The $1 million Delta Jackpot from Delta Downs is contested at the distance of one and one sixteenth miles for two-year-olds. It will go forward 4:15 CT as race 7 on an 11 race card. The winner of this race will earn 10 points towards an entry in the Kentucky Derby on the first Saturday in May.
BERN IDENTITY (7-2) won the local prep race, the $200k Jean Lafitte, by three lengths moving from off the pace. The bay son of Berstein is a Grade 2 winner as he annexed the Sanford Stakes at Saratoga in late July. His performance over the track is a huge plus and his obvious class makes him a top contender.
HEAVEN’S RUNWAY (20-1) races for the Summer Bird ownership of KK and Devi Jayaraman. He looked sharp wiring a $100k minor stakes field at Presque Isle, but faded when last seen in the Iroquois Stakes at Churchill Downs. Since then he has moved to the barn of Benard Chatters. Look for jockey Carlos Marquez to zip to the front.
Albert Stall won the Breeders’ Cup Classic two years ago with Blame and could have his next star with CENTRAL BANKER (6-1). The bay son of Speightstown won for fun when last seen in an optional claiming race at Churchill Downs. This will be his first time going a route of ground. Miguel Mena is listed to ride.
Gerard Melancon won this race a year ago aboard Sabercat at 10-1. His mount this year, MYLUTE (15-1), is also a long shot that could win. The long striding colt is a bit gawky at this point in his career, but when he grows into himself he will be a formidable foe. He was last seen chasing Bern Identity to be second in the Jean Lafitte. It looks like trainer Thomas Amoss has a live one on his hands here.
HIGHTAIL (9-2) is fresh off a win in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Sprint against four other horses. Trainer D Wayne Lukas believes the son of Mineshaft is going to be even better going around two turns. It looks like the late running dark bay colt is improving and if he moves up off his last race then it will take a very good racehorse to beat him.
Many good horses have exited Calder in recent years. ITSMYLUCKYDAY (8-1) will try to be the next one. Fresh off victories in the Fasig Tipton Dash and the Foolish Pleasure Stakes, the closer will try to collect a huge check in the Jackpot. Jockey Angel Serpa gets the mount back after breaking his maiden at Monmouth back in late June. Edward Plesa is the trainer.
KNOW MORE (4-1) is the first of two entries for Kentucky Derby winning trainer Doug O’Neill. This colt debuted in the Grade 2 Best Pal Stakes; and won it. He came back to be second in the Grade 1 Del Mar Futurity and then secondin the Grade 1 Front Runner Stakes. His last trip to the track was a failed try in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf, but it appears the surface didn’t suit him. Mario Gutierrez is listed to right for Reddam Racing.
If you can forgive his poor effort in the Jane Lafitte, then SHOW SOME MAGIC (20-1) is an interesting horse. He has been begging for more ground all along and we know he is a good horse as he broke his maiden at Saratoga. Steve Asmussen doesn’t enter big time races just to do it. Richard Eramia might get this one home at a big price.
GOLDENCENTS (5-2) is the race favorite. He won emphatically in his Del Mar debut on September 2 and was then second beaten five lengths to Shanghai Bobby in the Grade 1 Champagne Stakes. That horse went on to win the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile. The son of Into Mischief will ge a big test here facing other strong early speed, but we have no idea how deep his well goes. Kevin Krigger will ride for Doug O’Neill.
I nailed this race last year with Sabercat ($18) as my top pick. I had a great feeling on him that day and I’ve got a good feeling on this race again. Click here to learn how you can get my pick for the race.