12/04/2004 1:00AM

Punch Appeal scores knockout

Coady Photography
Punch Appeal storms to a 5 1/2-length win over even-money favorite Summer Raven in the $250,000 Delta Princess Stakes at Delta Downs.

VINTON, La. - Punch Appeal added to her already impressive resume Saturday night when she stormed to a 5 1/2-length win over even-money favorite Summer Raven in the $250,000 at Delta Downs. It was the fifth stakes victory this year for Punch Appeal.

The Princess, for 2-year-old fillies, was one of three undercard stakes supporting the $1 million Delta Jackpot. The combined purses for the four stakes was $1.4 million, making for the richest card of racing in the history of Delta.

Punch Appeal ($4) took the initiative out of the gate and led the field through an opening quarter-mile in 23.76 seconds. Summer Raven, making her first start around two turns, tracked the pace in second, advancing down the backside. The two separated themselves from the field on the final turn, while Summer Raven raced wide into the stretch, and Punch Appeal maintained her position along the inside. Punch Appeal pulled away in the stretch, and covered the mile over a fast track in 1:40.42.

Donnie Meche rode the winner for trainer Steve Asmussen. Punch Appeal earned $150,000 for the win, which was her sixth in nine starts this year. Racing for Heiligbrodt Racing Stable and Burning Day Farm, Punch Appeal has now earned $389,840. The partners purchased her following a campaign at Calder Race Course, where she won two stakes this past summer, for trainer Bill White.

She was then transferred to Asmussen, and went on to win the $100,000 Kentucky Cup Juvenile Fillies at Turfway Park in September, and the $109,000 Pocahontas at Churchill Downs on Nov. 6, in her start immediately before to the Delta Princess.

So Much More upsets in Treasure Chest

So Much More dug in to catch pacesetter Cat's Cat in midstretch and win the $75,000 Treasure Chest Stakes by three-quarters of a length. It was another back in third to Miss Confusion.

The Treasure Chest was the first stakes of the card Saturday.

So Much More ($24) broke out slightly at the start, and moved into contention soon afterward. She tracked Cat's Cat through an opening quarter in 23.63 seconds, and a half-mile in 48.53. So Much More overtook Cat's Cat in the stretch, going on to complete the seven furlongs around two turns in 1:27.20.

Guy Smith, the leading rider at Delta, rode So Much More for trainer Josie Carroll. The mare shipped in from Fair Grounds for the race, but had spent the fall racing at Woodbine in Toronto.

So Much More earned $45,000 for the win, and overall has now won 6 of 19 starts and $322,516. So Much More, a 5-year-old daughter of Chimes Band, races for her breeder, William Schettine.