08/24/2006 12:00AM

Delta Jackpot will return Dec. 1


The Grade 3, $1 million Delta Jackpot is back from a one-year hiatus brought on by Hurricane Rita. The jackpot, which will be run on Dec. 1, is the richest Thoroughbred race in Louisiana.

In all, 39 stakes worth a record $4,075,000 are scheduled for the 88-date season that opens Nov. 1. The meet will continue through March 31, 2007.

The Jackpot, for 2-year-olds at 1 1/16 miles, will be the first graded stakes for Thoroughbreds ever run at Delta. It was to be run as a graded stakes last year, but was canceled after Rita hit on Sept. 24, 2005, and damaged the track, which is located in Vinton, La.

The Jackpot will be supported by four other stakes, including the $300,000 Princess for 2-year-old fillies at one mile. The Princess has been boosted from the $250,000 purse it carried when last run in 2004. Together, the five stakes are worth $1.5 million, making the card the richest night of racing at Delta.

Preps for the Jackpot night stakes will be held Nov. 3, with the most notable being the $150,000 Jean Lafitte for 2-year-olds. Other big nights on the calendar include the $1 million Louisiana Premier Night, when 10 stakes for Louisiana-breds will be run, topped by the $200,000 Championship.

Delta will race Wednesday through Saturday nights, with a first post of 6:20 p.m. Central.