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Heitai wins inaugural Evangeline Downs Turf Sprint

AP - Sports

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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