Updated on 09/17/2011 8:55PM

High Strike takes Delta Mile

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Nicole Walker/Coady Photography
High Strike Zone wins the $50,000 Delta Mile at Delta Downs.

High Strike Zone took the initiative from the start and led throughout for a three-quarter-length win over favorite Mauk Four on Friday night in the $50,000 Delta Mile at Delta Downs in Vinton, La.

The one-mile race for older horses was a prep for the $125,000 Gulf Coast Breeders' Cup Classic, a 1 1/16-mile race to be held at Delta on April 2.

Mauk Four was a clear second in the Delta Mile, finishing 3 3/4 lengths in front of third-place finisher and closer Golden Glen. Snorter, who was part of an entry with fourth-place finisher Shaky Town, was scratched.

High Strike Zone ($9.80) broke on top and led the field through fractions of 23.12 seconds for the opening quarter, 46.88 for the half, and 1:11.82 for six furlongs, pushed along throughout by Mauk Four.

High Strike Zone went on to cover the distance over a fast track in 1:38.39. Ricky Faul rode the winner for trainer Amos Laborde.

High Strike Zone earned $30,000 for the second stakes win of his career, and overall has won 6 of 22 starts and $176,160. He is a 5-year-old son of Smart Strike.