Twenty-Towinit: Remembering a Racing Great
Looking back over the years of horse racing, there are so many horses that have made a great impact on the horse racing industry that come to mind. They are remembered for winning countless races, being great ambassadors for the sport and some move on to be top breeding mares and sires. But then there are horses such as Twenty-Twoinit, which few horse racing enthusiasts of today know about, but loyal supporters who were around Evangeline Downs in the 1960s and the 1970s will tell you that this horse is remembered for his heart, determination and enthusiasm.
Originally opened in 1966 in Louisiana, in Carencro, Evangeline Downs has been a race track that has seen many magnificent races and was the starting point for many well-known jockeys such as Calvin Borel, Kent Desomeaux, James Avant, Robby Albarado and many others. Even though the track was moved to Opelousas in 2005, the track was still situated adjacent to a potato field in the time of Twenty-Twoinit.
Cecile Guilbeau was ten years old when her father, Albert Guilbeau, bought her a white horse for her enjoyment. Although old and with an injury to his foreleg, the well known horse dealer knew the injury would heal and his daughter would be able to ride around the neighborhood. To his amazement, as the leg began to heal he saw a change in Twenty-Twoinit. He could hear the excitement of the nearby racecourse, and when the starting bell rung Twenty-Twoinit would run with all his might. Guilbeau called in trainer, Adam Suire, known as P.D, to train the horse. Even though P.D. thought Twenty-Twoinit was intelligent and wanted to race, he was sure his age would count against him. But none-the-less Twenty-Twoinit began to win races, with his most memorable victory being The Crepe Myrtle Purse on 27 June 1968. P.D. did not think the aging horse would be able to stand up against a new contender named Brilliant Dunce. But Brilliant Dunce was disqualified, as he left the starting gates without his jockey, and Twenty-Twoinit won the race, leaving Las Vegas odd-makers in a lot of trouble.
As he slowed down, Twenty-Twoinit was given the position as a pony horse, a position he enjoyed thoroughly. Unfortunately, years later, he was kicked on his previously injured leg and had to be put down. Every last person on the track that day wept uncontrollably, and it was not long after that that Albert left the horse racing industry, losing interest in the sport. While in Las Vegas one year, Albert decided to make a bet on a race at Evangeline Downs for old times' sake, but was told no bet would be taken for that track, "Not since an old white, broken down horse with a funny name took us to the cleaners!"