The journey to the 2013 Kentucky Derby has begun! The second-richest race run for two year olds in the country takes place this Saturday. The Delta Jackpot’s million dollar purse lures nine colts to Louisiana including Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Sprint winner Hightail. The field lines up as follows:
1 Bern Identity (Lopez)
2 Heaven’s Runway (Marquez)
3 Central Banker (Mena)
4 Mylute (Melancon)
5 Hightail (Maragh)
6 Itsmyluckyday (Serpa)
7 Know More (Gutierrez)
8 Show Some Magic (Eramia)
9 Goldencents (Krigger)
While no winner of the Delta Jackpot has captured the Derby yet, the 10th running boasts one of the better fields in recent times and features stakes winners Hightail, Bern Identity, Heaven’s Runaway, Itsmyluckyday and Know More. This race also serves as a 10 point race on Churchill’s “Road to the Kentucky Derby” series.
The best finish in both the Jackpot and the Derby thusfar was by Closing Argument, as he was second in both races. Purses and distance have changed in its brief history, but the consistency in both over the past couple of years seems to have increased interest and quality of field.
Trainers Todd Pletcher, Bill Mott, Ken McPeek and Steve Asmussen have used this race to put their two year olds on the trail in the past, but no trainer has won the Delta Jackpot twice. Keep that in mind when handicapping as the Delta crowd typically bets Steve Asmussen regardless of the form his horse brings to the table. Goldencents is the morning line favorite off his runner-up finish to Shanghai Bobby in the Champagne Stakes. For more information via Deltadowns.com regarding entrants for the Delta Jackpot and their preparations, click here.
Delta Downs starts early on Saturday, 1:15 Central. In their place at night is Churchill Downs, hosting their only “Downs After Dark” card of their fall meet. Churchill will begin at at 3:30 Central Time on Saturday. One more weekend note – Zenyatta Fans! Her half sister, Eblouissante, makes her debut in Hollywood Park’s fourth race on Friday. Keep an eye out to see if she can follow in her Champion sister’s footsteps and make it one for one!
This blog was written by Canterbury Paddock Analyst Angela Hermann. Angela Hermann just completed her second year as Canterbury’s Paddock Analyst after previously serving in a similar role at Lincoln Racecourse and Columbus Ag Park. She blogs about both local and National racing.