Delta Downs

Ronnie Milsap

Delta Downs welcomes six-time Grammy Award win­ning country singer Ronnie Milsap on Saturday, March 22, at 7 p.m. Tickets for this 21-and-older show are $30 or $25 and can be purchased at the venue or ticketmaster. com.

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The 2013 quarter horse season will begin Friday, April 26, at Delta Downs in nearby Vinton, La., with a first post time of 6:45 p.m. After this weekend, live racing will occur Wednesday-Saturday.

Opening weekend is full of action as April 26 will see two stakes races and two sets of trials for the Old South Derby with 18 horses competing in Races 4-5, and those with the Top 10 fastest times will move on to the May 18final.

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The 2012-13 thoroughbred season will come to an end March 23 at Delta Downs, but two stakes races are to be held the final weekend, and both have plenty of talent in them.

A field of nine has been drawn for the $70,000 Gold Coast Stakes on March 22 for older open bred fillies/mares that have started at least once at Delta since Oct. 18, 2012. The race will be 1 mile.

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With less than a month left in the 2012-13 thoroughbred racing season at Delta Downs, the track will host the $50,000 Fremont Stakes on Saturday, March 2. It will be Race 2 on the program, which begins at 5:45 p.m.
The stakes is named after another Boyd Gaming property, Fremont Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, which opened in 1956 and was purchased by Boyd in 1983.
The race has drawn a field of eight and is restricted to open bred horses that are at least 4 years old and older and have started at least once claiming race at Delta since Oct. 18, 2012. It will be contested at 1 mile.

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Delta Downs hosted two inaugural stakes last weekend and King Henny, who actually finished second, was moved up to first when Mr. Bandini’s Band was disqualified from first to fourth after interference around the final turn in the $100,000 Big Drama Stakes on Jan. 5.

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Delta Downs held two stakes races last weekend, and both winners were dominant in their respective performances Dec. 28-29 in Vinton, La.

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Trainer Doug O’Neill has won a lot of big races this year including the Kentucky Derby, and he has now added another big one to his resume. Goldencents, who was one of two O’Neill trainees in the race, led gate to wire and held off two late runners in Bern Identity and Mylute to win the Grade 3, $1 million Delta Downs Jackpot on Nov. 17.

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The 10th running of the $1 million Delta Downs Jackpot will not only feature a full field of nine of the most talented 2-year-old horses in the country, but in town will be this year’s Kentucky Derby winning jockey/trainer tandem of Mario Gutierrez and Doug O’Neill, who will try to win the Jackpot with Know More. Gutierrez and O’Neill won this year’s Derby and Preakness Stakes with I’ll Have Another.

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Led by Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Sprint champion Hightail, the Delta Downs’ racing office received 15 pre-entries on Nov. 6 for this year’s Grade 3, $1 million Delta Downs Jackpot, which will celebrate its 10th anniversary on Saturday, Nov. 17. The Jackpot Day program will have a special first post time of 1:15 p.m., and it will feature eight stakes races and more than $2.2 million in total purse money awarded.

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For the third consecutive year, nominations to the Grade 3, $1 million Delta Downs Jackpot have reached an all-time high. A total of 301 possible candidates have been nominated to the race, which will celebrate its 10th anniversary Saturday, Nov. 17. That number represents a 19.4 percent increase over last year’s total of 252 nominations.

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