downs.
She tried harder races in March and April, but went nowhere for 9th and 7th. Since then, though, Decorated for Gold won on May 6 as a heavy favorite by 1 ½ lengths. She followed that up to place behind Tickle Bunny by a neck. Really close to getting the double, but was denied by the length of a neck. It’s within reason that Decorated for Gold is going to have another bold run on Saturday. Miss Neko placed in back-to-back races on December 7, 2019 and February 12. Recent workouts have been reassuring as well.
Miss Neko lost by 4 lengths as an underdog, and then by 3 ½ lengths as an underdog again in February. She has finished in the top-2 in 3 of her previous 4 races and 5 of 7 races, with a win captured on August 21, 2019 over Latina Cantina by 1 ¾ lengths. This is the first race since then that Miss Neko has been the favorite on the morning-line. A couple of recent 4-furlong workouts suggest that Miss Neko warrants being the favorite. Miss Neko was strong with times of 48.60 and 49.40 seconds. Against competition like this on Saturday, that’d probably be good enough form for a win.
Post Time: 6:44 p.m. PST
Distance:6 ½ Furlongs
Race 3 will be it for me at Evangeline Downs on Saturday. Seven horses are signed up to participate to gallop 6 ½ furlongs for a small $9,000 purse. Just like the previous race, the No. 1 and No. 2 entries should be worth some attention. Dry Wood Creek and Front Door are likely going to be in strong form today. Dry Wood Creek is coming off a less than desirable performance on February 13. He finished 10th in a race that he should have ran so much better in.
Prior to that performance, Dry Wood Creek finished in the top-2 in 4 of 5 races, with a win on October 30, 2019 at Delta Downs. He won by a head over as a massive underdog on that day. So, when he wasn’t expected to run well, Dry Wood Creek surprised and got to the winner’s circle. A win today wouldn’t be as much of an upset. Since then, Dry Wood Creek has finished 2nd, 5th, 2nd, 2nd, 10th.
I think he can return to form somewhat and get into contention to place. Although, his most recent workouts at 3 furlongs and 4 furlongs don’t indicate anything special. He completed 3 furlongs at 38.20 seconds and 4 furlongs at 51.60 seconds. That of course doesn’t tell the whole story, but for a horse that has been as up and down as Dry Wood Creek has been, it might indicate that he isn’t ready for a win again just yet.
Front Door is heading down in class for Saturday. After finishing 7th on April 30 at Oaklawn Park, Front Door will find much easier company in this one. Even the races that he finished 2nd in on April 3 and April 18, Front Door will likely prefer the field he’s racing against here. Front Door has been in the top-3 in 4 of his previous 6 races, all of which were harder than this task. Overall, Front Door has finished in the top-3 in 11 of 22 races in his career. If he didn’t lose form on the transfer over from Oaklawn Park to Evenagline, Front Door should be the strongest horse.