02/19/2004 12:00AM

Kodema stands out in Delta Mile

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Kodema is a standout in the $50,000 Delta Mile at Delta Downs on Saturday night, and if he gives a good performance in the race, his connections plan to bring him back to the track for the $100,000 Gulf Coast Classic on March 27.

Kodema, who is based at Fair Grounds, is one of six older horses in the Delta Mile, which also drew Mr. Archibald, runner-up in the $200,000 Louisiana Premier Night Championship on Feb. 7, and Parrott Bay, who invades from Florida for trainer Kenny Hoffman.

Kodema finished fourthat 22-1 last out in the Grade 3 Whirlaway at Fair Grounds, three and a half lengths behind Southern California-based winner Olmodavor.

"The track was deep that day, and I don't think he particularly liked it," said David Carroll, who trains Kodema for Farfellow Farms.

"He took the lead turning for home," Carroll said, but "was beaten by better. He's a very competitive, hard-trying horse."

Kodema has earned triple-digit Beyer Speed Figures in each of his last three starts, which include a win in a $62,500 optional claimer at Churchill Downs on Nov. 19; and fourth-place finishes in the $60,000 Louisiana Handicap on Jan. 2 and the Whirlaway.

Steve Bourque, the leading rider at Delta, has the mount on Kodema, who is a son of Seeking the Gold.

Mr. Archibald leaves the statebred ranks behind on Saturday after finishing 1 3/4 lengths behind Spritely Walker on Premier Night. Before that race, he was second against open company in a turf optional claimer at Fair Grounds. Trainer Bret Calhoun has given the mount to Guy Smith.