03/19/2008 12:00AM

Beta Capo looks to stay perfect


Beta Capo will attempt to win his third Delta Downs stakes in as many tries at the Vinton, La., track Friday night, when he starts in the $100,000 Gulf Coast Classic. The 1 1/16-mile race for 4-year-olds and up is one of two open-company stakes on the card. The other, the $100,000 Goddess, is led by Unforgotten and Miss Atlantic City.

Beta Capo will be favored in a five-horse field that also includes the multiple stakes-placed Crossword. The two met last time in the $50,000 Delta Mile, and Beta Capo rolled to a 3 3/4-length win, equalling his best Beyer Speed Figure, a 98.

"He has always run well at Delta," said Steve Asmussen, who trains Beta Capo for Bob and Cathy Zollars.

Beta Capo's other win at the track came in March 2007, in the $100,000 Sportsman's Paradise. He won that one on the front end, and Asmussen said that with maturity the horse has become more versatile. Beta Capo closed from sixth to win the Delta Mile. He could get a stalking trip in the Gulf Coast, with Good and Lucky and Won Awesome Dude likely pace players. Gerard Melancon, who has set a season record for wins at the Delta meet, will again ride Beta Capo.

Corey Lanerie will be aboard Crossword, who was second in the Delta Mile and gets in at 116 pounds, seven fewer than Beta Capo. Neil Howard trains.

Goddess: Battle of shippers

Unforgotten, who has run second in stakes at Fair Grounds in her last two starts, will take on three-time stakes winner Miss Atlantic City in the Goddess. Unforgotten is looking for her first stakes win.

"She's gotten better her last two starts, and hopefully she's beginning to peak for us," said Dallas Stewart, who trains Unforgotten for Robert A. Adams.

Unforgotten was second by a neck last out in the $60,000 Chou Croute. In her prior start, she ran second by 1 1/2 lengths in the $60,000 Truly Bound Breeders' Cup. James Graham has the mount in the Goddess.

Miss Atlantic City won last month's $50,000 Golden Triangle at Delta by a length while making her first start since December 2006. Overall, she is 2 for 3 at Delta, with her other win coming in the $300,000 Delta Princess in 2006. Lanerie has the mount for trainer Keith Desormeaux.