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Evangeline Downs chosen for championship

18 July 2007

AMARILLO, Texas -- (PRESS RELEASE) -- The Bank of America(R) Racing Challenge and the American Quarter Horse Association have selected Evangeline Downs Racetrack & Casino in Opelousas, Louisiana as the host site of the 2008 Bank of America Racing Challenge Championships and AQHA Racing Conference.

Racing Challenge and AQHA officials based their decision on a number of factors, including track facilities, nearby hotel and conference amenities plus the support and enthusiasm demonstrated by the race track and community officials.

Racing Challenge Director Darrell Hare says, "We're really looking forward to hosting the Challenge Championships at Evangeline Downs. The LQHBA, track management and community leaders in Opelousas have been very helpful in moving this process along. Their willingness to help will make this a very fun and successful event."

The Bank of America Racing Challenge is a season-long series of qualifying races run across eleven regions in the U.S., Canada, Mexico and South America. The regional finalists meet at the Challenge Championships, a single night of racing worth over $1.1 million in purses.

The first Challenge Championships took place in 1993; next year's event will be the first Championships run in Louisiana, and the first run in the East region of the Racing Challenge. Previous host tracks include Lone Star Park in Grand Prairie, Texas, Sam Houston Race Park in Houston, Texas and Los Alamitos Race Course in Los Alamitos, California, which is also host of this year's Championships.

"The Louisiana Quarter Horse Breeders Association is to be commended for creating this opportunity for us and for Louisiana," said Mike Howard, general manager for Evangeline Downs. "We've enjoyed an excellent relationship with Louisiana's quarter horse racing industry and have hosted many of their race meets. The Challenge Championships takes the sport to a whole new level and promises to be an event to be remembered."

Opelousas, Louisiana is 20 miles north of Lafayette, midway between Houston, Texas and New Orleans, Louisiana.

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