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In 1966 Evangeline Downs became the first pari mutual racetrack in Louisiana not located around New Orleans. The track was located in Carencro a suburb of Lafayette, in Lafayette Parish. This relationship would not last.

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Opening night in Carencro the first race was won by Blue Vee, with nineteen year old local jockey aboard named Donald Comeaux. Around the mid nineties casino gaming was making a foothold in Louisiana, all the tracks had their eyes on a racino format, but there was a problem in Carencro. The people of Lafayette Parish, where Carencro was located  voted not to allow casino wagering. Evangeline Downs had a decision to make.

 Evangeline Downs now set it's sight on St. Landry's Parish, a few miles up the road where voters had approved casino gaming. In January of 2004 the first racino in the country built from the ground up opens in Opelousas. A year later in April, 2005 the new Evangeline Downs opens for racing. Jockey Brian Hernandez guided Attakapa to the winners circle after the first race, where now retired jockey Donald Comeaux makes the trophy presentation. If you drive north on I-49 from Lafayette to Opelousas you pass the original Evangeline Downs in the town of Carencro where it still exists as a training facility.

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 Evangeline Downs another track that has benefited from Racinos. Once a purse value 5 which wasn't bad it now runs races that have up to fourteen starters with a purse value of 29.

 A hotbed for Cajun racing jockeys Eddie Delahoussaye, Kent Desormeaux, Shane Sellers and Mark Guidry all notched their first victory at Evangeline Downs. In 1977 two time horse of the year John Henry won two of three races here including his first stakes victory in the Lafayette Futurity. 

In 2012 Evangeline Downs continues it's split thoroughbred and quarter horse meet. The thoroughbreds run from April to September, quarter horses from October to December. The leading rider for the thoroughbred meet was Diego Saenz.

As of 2014, Evangeline Downs is still going strong, still hosting races that have up to fourteen horses entered for a race. Evangeline Downs runs almost year round, alternating thoroughbred and quarter horse dates with Delta Downs in Calcasieu, Parish one hundred miles away.