The Associated Press

CARENCRO, La. Carolina Panthers quarterback Jake Delhomme is spending his down time hard at work.

While he awaits the opening of training camp, Delhomme is busy taking care of his stable of five thoroughbreds - including mucking out horse stalls at Evangeline Downs.

"That's always been my release," said Delhomme, who is known as much at the track and in area racing circles for his horses as his status as a Super Bowl quarterback. "I don't play golf and I don't fish. I have my horses."

Those horses include two that are actively racing, one that is close and two mares in foal. Other than spending time with his family, Delhomme said he would rather spend his time taking care of that quintet than just about anything else.

Miss Excavate, a filly that has already shown much promise as a 2-year-old, may be the top horse in Delhomme's stable. Miss Excavate qualified for the field for the prestigious D.S. "Shine" Young Futurity over the past weekend but was scratched from the strong field.

"We didn't think she was fully ready yet," Delhomme said. "Running for the first time against the boys was the biggest thing. But she looks like she can be a pretty good horse, and with all the tracks getting their slots going she's got the potential to make some money as a 3-year-old."