Heitai wins inaugural Evangeline Downs Turf Sprint - NBC Sports

Heitai wins inaugural Evangeline Downs Turf Sprint
June 21, 2014, 10:18 pm

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.

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