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Jockey Gerard Melanco celebrates his 5th win in the Delta Jackpot Stakes aboard Sabercat

2011 Delta Downs Jackpot Day Stakes Results

Date: 11/19/2011

The $1 million Delta Downs Jackpot Stakes (G3) is the highlight of the racing season at Delta Downs in Vinton, Louisiana. Run at 1 1/16 miles for 2-year-olds, it is a key Triple Crown prep as entry in the Kentucky Derby is based on graded stakes earnings. A full field of 10 went to post on Saturday afternoon, under overcast skies and temperatures in the low 70's. Del Mar Futurity (G1) winner Drill was sent off as the 2-1 favorite, 10th in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile (G1) last out after finishing 2nd in the Norfolk (G1). In to challenge him included 7-2 second choice My Adonis off his win in the Jean Lafitte, the main local prep for this race, and 5-1 third choice Seven Lively Sins, a close second in the Iroquois (G3) at Churchill last out.

Sabercat wins the Delta Jackpot

Jockey Martin Garcia sent Drill to the lead first time past the stands but was soon joined by My Adonis, and the pair dueled through opening fractions of 22.11, 45.41, and 1:11.60 while as many as 1 1/2 lengths in front of 32-1 longest shot Jake Mo stalking them third. Entering the stretch, the pacesetters both tired and faded from contention. 8-1 Sabercat, who was last after 1/2 a mile, made steady progress to gain the lead at the 1/8 pole. 7-1 Basmati rallied from 6th but Sabercat drew away to win by 4 lengths in 1:46.62 over the fast track. It was another 2 1/2 lengths back to 6-1 Longview Drive third, while favoriite Drill checked in 7th.

Full results chart from DRF

Left: Sabercat in the winner's circle. Owner Ron Winchell said, Weve got a ways to go to get (to the Kentucky Derby), but that would be a good dream. It took a few starts for him to come around. When he went 1 1/16 we decided to head towards the Breeders' Cup but he got a little out of rhythm so our backup plan was to come to Jackpot. I like the backup plan now."

Right: Sabercat in the post parade. Jockey Gerard Melancon, winning his 5th Delta Jackpot, said, "We had a terrible start, we got slammed pretty good leaving there. All I could do was just save ground. I found me a good spot going into the last turn and he came through horses like a champ. I did have to steady him a little bit behind (Basmati) because it looked like he ducked out a little bit, then I got him back on and hes all business."

Left: Second place finisher Basmati. The 7-1 fifth choice saved ground 6th under new jockey Corey Nakatani, then moved out for room to pass tiring horses to get second beaten 4 lengths. The Doug O'Neill trainee improved his record to 1 win, 3 seconds, and 1 third in 7 starts, earning $278,800 for owner Zillah Reddam.

Right: Third place finisher Longview Drive. The 6-1 fourth choice was unhurried early under new jockey Joel Rosario, came out 5 wide for the drive to get third beaten 6 1/2 lengths. The Jerry Hollendorfer trainee improved his record to 3 wins, 1 second, and 1 third in 5 starts, earning $188,100 for owner Steve Beneto.

Seventh place finisher and beaten favorite Drill (2nd from rail) leads at the head of the stretch. The 2-1 favorite contested the pace under regular rider Martin Garcia, but tired after 7 furlongs to finish 7th beaten 17 1/2 lengths. The Bob Baffert trainee has a record of 2 wins, 1 second, and 0 thirds in 6 starts, earning $248,150 for owners Karl Watson, Mike Pegram, and Paul Weitman.

Now I Know wins the Delta Downs Princess Stakes

The distaff counterpart to the Jackpot is the $500,000 Delta Downs Princess Stakes (G3) for 2-year-old fillies going 1 mile. Oak Leaf (G1) runner-up Candrea was sent off as the 6-5 favorite in the field of 10 over 4-1 Now I Know and 6-1 Delightful Magic. Jockey Perry Compton sent Now I Know to the lead immediately and she set fractions of 23.31, 46.71, and 1:12.07 while stalked by Delightful Magin. Entering the lane, Delightful Magic tired allowing Now I Know to open up a 2 1/2 length lead at the 1/8 pole. 8-1 Inny Minnie rallied from 4th but Now I Know cruised under the line 4 lengths in front in 1:39.79. It was a nose back to 3201 Yvete Sangalo, while favorite Candrea finished 9th.

Full results chart

Winning jockey Perry Compton said, "Shes capable of going faster and capable of going slower, its just whats on her mind at the time." Trainer and co-owner Donnie Von Hemel said, "Its been a big pleasure." Co-owner Wayne Stockseth added, "Everybody that supports racing should be lucky enough to have one like this."

Cajun Charlie wins the Louisiana Legacy Stakes

A full field of 10 Louisiana-bred juveniles went to post in the $150,000 Louisiana Legacy Stakes over 1 mile. 5-1 Cajun Charlie and jockey Tracy Hebert set fractions of 23.23, 48.14, and 1:13.93 while 2 lengths in front of 6-1 Top Cat Boogie. On the far turn, Cajun Charlie extended his lead to 3 1/2 lengths. 7-2 favorite Freddie One Bite rallied from 5th but Cajun Charlie finished under wraps 5 3/4 lengths in front in 1:40.24. It was another 3 lengths back to 15-1 Validfromthegitgo third.

Full results chart

Cajun Charlie improved his record to 2 wins, 1 second, and 0 thirds in 4 starts, earning $118,908 for owner Heartlines Horse Ranch.

Little Ms Protocol wins the Delta Downs Jewel Stakes

The $150,000 Louisiana Jewel Stakes featured a full field of 10 Louisiana-bred 2-year-old fillies going 1 mile. 13-1 Tensas Salt led first time by through fractions of 22.67 and 46.99 before 10-1 Effie took over on the far turn through 3/4 in 1:13.40. Effie led to mid-stretch but 9-10 favorite Little Ms Protocol rallied 4 wide to win going away by 1 1/4 lengths in 1:41.41. It was a long 8 1/4 lengths back to pacesetter Tensas Salt third.

Full results chart

Bella Medaglia wins the Treasure Chest Stakes

The $125,000 Treasure Chest Stakes featured a field of 6 older fillies and mares going 1 mile. 6-1 Le Mi Geaux and 36-1 Warpaint Annie battled for the lead through fractions of 22.63 and 46.67 before 5-2 second choice Bella Medaglia took over through 3/4 in 1:11.83. 5-1 Remit challenged into the stretch poking her head in front at the 1/8 pole but Bella Medaglia turned her away, winning by 1 3/4 lengths in a stakes record time of 1:38.29. It was another 5 3/4 lengths back to 9-10 favorite Spirit Seeker third.

Full results chart

Decisive Moment wins the Delta Mile Stakes

A field of 7 older horses contested the $125,000 Delta Mile Stakes at 1 mile around 2 turns of the 6 furlong oval. 4-1 Decisive Moment battled for the lead with 8-5 favorite Horrayforhollywood through fractions of 23.28, 48.09, and 1:12.45 with 6-1 Matto Mondo stalking them third. The pace duel continued into the lane, but Decisive Moment dug in late to win by a neck in 1:38.49. It was just 1/2 a length back to Matto Mondo third.

Full results chart

Jockey Kerwin Clark said, Hes a really nice little horse. He was just ready today. Even going to the gates, he was just prancing and ready to go. Decisive Moment improved his record to 4 wins, 3 seconds, and 3 thirds in 15 starts, earning $685,630 for owner-breeder Just For Fun Stables.

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