RACETRACK - CASINO - HOTEL
The track opened in September, 1973 under the direction of Lee Berwick. Berwick was primarily looking for a recognized facility to run Quarter Horses, having earlier held races on his farm in St. Joseph, Louisiana. Delta Downs in Vinton would hold both Quarter Horse and Thoroughbred race meetings, some years in a mixed format. In the 1990s, the track was bought by developer Shawn Scott for $10 million. Shortly thereafter, it was sold for over $100 million to Boyd Gaming after a law was passed allowing for slot machines at Delta Downs. After the purchase, Boyd Gaming made over $120 million in capital improvements. The casino, hotel and track were badly damaged by Hurricane Rita in 2005; the casino and hotel were partially opened two months later. The track was closed for about six months after the hurricane. Fueled by revenue from the slots casino, the quality of racing at Delta Downs has improved. The winter Thoroughbred meeting has produced several stakes-quality horses in recent years. The Premier stake race each Thoroughbred meet is the Grade III $1 million Delta Downs Jackpot Stakes for Two Year Olds at 1 1/16m.