News - Headlines December  8, 2023

Moonin Rusty Dominates In The $40,000 Restricted Grade 3 Opelousas

Moonin Rusty, under jockey Juan Francisco Garcia, Jr., winning the restricted Grade 3 Opelousas at Evangeline Downs Saturday night.

Coady Photography

OPELOUSAS, LA—OCTOBER 28, 2023—Gene Cox’s Moonin Rusty broke sharply and never looked back rolling to victory in the $40,000 Opelousas (RG3) at Evangeline Downs Saturday night.  The race for Louisiana-bred 3-year-olds and upward was contested at the distance of 400 yards over a fast track.

Under jockey Juan Francisco Garcia, Jr., Moonin Rusty broke like a rocket and was quickly in command.  Favored Into the Grey was away in good order, with Best Magic Piloto and One Fast Perry in chase mode. 

Moonin Rusty extended the lead with each stride and cruised to the win by 2-1/4 lengths.  Into the Grey was a neck better than Best Magic Piloto, with another neck to One Fast Perry.  The field was reduced to just four runners after scratches.

The winning connections of Moonin Rusty accept the Opelousas stakes trophy on Saturday night at Evangeline Downs. © Coady Photography

Trained by Dwayne Breaux, Moonin Rusty stopped the timer in 19.811 and earned a speed index of 90 with the sharp effort.  It capped off a two-win night for the trainer and jockey combo.

Bred by the owner, Moonin Rusty is a 3-year-old grey gelding sired by Cox Stallion Station stallion Moonin The Eagle and is out of the Coronas Leaving You mare Princess Lil Bit.  The first stakes victory of his career comes in his fourth win from 10 career starts.  The winning share of $24,000 increases his career earnings to $100,089.

Runner-up Into The Grey earned $8,000 for owner Rogelio Marquez, Jr. Jesus Marquez named jockey David Alvarez to ride the 4-year-old Sir Runaway Dash gelding out of Sass That Chick by Chicks A Blazin. Bred by Phatt Kate Ranch, the graded-placed gelding has earned $119,090.

Best Magic Piloto picked up $4,400 for finishing third. Bessie Sue Nichols conditions the Mr Piloto 3-year-old for owner Nicolas Medina Romero. Grants Farms LLC bred the 3-year-old gelding from the Rocket's Magic mare Little Magic Sis. He has earned $58,621.

Moonin Rusty returned $5.80 to win and $2.60 to place.  Into the Grey paid $2.60 to place.  There was no show wagering offered.

One Fast Perry completed the field. Easy Jumpn Jet and Miss Pilotos Train were scratched.

Live racing resumes on Wednesday with a 5:35pm first post.  The Evangeline Downs Quarter Horse season runs through December 16.  

For more information on Evangeline Downs, visit the track’s website at

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For more information on the American Quarter Horse season at Evangeline Downs, visit the track's website Evangeline Downs' Twitter handle is @EVDRacing and the racetrack is also accessible on Facebook at

About Evangeline Downs
Evangeline Downs Racetrack Casino and Hotel, a property of Boyd Gaming Corporation (NYSE:BYD), features exciting casino action, live horse racing and fun dining experiences. Evangeline Downs is in Opelousas, Louisiana, off I-49 on Cresswell Lane at Exit 18.


Courtesy Ses