Delta Downs' racing office saw a flurry of activity on Tuesday morning as final entries and post positions were drawn for Saturday's $1 million Delta Downs Jackpot. The Grade 3 event drew an overflow of 12 runners, with 10 allowed to start in the 1 1/16-mile race, and the Delta Downs Jackpot is part of the "Road to the Kentucky Derby" series, awarding points on a 10-4-2-1 scale to the top four respective finishers.
Mr. Z, who hails from the barn of Hall of Famer D. Wayne Lukas, has been installed as the 5-2 morning line favorite for the 12th running of the track's signature event. Fifth in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile most recently, the Malibu Moon colt has finished second in three graded stakes this year, including the Grade 1 Breeders' Futurity at Keeneland two starts back. Paco Lopez will pick up the mount.
Other top contenders include Golden Actor, a 4 1/4-length winner of the October 25 Jean Lafitte at Delta Downs; three-time stakes victor Conquest Tsunami, who exits a 2 3/4-length score in the October 26 Street Sense at Churchill Downs; and unbeaten Prime Engine, who will make his first start for trainer Jerry Hollendorfer following a pair of romping wins at Emerald Downs.
The Delta Downs Jackpot is the centerpiece of an 11-race program that will feature eight stakes races, two graded stakes and more than $2.3 million in total purse money.
The field for the Delta Downs Jackpot, including morning line odds (ML), is:
|1||Prime Engine||Russell Baze||Jerry Hollendorfer||8-1|
|2||Dekabrist||Jesus Rios||Gennadi Dorochenko||30-1|
|3||Mr. Z||Paco Lopez||D. Wayne Lukas||5-2|
|4||Conquest Tsunami||Shaun Bridgmohan||Mark Casse||4-1|
|5||Saratoga Heater||Joel Rosario||Lisa Lewis||15-1|
|6||Golden Actor||Jose Gallego||Ignacio Roncancio||7-2|
|7||Red Button||Tyler Baze||Mark Glatt||12-1|
|8||Wake Up Nick||Mario Gutierrez||Leandro Mora||10-1|
|9||Far Right||Corey Lanerie||Ron Moquett||10-1|
|10||Ocho Ocho Ocho||Mike Smith||James Cassidy||6-1|
|11 (AE)||Unblunted||Joe Talamo||Michael McCarthy||15-1|
|12 (AE)||Two Six Wins||Martin Pedroza||Michael Pender||20-1|
Since 2002, a total of nine horses have participated in the Delta Downs Jackpot before going on to compete in the Kentucky Derby as three-year-olds. The 2012 Jackpot produced a record number of three Kentucky Derby starters including Goldencents, Mylute and Itsmyluckyday.
Saturday's program will also feature the Grade 3, $400,000 Delta Downs Princess. The one-mile race for two-year-old fillies is headed by Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies winner Take Charge Brandi, who also hails from Lukas's barn and has been assigned morning line odds of 2-1.
Delta Downs will offer a special guaranteed $200,000 all stakes Pick 4 on Jackpot Day. The wager has been available during each of the 11 previous editions of the Jackpot Day program. The record payoff for a $2 winning ticket was $22,225.80 in 2006. The minimum wager amount for the Jackpot Day Pick 4 is .50 cents.
There is a special early post time for the Jackpot Day program Saturday of 1:15 p.m. (CST). Listed below is the entire Jackpot Day Pick 4 sequence of races, along with their scheduled post times:
|Race #||Race||Post Time (CT)|
|4TH||$150,000 Louisiana Jewel||2:44 p.m.|
|5TH||$200,000 Treasure Chest||3:13 p.m.|
|6TH||$400,000 Delta Downs Princess||3:43 p.m.|
|7TH||$1 million Delta Downs Jackpot||4:15 p.m.|