Heitai wins inaugural Evangeline Downs Turf Sprint
OPELOUSAS, La. (AP) — Heitai led all the way in winning the $300,000 Evangeline Downs Turf Sprint by 3 3/4 lengths Saturday in the richest thoroughbred race in the track’s 49-year history.
Ridden by Diego Saenz, Heitai ran five furlongs on the turf in 56.03 seconds. He paid $6.60 to win. The 4-year-old is a son of 2000 Kentucky Derby winner Fusaichi Pegasus. Heitai, pronounced Hay-tie, is the Japanese word for soldier.
“He was really running and pulling on my reins,” Saenz said. “I just rode him like a winner.”
Whiskey Bravo finished second and Snappy Girl was third.
It was Heitai’s sixth win in seven starts this year.