12/07/2005 1:00AM

Delta adjusts stakes for shortened meet


Delta Downs in Vinton, La., has revised its stakes schedule to fit an abbreviated, 40-date meet at the track from Jan. 18 through March 25. Delta was unable to begin its 88-date meet as scheduled on Oct. 21 after the track sustained considerable damage from Hurricane Rita.

There are 14 stakes worth $1,020,000 on the revised calendar. The highlight is the Louisiana Premier Night program, when six Louisiana-bred stakes worth $570,000 will be decided Feb. 18. The richest race on the card will be the $150,000 Championship.

The meet will close with a pair of routes for older horses: the $75,000 Goddess for fillies and mares 4 years old and up at one mile, and the $75,000 Gulf Coast Classic for 4-year-olds and up at 1 1/16 miles. Both races will be run March 25.

Delta previously canceled its Grade 3, $1 million Delta Jackpot and $250,000 Delta Princess, both for 2-year-olds. The races were to be held the first week of December.

Stall applications for the meet are due Dec. 19.

Jack Bernsmeier, general manager of Delta, said earlier this month that purses for the meet are projected to average $184,000 a day. Delta is in the process of rebuilding barns after losing 20 of its 22 stables to Rita.

2006 Delta Downs stakes schedule

Fri.,Jan. 20Genesis3YO F6 1/2 furlongs$50,000
Fri.,Jan. 20Triple Sec3YO6 1/2 furlongs50,000
Fri.,Feb. 3SweetheartF&M, 4YO & Up7 furlongs50,000
Fri.,Feb. 3Delta Mile4YO & Up1 mile50,000
Sat.,Feb. 18Premier Night Championship4YO & Up*1 1/16 miles150,000
Sat.,Feb. 18Premier Night DistaffF&M, 4YO & Up*1 mile100,000
Sat.,Feb. 18Premier Night Starlet3YO F*7 furlongs100,000
Sat.,Feb. 18Premier Night Prince3YO*7 furlongs100,000
Sat.,Feb. 18Premier Night MatronF&M, 4YO & Up*5 furlongs60,000
Sat.,Feb. 18Premier Night Sprint4YO & Up*5 furlongs60,000
Fri.,March 3Green Oaks3YO F1mile50,000
Fri.,March 3Sportsman's Paradise3YO1 mile50,000
Sat.,March 25GoddessF&M, 4YO & Up1 mile75,000
Sat.,March 25Gulf Coast Classic4YO & Up1 1/16 miles100,000

* Louisiana-breds