News November  28, 2022

Delta Downs Set To Begin 2018 American Quarter Horse Season Friday

Delta Downs will kick off it's 46-day live Quarter Horse meet on Friday.

© Coady Photography

VINTON, LA—APRIL 17, 2018—Delta Downs Racetrack Casino & Hotel will begin its 2018 American Quarter Horse season Friday and Saturday nights. The 46-day meeting runs through July 7 and will feature live programs each Wednesday through Saturday after opening weekend is complete. First post time nightly is set for 6:15 pm Central Time.

Opening weekend will feature two stakes races. *The Friday night feature will be the $20,000 Delta Dash for 3-year-olds and up competing at 250 yards (see related story). Last year’s winner, Scoopies Leaving You, will return to defend his title under jockey Donald Watson. The Kevin Broussard trainee has won 17 of 44 lifetime starts and has banked over $327,000.

Saturday’s action will include the $40,000 Louisiana Purchase Stakes 3-year-olds and up at 350 yards (see related story). The top earner in the field is Kenneth Weeks’ trainee Bjs Magic Wings, who owns an ultra-consistent record of 10 wins and 17 in-the-money finishes from 27 overall starts.

The first trials of the season will take place this weekend as well. On Friday night, the track will conduct five trials for this year’s $69,552 Old South Derby. Saturday’s card will include nine trials for this year’s $112,305 Old South Futurity. The finals for the Old South Derby and Futurity will take place on May 11 and 12 respectively.

Another important set of stakes races this season will take place on Friday, May 18 and Saturday, May 19 when the track hosts the $75,000-added Louisiana Lassie Futurity (RG2) and the $75,000-added Louisiana Laddie Futurity (RG2) respectively. Trials for those races will take place on April 27 and 28.

The richest open-bred stakes races of the season will be run on Saturday, June 30 and Wednesday, July 4 when the $100,000-added Firecracker Derby for 3-year-olds and the $100,000-added Firecracker Futurity (Gr. 2) for 2-year-olds take center stage. Qualifying trials for the Firecracker races will be held on June 8 and 9.

The racing season will wrap up at Delta Downs on July 7 with another edition of Louisiana Showcase Night, which features eight stakes races for Louisiana-bred horses and the richest race of the season, the Lee Berwick Futurity (RG1). Last year’s Lee Berwick purse set a record, as the $705,495 purse marked the highest Quarter Horse purse amount ever awarded at Delta Downs since the track opened its doors in 1973.

Some of the nation’s top horsemen will be back at Delta Downs this season. Kenneth Roberts, Sr., who was honored with his first AQHA World Champion trainer award in 2017, will attempt to win his ninth leading trainer title at Delta Downs this season. Jockey John Hamilton will attempt to repeat his crown as leading jockey after winning his fifth title in the last six years in 2017.

Owner/trainer Rogelio Marquez, Jr. won his first leading owner title at Delta Downs in 2017 and is expected to be in contention for the same honor this season.

For more information about the upcoming season visit the track’s website at or on the Facebook page, ‘Delta Downs Racing’. The track’s Twitter handle is @deltaracing.

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Delta Downs Racetrack Casino and Hotel, a property of Boyd Gaming Corporation (NYSE:BYD), features exciting casino action, live horse racing and fun dining experiences. Delta Downs is located in Vinton, Louisiana, on Delta Downs Drive. From Lake Charles, take Exit 7 and from Texas, take Exit 4.

Courtesy Ses