Rise Up dominated in racing to victory by six lengths with jockey Gerard Melancon aboard on Saturday in the $1 million Delta Jackpot Stakes at Vinton, Louisiana's Delta Downs Racetrack.
The Grade 3 race saw Rise Up stand out above the rest as a Grade 1-caliber performer despite an ambitiously fast pace to start. No. 4 favorite Casiguapo finished in second, while Rankhasprivileges came in third to round out those that finished in the money.
Here is a complete list of the results, courtesy of Equibase.com:
|1||Rise Up||Gerard Melancon||Timothy Hamm||10|
|2||Casiguapo||Luis Saez||Mario Morales||8|
|3||Rankhasprivileges||Robby Albarado||Kenneth McPeek||7|
|4||Roman Unbridled||Kevin J. Smith||Chad Cook||3|
|5||Whyruawesome||Eddie Martin Jr.||Anne P. Smith||1|
|6||Mighty Brown||Miguel Mena||Tim Ice||4|
|7||Big Bazinga||Rosie Napravnik||Katerina Vassilieva||9|
|8||Coastline||Shaun Bridgmohan||Mark Casse||2|
|9||Flat Gone||Diego Saenz||J. Keith Desormeaux||6|
|10||Rum Point||Mario Gutierrez||Doug O'Neill||5|
Melancon took to Twitter to celebrate his second win in this race in three years, which AmericanPress.com's Albert Burford notes is an unprecedented accomplishment:
WE DID IT!!!! Rise Up wins the Grade 3 $1 million Delta Jackpot - AGAIN pic.twitter.com/3j4eXywX1x— Gerard Melancon (@TeamGeeMoney) November 23, 2013
Gerard Melancon becomes the first jockey to win two Delta Downs Jackpots. Local guy wins his second in three years, this time on Rise Up.— Albert Utz Burford (@albertutz) November 23, 2013
J.J. Hysell of the Courier-Journal pointed out that Rise Up's time of 1:44.71 was a new record for the race:
Rise Up: To handle that blistering pace and draw off is quite impressive. 1:44.71 a new Jackpot record. #DeltaJackpot— J.J. Hysell (@trifectabox) November 23, 2013
This also gives Rise Up an early start on his fellow two-year-olds in the Kentucky Derby point standings, as the triumph netted him and his connections 10 points:
At the quarter-mile mark, Rise Up took the lead and did not relinquish it, and he stretched the lead to three lengths entering the final stretch. That's when Melancon really turned him loose, thus doubling the margin of victory.
Coastline was the odds-on favorite before the race, but he failed to live up to the hype and wound up finishing in eighth place. From the beginning of the 8.5-furlong jaunt, Coastline was not a factor and was the early trailer in the field.
Another horse expected to make noise was Rum Point at 11-to-1, yet he finished last in a disappointing run for trainer Doug O'Neill, who molded last year's champion, Goldencents.
Below is an overview of the payouts for the top three:
It may be a bit premature to hype Rise Up this far ahead of the 2014 Triple Crown season, but he is well on his way to a berth at Churchill Downs if this rousing showcase was any indication of what's to come.
Rise Up has several Grade 1 opportunities—and time to prepare ahead of them—to see how he stacks up against the best competition before a prospective trip to Louisville.
But for now, Melancon, trainer Timothy Hamm and others who had a stake in rise Up can rejoice over this resounding triumph.