02/02/2003 12:00AM

Oak Hall overpowering in Bayou State


Oak Hall dominated a strong field of Louisiana-bred horses Saturday night when he pulled away to a four and three-quarter length win over Zarb's Luck in the $75,000 Bayou State at Delta Downs in Vinton, La. It was another four and three quarter lengths back in third to Itsacryingshame.

Oak Hall, who ruled as a slight favorite over Bet Me Best, paid $6.40. The winner settled in fifth early, while Bet Me Best and Zarb's Luck, who captured the $100,000 Louisiana Champions Day Sprint in December, dueled through fractions of 22.89 seconds for the opening quarter and 47.04 seconds for the half in the seven-furlong race, which was held around two turns.

Oak Hall began to pick up steam on the final turn, and went on to cover the distance over a fast track in 1:24.40. Kirk LeBlanc rode the winner for trainer Keith Bourgeois.

Oak Hall earned $45,000 for the win, which improved his earnings to $583,792. Overall, the gelding, who is a 7-year-old son of Olympio, has won 17 of 39 career starts for owner Ena Ortega.