Derby Hopefuls Looking to Hit Jackpot at Delta Downs

A field of 10 head to the gate in Saturday's $1 million Delta Jackpot at Delta Downs. (Photo credit: Delta Downs).

A field of 10 head to the gate in Saturday’s $1 million Delta Jackpot at Delta Downs. (Photo credit: Delta Downs).

A field of 10 line up on Saturday afternoon in the $1 million Delta Downs Jackpot (G3), one of eight stakes on an outstanding 11-race card at the Vinton, Louisiana racetrack.

The Jackpot is a points race on the Road to the Kentucky Derby (G1), with 10-4-2-1 points up for grabs. The $400,000 Delta Princess (G3), the preceding race on the card is a points race on the Road to the Kentucky Oaks (G1).

No Jackpot winner has gone on to win the Run for the Roses, but the winner of the race likely will take some early betting action in Derby future wagering.

The Keith Desormeaux trained Exaggerator is the 2-1 morning line favorite and the lone graded stakes winner in the field. The colt was fourth last out in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) in his last outing. Keith’s brother Kent has the return call and will carry 122 pounds.

Champagne (G1) runner up Sunny Ridge is the second choice on the morning line at 7-2. Trained by Jason Servis, the gelding won the Sapling at Monmouth Park in his previous outing.

Forevamo (4-1) won the local prep, the Jean Lafitte, which was contested in the slop. The Al Stall trainee held on to win by ¾ of a length as the 8-5 betting favorite.

Whitmore (8-1) was an impressive maiden winner in his debut at Churchill Downs and figures to take some betting action and ended up my top pick.

The Delta Princess drew a field of seven with the Steve Asmussen trained La Appassionata the 3-5 morning line favorite. The filly is perfect in two starts, breaking her maiden in her debut at Churchill Downs and then winning the My Trusty Cat over the Delta Downs main track going seven furlongs by seven widening lengths.

Delta Downs usually runs at night but has a special post of 1:15 CT for Saturday’s card.

My Best Plays Report for Saturday will include my strongest plays from Aqueduct and Delta Downs.

Let’s head out to Delta Downs for Saturday’s featured race of the day:


Delta Downs Race 7 The $1 million Delta Jackpot (G3) Post time 4:15 CT

4 Whitmore   8-1

9 Exaggerator   2-1

3 Sunny Ridge    7-2

7 Found Money   6-1

Whitmore broke his maiden in a 12-horse field at Churchill Downs going six furlongs, sent off at 15-1. The gelding was off a beat slow, tracked the early pace, came with a five wide run and drew off smartly to win by 7 ¼ lengths. Only one foe he beat in that race has run back, seventh place finisher Raofthesun came back to run fifth in his next start. The gelding is bred to run long, by Pleasantly Perfect out of a Scat Daddy mare, her first foal to race. The Ronald Moquett barn is 20% winners moving runners from sprint to route. Decent value of this guy goes off near the 8-1 morning line but have a hunch he may end up taking some action.

Exaggerator is the long graded stakes winner in the field, taking the Saratoga Special (G2) this summer at the Spa in his first go against winners.  He then was a good second in the Breeders’ Futurity (G1) at Keeneland in his first route try, beaten a length for the top spot.  The colt did not have a good trip in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) in his most recent outing where he checked in fourth. The colt was forced out soon after the start, tracked the early pace heading down the backstretch, came with a four wide bid and flattened out late. A clean trip makes him tough here but his price may end up on the light side.

Sunny Ridge makes his first start since a runner up finish in the Champagne (G1) in the slop at Belmont Park, beaten 4 ½ lengths for the top spot by Greenpointcrusader, who returned to run seventh in the Juvenile. The Jason Servis trainee won the Sapling two back in his first go around two turns. The runner up in that race was Full Salute, who won the Hall of Fame at Philly in his next outing on Sept. 26. The gelding has moved forward in each outing and should get a good tracking trip from mid pack.


WIN: Whitmore to win at 9-2 or better.

EXACTA: 4,9 / 3,4,7,9

TRIFECTA: 4,9 / 3,4,7,9 / 1,3,4,7,9


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