03/06/2002 1:00AM

Delta Downs: Watch out for Cormier


VINTON, La. - Trainer Don Cormier Jr. has been on a roll of late.

Beginning Feb. 21, Cormier saddled at least one winner a night for seven consecutive race days. The streak ended Sunday, when Cormier did not start a horse.

The Cormier barn returns with a vengeance Thursday night, with six runners entered in the first seven races. Jockey J.T. Weatherly, who rode the last five winners that Cormier has sent out, will team with Cormier on Sharp Sailor (fourth race) and Lucy Brook (sixth).

Delta Downs enjoyed a big victory of its own on Friday, establishing an all-sources mutuel handle record of $1,425,842. Director of racing Chris Warren said the effects of newly opened slots parlor are already being felt.

"We are seeing some crossover from the slots to the horses," Warren said. "While the wife is playing the slots, the husband will move over and try his luck at the windows. Our on-track numbers were up some 30 percent the weekend following the opening of the slot parlor."