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Delta Downs Race Track
Delta Downs is a thoroughbred and quarter horse race track near Vinton, Louisiana in the southern region of the state. The track originally opened its doors in 1973, but received massive upgrades to its physical layout and racing quality in the 1990’s when it was permitted to allow slot machines on the premises. Delta’s thoroughbred meeting runs from mid-October to Mid-March Wednesday-Saturday with several major stakes races interspersed throughout the year.
Delta Downs Horse Racing
The Delta Downs track is a six furlong oval with chutes designed to accommodate five furlong and a mile and a sixteenth thoroughbred racing. The surface is a clay mixture with a limestone base. This “bull ring” style track features a short stretch at just 660 feet long emphasizing the ability of a horse to handle tight turns. The size of the track requires field sizes to be capped at ten horses.
Major Races and Events
With slots enriched purses, Delta Downs is noted for its generous stakes program throughout the year including the 1 million dollar Delta Jackpot Stakes and $500,000 Delta Downs Princess Stakes – both Grade III races run on the same card in November. The Treasure Chest, the Delta Mile, and the Gold Cup also highlight the stakes calendar at Delta Downs.
Inaugurated in 2002, the mile and one sixteenth, Jackpot Stakes (G.III) carries a purse of 1 million dollars making it the second richest race for two year-olds with the exception of the Breeder’s Cup Juvenile. 2012 winner Goldencents is the most notable winner of the race to date as he went on to win the 2013 Santa Anita Derby and 2013 Breeder’s Cup Dirt Mile. The Jackpot is run towards the end of November making it possible for Breeder’s Cup Juvenile participants to race.
Delta Princess Stakes
The $500,000 Delta Princess (G.III) is run at a mile and restricted to two year-old fillies. It is run on the same day as the Delta Jackpot Stakes in late November. Rose to Gold won the 2012 edition before going on to win the Grade III Honeybee and Fantasy Stakes at Oaklawn Park as a three year-old.
Gold Cup Stakes
The $300,000 Gold Cup in early November is the highlight of Delta’s Louisiana-bred stakes schedule. Run at a distance of one mile, the Gold Cup was twice won by Louisiana legend, Star Guitar, who took the 2009 and 2011 editions of the race.