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Gourmet Dinner upsets Grade 3 Delta Downs Jackpot (Updated)

Two-year-old colt Gourmet Dinner provided at least a morsel of information that we might to take away from the juvenile performances we have seen so far this fall: don't sleep on the horses coming out of Calder.

Following up on Awesome Feather's triumph in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies just a couple weeks ago, Gourmet Dinner, second last time out in the In Reality Stakes down at Calder Race Course, easily dispatched the field in yesterday's $1 million Delta Downs Jackpot (Result Chart via DRF.com).  The $600,000 in graded purse money easily give this son of Trippi enough earning to guarantee a spot in next spring's Kentucky Derby, should his connections point him in that direction.

Breaking from the rail, Gourmet Dinner got away cleanly and was content to sit in mid-pack and watch a solid pace duel develop between Bug Juice and Decisive Moment.  As the leaders came off the far turn, the winner swept three or four wide with a quick burst of speed and easily went to the front and put away the field just inside the final furlong.  Decisive Moment ran a huge race at 48/1 after being very involved in the early pace duel, but he was no match for the winner as they hit the wire. 

Both of the top two finishers came out of the same stakes race at Calder on October 16th, a race that has turned out a bit on the quirky side for next out horses.  While the 2nd and 3rd place horses from that In Reality Stakes race at Calder, Gourmet Dinner and Decisive Moment, ran 1-2 in a $1 million Grade 3 stakes race, the winner of that race, Reprized Halo, came back to post a dull effort in the Appleton Juvenile Turf, a Calder listed stakes race, as did the 4th place horse, Red Hills.  As the name of the race suggests, the race was run over the Calder turf course, suggesting that the form of the In Reality could hold up better should the field stay on the dirt.

A final side note on the In Reality Stakes from Calder: the 5th and 6th placed horses from that race (Little Drama and Aldomear) have not yet come back and raced.  Those two might just warrant a bit of an additional look wherever they pop up next.

While Gourmet Dinner was visually impressive in winning the Delta Downs Jackpot, the time of the race, especially the final fraction, was nothing special.  The split for the final 3/8ths of a mile for Gourmet Dinner was 33.12, which was the fastest of the field but not a tremendously impressive numbers.  For comparison purposes (with the caveat that we are looking at different racing surfaces), Awesome Feather finished up in 31.98 in the BC Juvenile Fillies, while Uncle Mo covered that same amount of ground in 30.66.  If you believe that Churchill was on the tiring side over Breeders' Cup weekend, those splits are even more impressive and casts a bit of a doubt about the depth of the Delta race.  It's possible that the Delta surface was quite slow yesterday (I haven't had a chance to take a look at the complete set of charts for the card), but first impressions suggest that the race was on the slow side.

UPDATED: After a quick view of the results charts for the entire Saturday card for Delta Downs it does appear that all the horses were coming home slowly in race after race.  Below is a table summarizing all races on the card and the final fraction for each race.  Almost every race, with the exception of the Delta Mile that was won by Z Humor (a fairly classy horse) saw very slow final fractions.  Some of this was probably due to the quality of the fields, as some of the winners are just top level talent.  On the other hand, I don't think it's a stretch to suggest that the track was a bit on the tiring side yesterday.

Race

Condition

Age

Dist.

Final Fraction

Note

1

MSW

2 f

5.0

11.92

1/8 mile

2

MSW

3,4,5

6.5

33.74

3/16 mile

3

Listed Stakes

3

7.0

12.83

1/8 mile

4

Listed Stakes

3up f&m

8.0

26.46

1/4 mile

5

Listed Stakes

3up

8.0

25.83

1/4 mile

6

G3 Stakes

2 f

8.0

28.25

1/4 mile

7

G3 Stakes

2

8.5

33.32

3/16 mile

8

Listed Stakes

2 f

8.0

27.42

1/4 mile

9

Listed Stakes

2 c&g

8.0

28.51

1/4 mile

10

Listed Stakes

3 f

7.0

13.54

1/8 mile

11

Str. Alw.

3up

8.0

27.22

1/4 mile

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Post-time favorite, Bug Juice, a colt that had shown some serious speed in his sprint races at Finger Lakes, had nothing in the tank when it came time to win.  He doesn't appear to be a colt that really wants two-turns at this point in his career.

We were denied any additional fireworks between jockeys Calvin Borel and Javier Castellano, but that didn't prevent Borel from experiencing a bit of a wild ride.  Borel, aboard Aces N Kings, was thrown from his mount when his horse bolted heading into the far turn.  Borel did not suffer any serious injuries,(apparently, Borel did suffer an injury from the spill and will miss 5 to 6 weeks due to a broken jaw) but Aces N Kings failure to negotiate the turn completely wiped out the chances of the morning line favorite, Blue Laser, and Dreamsrunwild.  Put a big line through this race for both of those colts.