News - Headlines December  8, 2023

B Leaving Impresses Setting Fast Time In The Evangeline Downs Derby Trials

B Leaving, under jockey Ali Rivera, setting the fastest qualifying time for the $50,000-added EVD Derby at Evangeline Downs Saturday night.

Coady Photography

OPELOUSAS, LA—NOVEMBER 19 2022— The Saturday night card at Evangeline Downs featured five trials for the Evangeline Downs Derby.  The finals will be contested on Friday, December 16.

The fastest qualifier for the $50,000-added event was Alfredo Garza Rodriguez’s graded stakes winner B Leaving.  Jockey Ali Rivera and B Leaving broke sharply and fended off an upset chance from Lett It Happen in winning the final trial of the night. 

The winning margin was 1-1/4 lengths in the end, with B Leaving covering the 400-yard distance in a time of :19.506 seconds and earning a speed index of 98 with a 7 mph tailwind.  The trials were contested over a track left sloppy by persistent rains throughout the card.

Secret Romeo, under jockey Ali Rivera, setting the second fastest qualifying time at Evangeline Downs Saturday night. © Coady Photography

Trainer Zackary Stinebaugh qualified three runners for the final, including the two fastest qualifiers, B Leaving and Secret Romeo.

The win by B Leaving was the fifth from 14 career starts.  With the winning purse of $3,000, he increased his lifetime earnings to $200,591

Bred in Oklahoma by Homer Hill Estate, B Leaving is a three-year-old sorrel gelding sired by Valiant Hero, out of the Mr Jess Perry mare Jess B Mighty.

Zackary Stinebaugh, son of longtime trainer John Stinebaugh, also saddled his second winner tonight when Secret Romero won the third trial by 1-length while posting the second fastest time of :19.539 seconds, a 97 speed index with a 7 mph tailwind.

Owned by Stinebaugh Equine Enterprises, LLC Secret Romero is royally-bred son of leading sire Corona Cartel from the champion Desirio mare Pj Chick In Black. The Oklahoma-bred gelding has won four of 12 career starts and banked $44,570.  Bred by Denny Bowen, Susan Taylor and Jack Smith Farms Secret Romeo has won three consecutive races.

Zackary's first official career winner and third EVD Derby qualifier came in the second trial when Pete Scarmardo's Texas homebred posted a 1-3/4 length win in :19.851 seconds with a 5 mph tailwind. The time was the ninth fastest.

Third in the Adeuqan Derby Challenge Championship(G3) in his last start, the son of Dealgame, from the Mr Jess Perry mare Jess Marcy, has banked $121,469 this year.

CLICK HERE for the 10 fastest qualifiers for the Evangeline Downs Futurity(G3) including times, sires, dams, owners, breeders, trainers and jockeys.

The Thanksgiving week schedule features racing Tuesday and Wednesday each with a 5:35pm first post, followed by a dark day on Thanksgiving.  Friday showcases trials for the $1,000,000 Louisiana Million with 14 races on the card and a 4:05pm first post.  The Saturday card includes trials for the LQHBA Breeders Derby and a 5:35pm first post.  The Evangeline Downs Quarter Horse season runs through December 20.  

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

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 located in Opelousas, Louisiana, off I-49 on Cresswell Lane at Exit 18.




Courtesy Ses