Delta Downs Jackpot Stakes 2013: Time, TV Schedule, Post Positions and Preview

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Delta Downs Jackpot Stakes 2013: Time, TV Schedule, Post Positions and Preview
Andy Lyons/Getty Images
Goldencents used last year's win at the Delta Jackpot Stakes as a launching point for a stellar three-year-old campaign.

Saturday marks the 12th annual $1 million Delta Jackpot Stakes at Vinton, Louisiana's Delta Downs Racetrack. It is a Grade III race featuring two-year-old horses that gears some up for the impending Triple Crown season.

Last year's champion, Goldencents, who was notable for his association with Louisville basketball head coach Rick Pitino and jockey Kevin Krigger, ran in the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes. The horse also won the Santa Anita Derby before the Run for the Roses at Churchill Downs.

Two other Kentucky Derby runners entered the field last season: Itsmyluckyday and more notably Mylute, who placed third in the Jackpot Stakes.

Mylute competed in the Derby and the Preakness Stakes, finishing fifth and third respectively. Rosie Napravnik registered the highest finish by a female jockey in Triple Crown history at Pimlico.

Thus, the action at Delta Downs will be important to monitor as 2013 winds down, so let's take a look at when and where to catch the action, along with a preview and predictions in this 8.5-furlong jaunt.

Note: Statistics and race history are courtesy of Equibase.com unless otherwise indicated.

 

When: Saturday, Nov. 23; Post time is approximately 4:15 p.m. CDT, per BloodHorse.com.

Where: Delta Downs Racetrack in Vinton, La.

TV: TVG Network & HRTV

 

Delta Downs Jackpot Stakes Post Positions and Odds
Post Horse Jockey Trainer Odds
1 Whyruawesome Eddie Martin Jr. Anne P. Smith 10-1
2 Coastline Shaun Bridgmohan Mark Casse 5-2
3 Roman Unbridled Kevin J. Smith Chad Cook 30-1
4 Mighty Brown Miguel Mena Tim Ice 12-1
5 Rum Point Mario Gutierrez Doug O'Neill 5-1
6 Flat Gone Diego Saenz J. Keith Desormeaux 20-1
7 Rankhasprivileges Robby Albarado Kenneth McPeek 15-1
8 Casiguapo Luis Saez Mario Morales 4-1
9 Big Bazinga Rosie Napravnik Katerina Vassilieva 12-1
10 Rise Up Gerard Melancon Timothy Hamm 3-1

Source: USAToday.com and HorseRacingNation.com

 

Predictions

Win: Casiguapo

Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

After finishing in second place aboard Will Take Charge at the Breeders' Cup, jockey Luis Saez will utilize that momentum to find the winners' circle in this race.

Casiguapo is also a stellar horse and is a precocious two-year-old in that he came in fourth place in the Grade 1 Foxwoods Champagne Stakes and runner-up in the Hopeful Stakes before that.

The caliber of competition Casiguapo will be facing is far lesser at this race, and it's no surprise he checks in as the No. 3 favorite in the early odds.

One of the few concerns regarding the venue of Delta Downs is that the 8.5-furlong dirt track is longer than what Casiguapo has run on in the past at the Champagne Stakes (eight furlongs) and in the Hopeful Stakes, which were seven furlongs.    

Granted, it is a fan survey, but HorseRacingNation.com's power rankings have Casiguapo's rating at 7.34—well higher than that of 5-2 favorite Coastline (5.67) and Rise Up (5.59).

While he might not be the favorite, look for Casiguapo to race to victory with Saez aboard.

 

Place: Big Bazinga

Rob Carr/Getty Images

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Having an experienced jockey in the saddle can't be discounted, which is why Big Bazinga is a wild-card horse to watch.

Napvravnik excelled in this race last year with Mylute and has an underdog to thrive with this time around, too. Big Bazinga came in second in the Grade 3 Grey Stakes, showing an ability to compete in races of this magnitude.

Although the margin of victory was seven lengths, Big Bazinga did travel 8.5 furlongs on the Woodbine dirt in Toronto, so this distance is at least familiar to the horse.

A little more than a month before then, Woodbine Racetrack was the site of Big Bazinga's debut, which yielded a win in a maiden special weight race.

Starting in post No. 9 will almost force Big Bazinga to keep up with whatever pace Rise Up and Casiguapo establish on the outside. That should keep Napravnik in the hunt and allow her and Big Bazinga to register a surprise finish in the money.

 

Show: Rum Point

Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Trainer Doug O'Neill won't get a win this time around as he did with Goldencents in 2012, but a third-place effort isn't a bad followup act.

Rum Point has been thrown into the proverbial fire in being entered into three Grade 1 races in the past three months, most recently finishing 12th out of 13 horses in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile.

But a similar strategy worked in Goldencents' favor, when he was entered into the aforementioned Champagne Stakes before this race and finished second, then went on to win.

O'Neill is confident in his colt despite the lack of supreme results, per the Daily Racing Form's Mary Rampellini:

I think he’s a special colt. He hasn’t shown up in a few of his races, but he’s shown up enough in the mornings that I really think he’s worthy of entry in a race like this. He’s got a great combination of speed and stamina, he has a lot of class, and he handles himself like a pro in the paddock – all characteristics that separate the good ones from the average ones.

All that racing in such a short time will benefit Rum Point at Delta Downs, but it will also prevent him from having enough at the end to triumph.  

Mario Gutierrez is the jockey, which will help. With the positivity generated from this result, Rum Point's prospects ahead of the Kentucky Derby could look great if Gutierrez is still around to ride him, since Gutierrez has won both the Derby and the Preakness before.

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