©2015 Calvin L. Carter. All rights reserved.
The “Road to the Kentucky Derby” takes us to Vinton, Louisiana Saturday for the 13th running of the $1 million Delta Downs Jackpot (G3) at Delta Downs racetrack. Exaggerator heads the field of 10 as the 2-1 morning line favorite. Post time is 5:15 ET.
Exaggerator comes into this race for trainer Kent Desormeaux with a 2-1-0 record in five starts and he’s the only horse in this race with the most experience in graded stakes company.
In August, Exaggerator was a three-quarter length winner in the Saratoga Special (G2). He followed that victory with a second-place finish in the Breeders’ Futurity (G1) and a fourth-place finish in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1). Here’s a look at the video and chart call of the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile:
EXAGGERATOR was bothered and forced out a bit early, quickly recovered and was well placed along the backstretch, shifted into the four path in the far turn, made a bid in the stretch but flattened out late in the drive.
Exaggerator has the class and breeding to be competitive in this race but it remains to be seen if he can live up to his favoritism and score a win for owner Big Chief Racing, LLC. With a C Classic Champion Thoroughbred Profile®, Exaggerator is a sire-line descendant of the Mr. Prospector Ancestral Herd.
Curlin, the sire of Exaggerator, was an outstanding racehorse that compiled an 11-2-2 record in 16 career starts with $10,501,800 in earnings. Curlin won the 2007 Preakness Stakes (G1), finished second in the Belmont Stakes (G1) and third in the Kentucky Derby (G1). In addition, Curlin won the Breeders' Cup Classic (G1), Jockey Club Gold Cup (G1), twice, Dubai World Cup (G1), Stephen Foster Handicap (G1), Woodward Stakes (G1), and the UAE Jaguar Trophy Handicap.
Regular jockey Kent Desormeaux returns to the irons and I look for them to run a good race.
A long shot I like in this race is Memories of Winter (10-1) who comes into this race for trainer Anthony Margotta, Jr. with a 2-0-0 record in two starts. Here’s the video and chart call of his last race at Laurel Park:
MEMORIES OF WINTER, close up down the backstretch, advanced three deep on the turn, gained command entering the stretch, drew off under brisk urging, drifted out near the eighth pole and drifted out near the sixteenth pole.
Memories of Winter won the mile race by 2¾ lengths in a time of 1:38.83 which is slower than what I like to see to see in a young colt on the Kentucky Derby Trail. However, with an A+ Classic Champion Thoroughbred Profile®, he has good breeding and the potential to improve in the third start of his season as a two year old.
Hard Spun, the sire of Memories of Winter, was undefeated in three starts as a two year old, including wins in the Port Penn Stakes and Pennsylvania Nursery Stakes. As a three year old on the Derby trail, Hard spun was 2-0-0 in three starts including wins in the Le Comte Stakes (G3) and Lane’s End Stakes (G2).
Hard Spun went on to finish second in the Kentucky Derby (G1), third in the Preakness Stakes (G1) and rounded out his classic campaign with a fourth-place finish in the Belmont Stakes (G1).
Whitmore (8-1) is another young horse that could, perhaps, be competitive in the Delta Downs Jackpot (G3). He’s stepping up in class and comes into this race off of a 7¼ length maiden win at Churchill Downs on November 6 for trainer Ron Moquett. Here’s the video and chart call of the race:
WHITMORE broke slowly, stalked the pace early, fanned into the five path in the turn, veered out a bit under left handed urging in the stretch and drew off late under a steady drive.
Whitmore showed good speed in that race and if he can carry speed to a route of ground, he has the breeding to be competitive.
Pleasantly Perfect, the sire of Whitmore, did not race as a two year old and only made one off-the-board start as a three year old. However, during his racing career, he was a multiple graded stakes winner that compiled a 9-3-2 record in 18 starts with $7,789,880 in earnings.
His most notable wins were in the 2002 and 2003 Goodwood Breeders’ Cup Handicap, (G2), 2003 Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1), 2004 San Antonio Handicap (G2), Dubai World Cup (G1) and Pacific Classic Stakes (G1).
Found Money (6-1) is a fast colt that has compiled a 2-2-0 record in five starts for trainer Doug O’Neill. In his maiden debut win at Santa Anita Park, Found Money set a new track record of 50.89 for 4½ furlongs.
Since that win, Found Money won the Santa Anita Juvenile Stakes and finished off the board in the Best Pal Stakes (G2). He followed that with a second-place finish in both the I’m Smokin Stakes and the Golden State Juvenile Stakes. Here’s the video and chart call of his last race:
FOUND MONEY had speed between foes then dueled three deep, battled outside a rival into and on the turn, took a short lead in the stretch, was between foes in deep stretch and could not hold off the winner.
Found Money has yet to run in a route race, but his breeding indicates that he should be competitive at this distance.
Square Eddie, the sire of Found Money, initially raced in England but was trained by Doug O’Neill when he made his second start in America. He showed promise as a two year old, compiling a 2-2-1 record in six starts, including a win in the Lane’s End Breeders’ Futurity (G1) and a second-place finish in the Bessemer Trust Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1).
As a three year old, Square Eddie finished second in the San Rafael Stakes (G2) and third in the Lexington Coolmore Stakes (G3) before he was taken off the Derby trail with a shin injury.
If Found Money improves off of his last race, he should be competitive in the Delta Downs Jackpot (G3).
Honorable mention goes to Forevamo who has a win over this track in the Jean Lafitte Stakes.
Under the tiered-point system implemented by Churchill Downs to determine Kentucky Derby eligibility the winner of the Delta Downs Jackpot (G3) will receive 10 points while the second-place finisher will receive 4 points, the third-place finisher will receive 2 points and 1 point will be awarded to the fourth-place finisher.
2015/2016 KENTUCKY DERBY LEADERBOARD
Rank, Horse, Points, Trainer, Non-Restricted Stakes Earnings
1. Nyquist, 30, Doug O’Neill, $1,580,000
2. Brody’s Cause, 14, Dale Romans, $500,000
3. Swipe, 12, Keith Desormeaux, $597,130
4. Greenpointcrusader, 10, Dominick Schettino, $300,000
5. Cocked and Loaded, 10. Larry Rivelli, $280,840
6. Riker, 10, Nicholas Gonzalez, $182,375
7. Exaggerator, 4, Keith Desormeaux, $340,000
8. R Rated Superstar, 6, Ken McPeek, $78,200
9. Sunny Ridge, 4, Jason Servis, $175,600
10. Kasseopia (GB), 4, Charlie Fellowes, 22,809
11. Hollywood Don, 2, Peter Miller, $96,000
12. Portfolio Manager, 2, Chad Brown, $50,000
13. Tizarunner, 2, Mark Casse, $44,948
14. Unbridled Outlaw, 2, Dale Romans, $14,100
15. Van Damme, 1, Robert Gorham, $31,290
16. Sail Ahoy, 1, Claude “Shug” McGaughey, $25,000
16. Stickstatelydude, 1, Greg Burchell, $25,000
18. Rare Candy, 1, David Hofmans, $24,000
19. Conquest Windycity, 1, Mark Casse, $7,050