03/20/2003 1:00AM

Salty Farma returns to favorite trip


Salty Farma returns to the distance of her biggest career win Saturday night when she starts as the 118-pound highweight in the $100,000 Goddess Handicap at Delta Downs in Vinton, La.

The one-mile race drew eight fillies and mares, including local stakes winners Meteor Miracle and Prized Amberpro.

Salty Farma won a one-mile allowance by 8 1/4 lengths two races ago at Fair Grounds, and earned a big 104 Beyer Speed Figure. She was sent off the favorite in Fair Grounds's $150,000 Chou Croute at 1 1/16 miles a month later, and she finished second, 9 1/4 lengths behind Ifyouprefersilver.

"I don't think she ran her race at all," said David Kassen, who trains Salty Farma. "It had rained hard the day before, and it was kind of a dull track and I just don't think she ran her good race."

Kassen said Salty Farma appears to be coming into a good effort Saturday. In her final drills for the Goddess, she twice worked four furlongs in 48.40 seconds at Fair Grounds.

"She's worked better coming into this race than last time," said Kassen. "I think she's coming into the race good, and I hope she will give a good account of herself."

Salty Farma usually does, having won six races from 15 starts. Lonnie Meche has the mount on Salty Farma, who races for her breeders, Edward Weaver and Larry Bielfeldt.

Prized Amberpro, who would go over the $500,000 mark in earnings with a win Saturday, figures to be a late threat to Salty Farma, who tends to race either on or close to the pace.

In her last two starts, Prized Amberpro has rallied for second, beaten three lengths by Meteor Miracle in the $50,000 Sweetheart, and 2 1/2 lengths by Fuse It in the $100,000 Magnolia Handicap.

Before those races, Prized Amberpro had won four straight stakes for Louisiana-breds, two of them at Delta. One of those stakes wins came at the one-mile distance of the Goddess.

Trainer John Gelner has given the mount to C.J. Woodley.

On the undercard, Itsmybag will shoot for her second stakes win at the meet and her third overall in the $50,000 Mademoselle, a five-furlong race restricted to 3-year-old fillies bred in Louisiana.

In her last start, Itsmybag was a wire-to-wire winner of the $75,000 Battler Star at Fair Grounds on March 9. The race was her first back following a two-month freshening for trainer Keith Desormeaux, who has given the mount to Frank Lovato Jr.

Also on the undercard, Joyful Tune, who earned a 107 Beyer Figure in his last start, and stakes winner Two Punch Sonny meet in a five-furlong allowance worth $43,000.