12/03/2003 12:00AM

Princess filled with live ones


VINTON, La. - Trainer Patrick Biancone thinks so highly of recent maiden winner Salty Romance that he wanted to run her against male rivals in the $1 million Delta Jackpot at Delta Downs on Friday night. But she was excluded from the race based on earnings, and instead will run against her own sex in $250,000 Delta Princess, one of three undercard stakes on the card.

A one-mile race for 2-year-old fillies, the Princess drew a full field of 10, and a case can be made for most of the starters in the field.

Purchased as a 2-year-old in training for $320,000, Salty Romance won her maiden in her second career start, rolling to a 4 1/2-length win at Hollywood Park on Nov. 15.

Salty Romance set the pace in her maiden win, running the opening quarter in 21.80 seconds and the half-mile in 44.80 seconds before finishing six furlongs in 1:09.40.

"She's fast," said Biancone, who trains Salty Romance for Flying Zee Stable. "She has a lot of speed, and for a track like [Delta] you need to have speed, because it's a little smaller."

Salty Romance will also need stamina to win the Princess, which will be her first start around two turns.

"I think she should be okay," said Biancone. "You don't ever really know until they try, but I think she will be okay with the way she has worked."

Mike Smith has the mount Friday.

Wacky Patty is the chief threat to Salty Romance. She won the local prep for the Princess, holding on for a nose win in the $75,000 Chargedupsycamore on Nov. 7. The race was her first start around two turns.

"That was a close one," said Cole Norman, who trains Wacky Patty. "She made the lead and just was waiting on horses. She put her ears up and kind of waited."

Wacky Patty could find herself in a stalking position Friday behind Salty Romance. Jamie Theriot will ride Wacky Patty, who won the Grade 3 Landaluce at Hollywood Park in July.

Silver Crown is the sleeper in the Princess. A winner of a seven-furlong conditioned allowance in her last start at Keeneland, she is a half-sister to Powerful Punch, a Grade 2 winner of $873,379. Robby Albarado has the mount for trainer Frank Springer.

Other contenders include In Rome, the Bassinette winner who can give her owner, Carl Pollard, and her trainer, David Vance, a second win in the Princess. They won the inaugural running last year with My Trusty Cat.

Turn to Lass, a game second in the Pocahontas last out at Churchill, should start as one of the favorites under Jon Court, while Questionable Past will try to improve her dirt record to 5 for 5 on Friday.