The Player’s Edge – November 22nd, 2013: $1-million Delta Jackpot

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Matt Carter

November 22nd, 2013

Delta Downs - Delta Jackpot


Delta Downs - Delta Princess


Delta Downs - Sam's Town Stakes


Delta Downs - Delta Mile

Delta Downs - Delta Jackpot Ten Around the Bullring

The feature race at the Delta Downs meet is this Saturday when the $1-million Delta Jackpot will be run for the 11th time. This year's race drew a field of 10 with Coastline the 5-2 morning line favorite.

Coastline is making his fourth career starts and graded stakes debut, but the son of Speightstown has won two including the $61,000 Street Sense Stakes last month at Churchill Downs. With his early speed the bullring style track configuration should not pose a problem. On speed figures, there is only one other horse that can contend.

Rise Up may have an advantage over the favorite after winning the Jean Lafitte over the track last month, drawing off to score by over six lengths. Trainer Tom Amoss is a regular visitor to the Vinton, La track and wins with a high percentage of his ship-ins. Rise Up will be on or near the pace, which is the same style as Coastline.

Last year's winning connections, trainer Doug O'Neill and owner Reddam Racing, are back again this year with their Malibu Moon-colt, Rum Point. Rum Point is coming off a 12th place finish in the Grade 1 Breeders' Cup Juvenile and will be running at his fifth different track on Saturday. Unlike last year when Goldencents looked like a slam dunk, Rum Point has to pick it up if he is to upset the favorites.

The only other horse at single digit odds is the Mario Morales-trained Casiguapo, which roughly would translate in Spanish to "almost good looking." Casiguapo has run four times in career with one win, one second, one third and one fourth. The fourth place finish was in the Grade 1 Champagne where he was beat eight and one-quarter lengths by Havana. Two starts back he was second in the Grade 1 Hopeful at Saratoga. From small connections, Casiguapo may offer some value on the board.

Mighty Brown, Flat Gone and Roman Unbridled finished second, third and fourth behind Rise Up in the Jean Lafitte and once again look like long shots. The others shipping to the track looking for the $1-million purse are Whyruawesome, Rankhasprivileges and Big Bazinga.

Those three all have something in common, they are making their first career start on dirt. Whyruawesome and Rankhasprivileges are coming off of runs at Keeneland while Big Bazinga is shipping south from Woodbine.

Of the three, Big Bazinga may be worth including as the son of Bluegrass Cat has early speed and can get good position into the first turn. He may be ready to pounce if Coastline and Rise Up battle each other early.

Post time for the Delta Jackpot is 5:15 pm ET.


Delta Downs - Delta Princess Miss Behaviour One to Beat

One race prior to the Jackpot, the two-year-old fillies get their chance to shine in the $500,000 Delta Princess. Miss Behaviour was installed as the morning line favorite for the one-mile race, one of three graded stakes winners in the field.

Miss Behaviour began her career with three straight wins at three different tracks. She won a maiden special weight at Parx then took the $104,000 Sorority Stakes at Monmouth before scoring a length victory in the Grade 2 Matron at Belmont Park in September. A month later the Pennsylvania-bred finished second in the Sharp Cat Stakes at Belmont Park. She is fast early, but does not need the lead.

Just to her outside is Bahnah, who was much the best in the local prep race, the My Trusty Cat, but was disqualified after causing trouble into the home turn. It looked like the rider of Bahnah just was not concentrating and when a horse came up the rail, the jockey squeezed her out. There was no reason for the horse to lose the race and that may be why a new pilot will be in the irons. Rosie Napravnik will not make the same mistake and the Grade 3 winner looks like a must use in the pick-4.

Concave is next on the morning line for Doug O'Neill and Reddam Racing and is coming off a disastrous run in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies. The Colonel John filly trailed, took up at the three-eighths pole and finished ninth, beaten 72 and three-quarter lengths. She is better than that run and will be stalking the pace.

Tepin and Appreciating are two Mark Casse-trained fillies; Tepin shipping from Churchill Downs with Appreciating coming by way of Woodbine.

Tepin broke her maiden over the Polytrack at Keeneland two starts back then was third as the favorite in the Rags to Riches Stakes last month at Churchill Downs. She should get a good trip from the rail, but jockey Miguel Mena must time his run just right. With the short stretch, a late start turning for home is not ideal.

Appreciating may have more upside than her stable mate, but she is unproven on dirt. Casse started her off on the turf at Woodbine where she was third in the Grade 2 Natalma then finished fifth in the Grade 3 Mazarine over Woodbine's main polytrack. She is bred; however, to handle the dirt and got in a workout at Churchill Downs last week. With no early speed, another well-timed ride is a must.

Especially if she wants to catch Miss Behaviour and Bahnah.

Rounding out the field are long shots Zip On, sixth in the Grade 3 Jessamine at Keeneland, and Synapse, winner through the disqualification of Bahnah in the My Trusty Cat.

Post time for the Princess is 4:43 pm ET.


Delta Downs - Sam's Town Stakes Pick 4 Opener

The first leg of the Delta Downs Jackpot pick-4 is the 9th running of the $75,000 Sam's Town Stakes for three-year-olds and upward which have never won a sweepstakes. If the last race from Heitai is legit, he is a standout.

Heitai began his career for trainer Samuel Breaux and won two of 11 starts. The Louisiana-bred was competitive in state-bred stakes, but found one or two better each time. Then came a layoff of six months and a barn change. In his first start for Karl Broberg, Heitai absolutely freaked, winning an allowance race by 18 and three-quarter lengths. He has run five times at Delta with two wins and three seconds. Come and catch him.

He's Had Enough has only won once in his nine career starts, but has nearly three times the earnings of Heitai. As a two-year-old, He's Had Enough finished second in the Grade 1 Breeders' Cup Juvenile, but he has not been closer than four and three-quarter lengths in his five races since.

If Heitai does not make the lead then it will be Black Bear from the Chris Hartman bard. Black Bear has done most of his running in the Midwest at Prairie Meadows and Remington Park, but has amassed a great record of six wins from eight starts. He has yet to finish worse than third and is a neck away from being undefeated in sprints.

Heitai and Black Bear could duel each other into the ground, which will set things up for He's Had Enough and Runaway Stephen.

Runaway Stephen also loves Delta Downs, winning two of his three starts over the surface. The connections thought enough to run him in the Grade 2 Super Derby this summer at Louisiana Downs, but this is more his class level. Runaway Stephen will be trying to run away from the field late.

Tallahatchie Luke will be just off the speed and has the numbers to compete. The only question is class as most of his runs have been against Louisiana-breds.

One King's Man, Hip Four Sixtynine, Mr. Bandini's Band and Request a Puck will be sitting well off the pace. Request a Puck is two-for-two at Delta this meet, but will need a huge speed figure jump to run with the favorite.

Post time for the Sam's Town and start of the pick-4 is 3:44 pm ET.


Delta Downs - Delta Mile Nine Go Eight

The second leg of the pick-4 that ends with the Delta Jackpot is the 11th running of the $150,000 Delta Mile. The eight furlong race for three-year-olds and upward drew a field of nine and contention runs deep.

Agent Di Nozzo is a frequent flyer having run at six different tracks and four different states in his last nine starts. He not only ships well, but he wins. This year he has won four of seven and last year he won three of nine. Agent Di Nozzo went two-for-two at Delta earlier this year including a win in the restricted Borgata stakes.

Agent Di Nozzo will always be dependent on pace and trip as he likes to come from off the pace. Nates Mineshaft, on the other hand, likes to hear his feet rattle and makes his own pace. In 2012, the son of Mineshaft came into his own winning three graded stakes races at Fair Grounds and Lone Star Park.

After a year layoff due to injury, Nates Mineshaft made his return to the races in May and has one win in six starts since. He is not the horse he was last year, but does have a win at Delta and looks to be controlling speed.

Uncaptured is the second choice on the morning line and is adaptable to any pace scenario. The son of Lion Heart does his best running from about three lengths off the pace, but may be farther back than that as the pace projects to be swift. Off the pace, into the winner's circle.

Alsvid stretches out for the first time since December 2012 and will be on the engine early as will be Grand Contender and Redhotrush. Grand Contender has won back-to-back races for trainer Tom Amoss at Churchill Downs and Indiana Downs and has the speed figures to compete in the Delta Mile.

Redhotrush is the "horse for course" with five wins, six seconds and one third in 15 career starts at Delta Downs. The six-year-old gelding was a stubborn foe to get by in the Gold Cup, just finishing second by a neck to race favorite Sunbean. Back in March, Redhotrush finished second to Agent Di Nozzo is the Borgata. The connections will be looking to do one better on Saturday.

Rounding out the field are Decisive Moment, winner of the 2011 Delta Mile and second in the 2010 Delta Jackpot, Donoharm, winner of the 2012 Sam's Town, and long shot Troilus.

First post at Delta Downs on Saturday is 2:15 pm ET, one of the only days the track does not run under the lights. The Delta Mile is scheduled to go off at 4:13.


Thoroughbred Racing Action

Great racing action from across the country this weekend. Watch these races all on

Saturday – November 23
  • Delta Downs:  Delta Jackpot - G3, $1-million, 2yo, 8.5f
  • Delta Downs:  Delta Princess - G3, $500,000, 2yo f, 8f
  • Delta Downs:  Delta Mile Stakes, $150,000, 3yo & up, 8f
  • Delta Downs:  Sam's Town Stakes, $75,000, 3y0, 7f
  • Delta Downs:  Orleans Stakes, $75,000, 3yo f, 7f
  • Delta Downs:  Louisiana Jewel Stakes, $150,000, 2yo f, 8f
  • Delta Downs:  Louisiana Legacy Stakes, $150,000, 2yo, 8f
  • Delta Downs:  Treasure Chest Stakes, $150,000, 3yo & up f&m, 8.5f
  • Hollywood Park:  Real Quiet Stakes, $100,000, 2yo, 8.5f
  • Churchill Downs:  River City Handicap - G3, $100,000, 3yo & up, 9f turf
  • Golden Gate:  Oakland Stakes, $50,000,3 yo & up, 6f
  • Woodbine:  Glorious Song Stakes, $125,000, 2yo f, 7f
  • Fair Grounds:  Mr. Sulu Stakes, $60,000, 3yo & up, 8f turf
  • Turf Paradise:  Arizona Breeders' Futurity, $50,000, 2yo, 6f
  • Zia Park:  Zia Park Derby, $200,000, 3yo, 8.5f
  • Zia Park:  Zia Park Oaks, $300,000, 3yo f, 8.5f
  • Zia Park:  Championship Stakes, $150,000, 3yo & up, 9f
  • Zia Park:  Eddy Country Stakes, $140,000, 2yo, 8f
  • Zia Park:  Zia Park Distaff Stakes, $55,000, 3yo & up f&m, 6f
Sunday – November 24
  • Woodbine:  South Ocean Stakes, $125,000, 2yo f, 8.5f
  • Hollywood Park:  On Trust Handicap, $100,000, 3yo & up, 7.5f