News December  6, 2022

Delta Downs Set To Kick Off 2019 American Quarter Horse Season Friday

Delta Downs 46 day meet kicks off Friday with trials and the Delta Dash Stakes.

© Coady Photography

VINTON, LA—APRIL 17, 2019—Delta Downs Racetrack Casino & Hotel will begin its 2019 American Quarter Horse season Friday and Saturday nights, April 19 and 20. The 46-day meeting runs through July 6 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 (see related story) for 3-year-olds and up competing at 250 yards. Last year’s winner, Dm La Jolla, will return to defend his title under jockey Rolando Cabrera. The Porfirio Fierro trainee has won five of 25 starts and banked nearly $100,000 in earnings.

Saturday’s action will include the $40,000 Louisiana Purchase Stakes 3-year-olds and up at 350 yards. The top earner in the field is Rosendo Valdez’s Lil Bro Big Streak, who has made over $119,000 but has yet to win a stakes race.

The first trials of the season will take place this weekend as well. On Friday night, the track will conduct five qualifiers for this year’s $25,000-added Old South Derby. Saturday’s card will include eight trials for this year’s $25,000-added Old South Futurity. The finals for the Old South Derby and Futurity will take place on May 10 and 11 respectively.

Another important set of stakes races this season will take place on Friday, May 17 and Saturday, May 18 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 26 and 27.

The richest open-bred stakes races of the season will be run on Wednesday, July 3 and Thursday, 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 7 and 8.

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 was $700,000. The highest Quarter Horse purse amount ever awarded came in the 2017 when the Lee Berwick was worth a staggering $705,495.

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 be seeking his seventh leading jockey title after winning his sixth crown in seven years during the 2018 campaign.

Owner Aaron Harvey won his first leading owner title at Delta Downs in 2018 and is expected to be in contention for the same honor again 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