12/24/2002 12:00AM

Outta Here, literally, with Dubai a possible option


Outta Here, the Southern California-based colt who won the inaugural $500,000 Delta Jackpot at Delta Downs on Saturday night, will get a month off before his connections map out a 3-year-old campaign for the colt. The $2 million UAE Derby in Dubai in March could be on the schedule.

"I don't know yet where we're going with him," said Bill Currin, who co-owns and trains Outta Here. "I've got to get him home first."

Outta Here will spend this week in Louisiana at a training center owned by the family of his regular jockey Kent Desormeaux. He is scheduled to ship back to California on Saturday, then will be sent to a farm near Del Mar.

"We're going to give him a good 30 days of nibbling grass and playing," said Currin, who has nominated Outta Here to the invitation-only UAE Derby.

Outta Here used a strong closing kick to win the Delta Jackpot, a one-mile race for 2-year-olds that ranked as the richest purse ever at Delta Downs. The track handled $1.1 million on its 10-race card Saturday night, a $300,000 increase over what Delta handled on its races the same night the Saturday before, on Dec. 14.

Big plans for Jackpot

Delta officials would like to see the Delta Jackpot grow in value to $1 million, and eventually earn graded status. But the jury is out on whether or not the race will be run at the same time of year next season, or be moved to January.

Over the past two weeks there have been restrictions on flying horses into Houston, the closest major city to the track, and New Orleans, because of the holiday travel season. As a result of those restrictions, Outta Here had to fly into Dallas for the race, then van six hours to Delta Downs in Vinton, La..

"If we move the race too much earlier, it would conflict with races back east," said Chris Warren, director of racing at Delta Downs. "We could make it the first of the year, when they all turn 3.

"We're going to look at it, and see what's best."

Freshening for My Trusty Cat

My Trusty Cat, who won the $250,000 Delta Princess for 2-year-old fillies on Friday night at Delta Downs, will receive a couple of months off from racing, trainer David Vance said.

"She's going to get a little rest before we decide what to do with her," said Vance, who trains My Trusty Cat for Carl Pollard.

My Trusty Cat, now based at Oaklawn Park in Hot Springs, Ark., came into the Delta Princess on the heels of a third-place finish to the well-regarded My Boston Gal in the Grade 2 Golden Rod at Churchill Downs.

Harrah's increases budget

Harrah's Entertainment, which bought controlling interest of Louisiana Downs in Bossier City, La., last Friday, plans to spend an additional $26 million on improvements to the track over the announced $84 million. That brings the total cost of the project - from its $73 million purchase price to renovation costs - to $183 million.

Harrah's officials hope to open a 900 slot-machine casino by Memorial Day, 2003, with a permanent building housing 1,500 machines scheduled to be complete by June 2004. That building, which will feature a number of new restaurants, will share an entrance with Louisiana Downs.

Harrah's is also planning improvements to the backstretch, and will cross-market the track with its casino and hotel Harrah's Shreveport, located about eight miles west of Louisiana Downs.

* Ricky Frazier, a past leading rider at Sam Houston, visited the track Saturday night on his way to San Antonio to spend Christmas with his family. Frazier has been working as a riding double for actor Tobey McGuire on the set of the movie "Seabiscuit."

* The Sega video game Derby Owners Club-World Edition, which enables players to own and manage a virtual Thoroughbred, has been installed in the grandstand at Sam Houston.