11/07/2002 1:00AM

Delta Downs: No lack of speed

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The speed in the $40,000 Zydeco Stakes at Delta Downs in Vinton, La., is blinding. No less than six of the 10 fillies and mares in the five-furlong race won their last race wire to wire, which makes off-the-pace runners Raymond's Dream and Fuse It attractive. Still, it is tough not to like the front-running filly Kwik Kash.

Kwik Kash, a winner in both of her career starts, has been working lights-out for her first start since December, when she won the $100,000 Louisiana Champions Day Lassie at Fair Grounds. She has drilled four consecutive bullets, and could benefit from the shorter distance of the Zydeco following such a long break. Jamie Theriot has the mount for Valene Farms and trainer B.J. Gilbert.

Other front-runners of note in the Zydeco include regional stakes winner Goodness, and Mollie McLash, who set a Delta track record for five furlongs in January when she covered the distance in 57.60 seconds. She breaks from the rail, and brings a 3 for 5 record over the local strip to the table for trainer Keith Bourgeois.

Another runer who likes Delta is Raymond's Dream, who is 4 for 5 in Vinton. She adds blinkers and appears to be a win candidate under defending riding champ Steve Bourque.