03/15/2004 12:00AM

Man held in child's death


A backstretch worker at Gulfstream Park has been charged with aggravated manslaughter after his 9-month-old daughter died Saturday after being left unattended in a parked car at the track for 45 minutes.

The father, identified by the Hallandale Beach, Fla., police as Antonio Balta, left the child in the car while attending the races at Gulfstream on Saturday, according to a police spokesman Monday. Balta remained in custody.

The passenger window of Balta's car had been left open a half-inch while Balta was at the track, the police said. Temperatures were in the low 80's.

The police had not immediately determined who employed Balta, but said he was a groom who was a seasonal worker. He was not working on Saturday. The mother of the child worked at Gulfstream, but she will not be charged.