Our Sugar Bear Stable's GOURMET DINNER (Trippi) suffered the first loss of his career when second in the In Reality division of the Florida Stallion S. series on October 16, but more than made up for that disappointment when capturing Saturday's $1 million Delta Downs Jackpot S. (G3) under regular rider Sebastian Madrid. The bay colt wasn't given much support in the 1 1/16-mile race, sent off the 20-1 seventh choice in the eight-horse field, but rewarded his faithful backers with payouts of $48, $14.60 and $8.60.
Bug Juice (Mingun) was the actual favorite in the Jackpot at nearly 5-2 and proceeded to take command of the race when the gates opened. Setting splits of :22 4/5, :46 2/5 and 1:11 4/5, the gelding was never given a breather while pressed the whole way by Decisive Moment (With Distinction) to his outside. Bug Juice began fading around the turn, leaving the way clear for Decisive Moment to grab the advantage. That runner never got the chance, though, as Gourmet Dinner suddenly appeared on the outside and took the lead.
Gourmet Dinner held fellow longshot Decisive Moment in the stretch run, pulling off for the 2 1/4-length victory while stopping the clock for 1 1/16 miles on the fast dirt in 1:45 1/5.
Decisive Moment was the ninth choice at 48-1 and returned $34.40 and $17.20 while ending the $759.80 exacta. Clubhouse Ride (Candy Ride [Arg]) rallied from the rear for third, 3 3/4 lengths farther back, and paid $9.20 at 13-1. The trifecta was worth $9,738.40 and the 1-7-5-9 superfecta, with 3-1 second choice Sweet Ducky (Pulpit) rounding out the top four, totaled a lucrative $28,902. Classic Legacy (Macho Uno), Bug Juice and Rush Now (Tiznow) followed the top four under the wire.
Aces N Kings (Jet Phone) lost jockey Calvin Borel when suddenly bolting to the outside in the middle of the far turn and carried Dreamsrunwild (Offlee Wild) to the fence. Dreamsrunwild took up sharply to avoid going over the fence, causing rider Iram Diego to lose his irons, and the dark bay was officially listed as crossing under the wire 55 1/2 lengths behind Rush Now. Blue Laser (Bluegrass Cat), also carried out, was pulled up by jockey Shaun Bridgmohan and walked off the track.
Gourmet Dinner began his career with trainer Peter Gulyas and broke his maiden at first asking on July 17 at Calder. He immediately stepped up to face stakes company when sent in the Florida Stallion S. series, rallying to take both the Dr. Fager and Affirmed divisions. Not long after the latter race, he found himself in the barn of Steve Standridge, who saddled the juvenile when he was going for a sweep of the series in the In Reality last out. Alas, Gourmet Dinner took the lead in the stretch of that event only to find himself run down by 46-1 longshot Reprized Halo (Halo's Image). Seeking a return to the winner's circle here, the colt continued working at Calder before shipping into Delta Downs and scoring a first win under his new trainer. The $600,000 winner's share rocketed his earnings to $809,660 and his career line now reads 5-4-1-0.
Bred in Florida by Ocala Stud and William J. Terrill, Gourmet Dinner is out of Potluck Dinner (Pentelicus), making him a half-brother to stakes winner Gaston A. (Concorde's Tune), stakes runner-up I'mroyallymecke'd (Mecke) and an unnamed yearling colt by Sweetsouthernsaint. Potluck Dinner is herself a daughter of Romantic Dinner (Who's for Dinner), who has also produced Grade 3-placed multiple stakes hero Sea of Green (Seacliff), three-time stakes queen Lady Gin (Saint Ballado) and the winning Almost Aprom Queen (Montbrook). The latter two are themselves respectively responsible for stakes victress Queen Amira (GB) (Forestry) and this year's Oak Leaf S. (G1) winner Rigoletta (Concerto).
Others of note in this female family include Grade 3 winner Dr. Bobby A. (Dr. Carter) and Collect the Cash (Dynaformer), triumphant in the 2000 Queen Elizabeth II Invitational Challenge Cup (G1) and dam of this season's Blue Grass S. (G1) victor Stately Victor (Ghostzapper).