08/22/2005 11:00PM

Jackpot becomes Delta's first graded race

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The $1 million Delta Jackpot will be a Grade 3 race when it is run for the fourth time Dec. 2 at Delta Downs, making it the first graded Thoroughbred stakes to be held at the Vinton, La., track since it opened in 1973.

The 1 1/16-mile race is the second-richest race for 2-year-olds in North America, behind the $1.5 million Breeders' Cup Juvenile.

The Jackpot has also been moved back to a Friday after being held on a Saturday in 2004.

Texcess won last year's running over Closing Argument, who in May finished second in the Kentucky Derby.

The Delta Jackpot, the richest race in Louisiana, will again share a card with three others stakes, including the $250,000 Delta Princess for 2-year-old fillies at one mile. The local preps for the Jackpot and the Delta Princess are the $100,000 Jean Lafitte and the $75,000 Chargedupsycamore, both on Nov. 4.

In all, Delta will run 46 stakes worth more than $4 million during an 88-night meet that will open on Oct. 21. The season will run through March 25, 2006. Nightly first post is 5:55 p.m. Central.

Louisiana Premier Night, a card of 10 races for Louisiana-breds worth a total of $1 million, will be run on Feb. 4.