Only four days remain until Delta Downs’ richest and most important race of the year,
Many of the connections that will take part in the nation’s second richest
Listed below, in order of entry preference by earnings and graded stakes
placings, is the latest information from Delta Downs’ racing office regarding
arrival plans and final preparations for the 10 horses pre-entered and expected
to go postward:
Bern Identity: The Grade 2 Sanford Stakes winner has been stabled locally
since his rousing three-length victory in the Jean Lafitte Stakes at Delta Downs
on October 20. The Kelly Breen trainee recorded his final workout for the Delta
Downs Jackpot last weekend when he breezed a half-mile in 48 1/5 over a fast
track on Saturday morning. The clocking was the fastest of 65 at that distance.
Bern Identity will enter the big race as the top earner in the field with a
bankroll of $426,000.
Hightail: Winner of the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Sprint on November 2, the D.
Wayne Lukas trainee will be the first Delta Downs Jackpot starter for the Hall
of Fame conditioner and is expected to fly from Lexington, Kentucky to Houston
on Wednesday morning before vanning to Delta Downs the same day. The Mineshaft
colt readied for the Delta Jackpot Jackpot with a half-mile breeze in :50 4/5
Tuesday morning over a muddy track at Churchill Downs and Hightail will be the
first Breeder’s Cup winner to ever start in the 1 1/16-mile showdown.
Know More: Winner of the Grade 2 Best Pal Stakes, the Grade 1 Del Mar
Futurity and Grade 1 Frontrunner runner-up is expected to arrive by flight into
Houston before vanning to Delta Downs Wednesday. The J. Paul Reddam owned and
Doug O’Neill trained colt will be piloted by jockey Mario Gutierrez. These are
the same connections that won the roses at Churchill Downs with I’ll Have
Another in this year’s Kentucky Derby.
Goldencents: Runner-up to Shanghai Bobby in the Grade 1 Champagne Stakes, he
is also conditioned by O’Neill and will arrive with his stablemates Know More
and Tree of Life from Southern California via Houston Wednesday. The
Kentucky-bred will enter Saturday’s race as the least experienced horse in the
field with only two starts under his belt. His lone win came at Del Mar in
September while making his career debut in maiden company.
Itsmyluckyday: The son of 2007 champion older male Lawyer Ron arrived at
Delta Downs by van ride on Tuesday from his home base of south Florida. The
Edward Plesa Jr. trainee has never finished worse than second in five career
starts, including victories in Foolish Pleasure Stakes and the Fasig Tipton
Dash, both at Calder Race Course. The Calder-to-Delta route has worked twice in
the past as 2008 winner Big Drama and 2010 hero Gourmet Dinner each prepping at
the Miami oval beforehand.
Central Banker: The Albert Stall Jr. trainee is expected to take a van ride
to Delta Downs from Fair Grounds in New Orleans on Saturday morning before the
biggest test of his career. The son of champion sprinter Speightstown has the
distinction of being the first horse ever to be supplemented to the Delta Downs
Jackpot. Central Banker also holds the distinction of beating Hightail, winning
a five-furlong maiden race over the turf at Churchill Downs in late August.
Tree of Life: The property of West Point Thoroughbreds LLC will take the same
journey to Delta Downs as fellow Southern California invaders Know More and
Goldencents through Houston via flight and van on Wednesday. Tree of Life will
mark the first starter in the Jackpot for conditioner Craig Dollase, whose
runners have earned more than $31 million. Dollase is the son of renowned
trainer Wally Dollase and the brother of Aimee, who also trains racehorses.
Heaven’s Runway: The bay colt represents the hopes of many local fans at
Delta Downs as he is trained by Louisiana resident and native Benard Chatters
and is stabled in barn #2 on the backside of the Vinton, Louisiana, racetrack.
Chatters will attempt to become the second locally-based horsemen to enjoy
success in the big race after Louisiana native jockey Gerard Melancon broke
through with a victory aboard Sabercat last year. Heaven’s Runway is a half-
brother to 2011 Martha Washington Stakes winner and multiple graded stakes
placed mare Holy Heavens.
Show Some Magic: The Steve Asmussen trainee has been training at Fair Grounds
in New Orleans since his sixth-place finish to Bern Identity in the Jean Lafitte
Stakes on October 20. The chestnut colt breezed five furlongs on Saturday
morning in 1:01 1/5 before vanning to Delta Downs on Sunday. Show Some Magic
will attempt to give Asmussen back-to-back wins in the Delta Downs Jackpot
following last year’s success with Sabercat.
Mylute: The Jean Lafitte runner-up has also been spending time at Fair
Grounds where he drilled five furlongs Friday morning in 1:02 3/5. The son of
sprint champion Midnight Lute is expected to van over to Delta Downs on Saturday
morning before his big test later that day. If Mylute is victorious on Saturday
it will mark his first win over dirt as his only other tally came on a synthetic
surface at Arlington Park on August 11.
For more information about the $1 million Delta Downs Jackpot, including the
special $100,000 guaranteed Pick 4 wager that will take place during the
www.deltadownsracing.com. Additional information about the race can also be
found on the “Delta Downs Racing” page on Facebook, and by following Delta Downs
on Twitter with the account @deltaracing.