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Grade 3 Delta Jackpot: Entries and Post Positions

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Normally, a stakes race for two-year-old colts just a couple of weeks after the Breeders' Cup Juvenile wouldn't warrant a significant amount of attention from the masses, but the Grade 3 Delta Jackpot that will run at Delta Downs on Saturday afternoon features a purse of $1 million.  The big purse and large share to the winner is significant, even at this early stage, for horses looking to make it into the starting gate for the 2011 Kentucky Derby.  

For those unfamiliar with the importance of graded stakes earnings in relation to the Kentucky Derby, here are the key facts to know: 

  • The Kentucky Derby is limited to 20 starters.
  • If more than 20 horses wish to run in the Derby, the top 20 based on earnings in graded stakes race are given preference.
  • All graded stakes earnings count the same, whether earned as a two-year-old or a three-year-old or in a Grade 1, Grade 2 or Grade 3 race.

Because of the rules surrounding entry into the Derby, graded earnings are of utmost importance if you own or train a hopeful Derby contender.  Since the earnings are not treated differently due to grade level or year they are earned, any graded stakes race with a high purse has the potential to produce a Derby starter.  Which brings us to Saturday's Delta Jackpot.

The lucrative purse at Delta Downs this Saturday pretty much guarantees the winning horse a spot in the Derby starting gate should his connections desire to enter the race.  Obviously, given the volatile nature of horse racing, there is not guarantee that Saturday's winner will run in the Derby.  He could go out of form, suffer an injury, or just be suited to run a mile and a quarter.  But if the connections want to enter, a win in the Delta Jackpot will give them the graded earnings to make the field irregardless of how the colt performs in the spring.  And for that reason, the race draws extra attention.

Last year's race was won by Rule over Uh Oh Bango.  Rule was pointed towards the Derby for much of the spring but was not entered in the field due to his poor works leading up to the race.  Had he entered, he would have ranked #3 on the graded earnings list.

If you needed another reason to watch the race perhaps this will do it: both Calvin Borel and Javier Castellano have mounts in the race.  Hopefully they'll stick to riding and not brawling

Below are the entries and post postiions for Saturday's Delta Jackpot.

Grade 3 Delta Jackpot
Delta Downs
1 1/16 miles
Two-year-olds
Purse: $1,000,000
Post-time: 4:15 EST

PP

Horse

Jockey

Trainer

ML

1

Gourmet Dinner

Madrid. S,

Standridge, Steve

6/1

2

Classic Legacy

Talamo, J.

Baffert, Bob

6/1

3

Aces N Kings

Borel, C.

Johnson, Henry

12/1

4

Rush Now

Albarado, R.

Dutrow, Anthony

9/2

5

Clubhouse Ride

Valenzuela, P.

Lewis, Craig

10/1

6

Bug Juice

Castellano, J.

Levine, Bruce

8/1

7

Decisive Moment

Clark, K.

Arias, Juan

20/1

8

Blue Laser

Bridgmohan, S.

Casse, Mark

3/1

9

Sweet Ducky

Bravo, J.

Breen, KellyJ

5/1

10

Dreamsrunwild

Diego, I.

Duke, Steven

20/1