The Road to the Kentucky Derby, as part of the new system in qualifying for the 2013 Kentucky Derby continues Saturday, November 17 at Delta Downs. The $1,000,000 Delta Downs Jackpot Stakes (G3) is the 7th race in the first section of the Road to the Kentucky Derby, named the Prep Season.
We’ve already seen Joha, Shanghai Bobby, Power Broker, Steeler (IRE) and River Seven win the first six qualifying races. Click here to view the current points standings.
2012 DELTA DOWNS JACKPOT STAKES
The $1,000,000 purse and available points to qualify for the Kentucky Derby was not enough to draw many star two year olds, but this is still a competitive nine horse field.
1. Bern Identity (KY) – Trainer Kelly Breen – Jockey Paco Lopez – 122 lbs
After a runner-up debut at Belmont Park back in May, the Bernstein colt won his next two starts including the six furlongs Sanford Stakes (G2) at Saratoga in July. On August 3, he ran a game 3rd behind eventual two year old male horse of the year Shanghai Bobby and Fortify in the seven furlongs Three Chimneys Hopeful Stakes (G2). His last race was a return to the winner’s circle in the one mile Jean Lafitte Stakes at Delta Downs. He sat back early as usual, made a strong move on the far turn and cruised down the lane to win by three lengths. He obviously likes the dirt surface at Delta Downs and the additional 1/16 mile will suit his late running style. This is one of the horses to beat.
2. Heaven’s Runway (KY) – Trainer Bernard Chatters – Jockey Carlos Marquez – 119 lbs
This Run Away And Hide colt is now with his third barn after spending his first four races at Presque Isles Downs under trainer Joseph Martin and one race at Churchill Downs for trainer Ron Moquett. Now with Bernard Chatter, he comes in winning 2 of 4 races including the 6 1/2 furlongs Fitz Dixon, Jr. Memorial Juvenile Stakes at Presque Isles Downs on all weather. His latest was finishing 7th in the one mile Iroquois Stakes (G3) at Churchill Downs on October 28.
3. Central Banker (KY) – Trainer Albert Stall, Jr. – Jockey Miguel Mena – 117 lbs
Stall brings this Speightstown colt to Louisiana to attempt graded company for the first time. He ran 3rd in his debut at Saratoga on dirt. He won next out at Saratoga in the Summer on turf. He followed the maiden score with a runner-up effort to Ruler in Love on turf in the seven furlongs Kentucky Downs Juvenile Stakes at Kentucky Downs. His latest was an easy five lengths win as the favorite in an Allowance Optional Claiming $75,000 at Churchill Downs back on dirt. He has yet to go further than seven furlongs, but the additional distance should be welcome for his rate or come from behind tactics.
4. Mylute (KY) – Trainer Thomas Amoss – Jockey Gerard Melancon – 117 lbs
The grey Midnight Lute colt has only missed the top three once in five races and that was his only encounter with graded company. He finished 3rd in his debut at Churchill Downs, then finished 2nd losing a neck in the Prairie Gold Juvenile Stakes at Prairie Meadows. He shipped to Arlington Park and broke his maiden going six furlongs on the all weather surface. He finished a well beaten 5th in the one mile Arlington-Washington Futurity (G3) on September 8. His latest was finishing 2nd to Bern Identity in the Jean Lafitte Stakes. He was handily defeated, but was clearly the next best in the field of six others. He comes from well off, so he’ll need a good early pace for him to be effective late.
5. Hightail (KY) – Trainer D. Wayne Lukas – Jockey Rajiv Maragh – 119 lbs
An upset 15/1 winner as a maiden in the Breeders Cup Juvenile Sprint, comes back just 15 days later to tackle 1 1/16 miles for the first time. Lukas seems to take his own unorthodox path with horses and he’s hit or miss. He hit in the Breeders Cup with this Mineshaft colt. Can he do it again going long? He already has nine races under his belt as a two year old this year. Is Lukas over doing it, especially with the short turnaround after a hard fought win?
6. Itsmyluckyday (KY) – Trainer Ed Plesa, Jr. – Jockey Angel Serpa – 119 lbs
Coming off back to back entry level stake wins at Calder, this Lawyer Ron colt looks to make it three in a row and first against graded company. He finished second in his 4 1/2 furlongs debut at Monmouth Park in June. He came back 22 days later to win going five furlongs. He finished 3rd in the Tyro Stakes on turf going five furlongs. He missed the win by 1/2 length. He shipped to Calder and the five furlongs Fasig Tipton Turf Dash Stakes and Foolish Pleasure Stakes going 1 mile and 70 yards. Wheher short or long distance, he has sat off the leaders early and made bold moves as they turn for home. He’s won his last two races by a combined seven lengths. He’s a competitor.
7. Know More (KY) – Trainer Trainer Doug O’Neill – Jockey Mario Gutierrez – 122 lbs
A debut winner in the 6 1/2 furlongs Best Pal Stakes (G2) at Del Mar on August 5 hasn’t been able to return to the winner’s circle in three races since. The Lion Heart colt finised 2nd to Rolling Fog in the seven furlongs Del Mar Futurity (G1) on September 5 and 2nd again to Power Broker in the FrontRunner Stakes (G1). O’Neill and owner J. Paul Reddam decided to enter him in the Breeders Cup Juvenile Turf instead of the Juvenile on dirt and that experiment failed miserably. He finished 13th out of 14 horses. Now they turn this colt around in 15 days, ship him across the country, put him back on dirt and make him go longer than he has before. Save judgement for later as this isn’t the toughest field he has faced.
8 – Show Some Magic (KY) – Trainer Steven Asmussen – Jockey Richard Eramia – 117 lbs
Just one win in six races so far for this Any Given Saturday colt. He started his career at Churchill Downs and finished 4th and 2nd respectively. He shipped to Saratoga and finished 2nd again. He finally won in his fourth attempt. He finished 5th against a strong field in the Three Chimneys Hopeful Stakes. He too ran in the Jean Lafitte Stakes, but showed nothing in a dull 6th place effort. After decent efforts in Kentucky and New York, he’ll need to quickly find his form if he wants to compete in this race.
9. Goldencents (KY) – Trainer Doug O’Neill – Jockey Kevin Krigger – 117 lbs
This is an intriguing horse in this race and quite possibly the one horse who can beat Bern Identity. After a strong debut that saw him run away with a 7 1/4 lengths maiden win at Del Mar on September 2, he shipped to Belmont Park and ran 2nd to Shanghai Bobby in the one mile Foxwoods Champagne Stakes (G1) on October 6. He was clearly the second best horse in that race, but he defeated other solid contenders in Fortify, Arch Warrior and Micromanage. He’s been training very well in Southern California, so expect a great run out of this Into Mischief colt.
2. Bern Identity
3. Know More
The next races as part of the Prep Season for the Road to the Kentucky Derby are the Remsen Stakes (G2) at Aqueduct on November 24 and Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes (G2) at Churchill Downs on November 24. We will keep you updated on news, entries and the race previews as we get closer.