01/12/2005 12:00AM

Spritely Walker tries right track and trip


Spritely Walker, a top Louisiana-bred whose last win came at seven furlongs at Delta Downs, will return to those conditions Friday night in the track's $50,000 Cypress.

The two-turn race is a prep for the $200,000 Championship on Louisiana Premier Night on Feb. 5, and it drew a host of stakes winners, including Prince Slew, Setemup Joe, Believe Im Special, and Nitro Chip.

returned from an eight-month layoff on Dec. 11 and finished third in the $150,000 Louisiana Champions Day Classic at Fair Grounds. Since then he has worked consecutive bullets for the cutback from 1 1/8 miles, his latest a six-furlong move in 1:14.20 at Fair Grounds on Jan. 5.

Spritely Walker's last start before the layoff came at Delta, where he finished second in open company in the $100,000 Gulf Coast Classic. Prior to that race he won at seven furlongs in Delta's $50,000 Bayou State, and also captured the 2004 running of the Championship on Premier Night.

Donnie Meche has the mount on Spritely Walker for trainer Steve Asmussen. The horse, who is 5, has won seven races and $436,079. Spritely Walker is owned by Heiligbrodt Racing Stable and is a half-brother to Louisiana-bred standouts Knight Woman, a winner of $515,367, and Hope List, a winner of $601,475.

Believe Im Special should be sharp for the move to two turns after finishing a close third in a five-furlong allowance in open company Jan. 7. Leading rider Guy Smith has the mount for trainer Thomas Sam. Others of note in the race include Prince Slew, a winner of $466,467.

* A $25,000-guaranteed pick four will be offered on the Premier Night card, a program of 10 Louisiana-bred stakes worth a total of $1 million. Special first post for the card is 5 p.m. Central.

* Delta plans to launch a new players' club, which will reward patrons for betting races on-site. It is scheduled to begin in February.

* Daniel Corte is the new chaplain at Delta.