08/13/2012 3:45PM

Delta Downs: Jackpot Day purses increased in 32-race stakes schedule


Delta Downs in Vinton, La., has made purse enhancements to four of the stakes that support its Grade 3, $1 million Delta Downs Jackpot on Nov. 17 and named a race in January for champion Big Drama, part of a 32-race, $4.6 million stakes schedule announced Monday.

Delta’s Jackpot program of eight stakes, including the Grade 3, $500,000 Delta Downs Princess for 2-year-old fillies at a mile, will again be the richest card of the meet, which opens Oct. 19. The season runs 88 dates through March 23.

Purses for the Jackpot program will be $2.2 million, up from more than $2.1 million a year ago. The Delta Mile and Treasure Chest for fillies and mares are now worth $150,000 each after having purses of $125,000 in 2011. In addition, the Sam’s Town and Orleans, races for 3-year-olds who have not won stakes, are now worth $70,000 each after last year’s $60,000.

The Jackpot card will be run on the lone afternoon program of the meet, with a post of 1:15 p.m. Central, said Chris Warren, director of racing for Delta. A win in the Jackpot, which is for 2-year-olds going 1 1/16 miles, will be worth 10 points as part of the new points system for Kentucky Derby eligibility.

Preps for the Jackpot and Princess will be run opening weekend at Delta. The $200,000 Jean Lafitte for 2-year-olds at a mile is Oct. 20 while the $150,000 My Trusty Cat for 2-year-old fillies at seven furlongs runs Oct. 19.

Other highlights include renaming the Triple Sec for Big Drama, the retired champion sprinter who won the Jackpot in 2008. The $100,000 Big Drama, a seven-furlong race for 3-year-olds, is to be run on Jan. 5.

The annual Louisiana Premier Night featuring 10 divisional stakes for Louisiana-breds is Feb. 2. The races are worth more than $1 million, with the richest offering the $200,000 Louisiana Premier Night Championship. Recently retired Star Guitar has won the 1 1/16-mile race the past four years.

Purses are projected to average $240,000 a card, said Warren. Stall applications are due Aug. 17.