Delta Closes With Handle Up

Delta's 46-day meet closes with handle up.

July 17, 2013

Delta Downs

Delta Downs wrapped up its 2013 American Quarter Horse season on Saturday night. The 46-day stand featured many exciting performances and some familiar names at the top of the final horsemen’s standings. The track's handle from all sources during the season was up 5.04 percent in 2013. The track handled a total of $17,517,770 on its live races during the 46-day meet, which worked out to a daily average of $380,821. Last year’s daily average was $362,530.

John Hamilton captured his second consecutive leading jockey title this year by winning 56 races from 309 mounts. The 49-year-old also led all riders in mount earnings with a total of $1,098,951.

Much of Hamilton’s success came in stakes activity as he rode five stakes winners including Maxed Out Game, who took the $25,000 Mother’s Day Stakes; Fast Talkin Henry, who won the $40,000 Louisiana Purchase and the $148,260 Delta Downs Derby (RG2); and The Lizzard King, who was successful in both the $25,000 Develop a Plan (G3) and the $50,000 Miss Polly Classic Stakes.

The race for the leading trainer title not only came down to the final day of the season, it also came down to the final race. Kenneth L. Roberts Sr.’s trainee Man of Steal won it to give the Vinton, Louisiana, resident his second consecutive crown and his fifth in the Boyd Gaming era at Delta Downs, 2001-13.

Roberts was the only trainer to surpass the $1 million mark in stable earnings as his runners amassed a total of $1,103,043. A major reason for Roberts’ lofty earnings mark was his prowess in stakes races. His trainees won six of the track’s 28 added-money events including his richest score with the talented young filly Dashing Jet Rio in the $246,142 Louisiana Lassie Futurity (RG2).

Geral Dewitt, who hails from Garland, Texas, won his first leading owner title at Delta Downs this year. Dewitt’s horses won 10 of 83 starts and earned a total of $210,731. Dewitt’s success came primarily in overnight races as he and his trainer, step-son Anthony Arey, are very active in the claiming game each year.