Nominations for the 13th running of the $1,000,000 Delta Downs Jackpot (Gr. III) closed last weekend with 191 possible starters for the Saturday, November 21 showdown for 2-year-olds. A maximum of 10 starters are allowed for the 1 1/16-mile event contested over a dirt surface. For a complete list of nominees go to www.equibase.com.
“We are very excited about the list of horses nominated to this year's $1,000,000 Delta Downs Jackpot,” said Steve Kuypers, Vice President and General Manager of Delta Downs Racetrack Casino & Hotel. “Many of the top trainers in North America nominate 2-year-olds to this race each year and that trend continues in 2015.
This race, along with the entire Jackpot Day program, has become a mainstay on the national racing calendar and Boyd Gaming and Delta Downs are very proud of that.”
Prominent trainers that have nominated horses to the $1,000,000 Delta Downs Jackpot this year include Triple Crown winner Bob Baffert, Doug O'Neill, Steve Asmussen, Mark Casse, Dale Romans, Kenneth McPeek, Kiaran McLaughlin, Jerry Hollendorfer and Jack Van Berg.
The most accomplished horse on this year's nomination list is multiple grade I winner Nyquist, from the barn of Classic winning trainer Doug O'Neill. The son of 2010 Champion 2-year-old Uncle Mo is perfect in four starts so far during his career including victories in the Frontrunner Stakes, the Del Mar Futurity and the Best Pal Stakes to go along with his debut score against maidens last June. Nyquist was purchase by Reddam Racing LLC for $400,000 during the Fasig Tipton Select 2-year-olds in Training Sale last March.
Nyquist has been installed as the 9-2 third choice in the morning line for Saturday's $2,000,000 Sentient Jet Breeders' Cup Juvenile (Gr. I) at Keeneland. Last year Mr. Z, trained by Hall of Famer D. Wayne Lukas, finished second by just a nose to Ocho Ocho Ocho in the $1,000,000 Delta Downs Jackpot after running fifth to Texas Red in the Juvenile.
O'Neill has nominated a total of seven horses to this year's $1,000,000 Delta Downs Jackpot and with a victory would become the first trainer to saddle multiple winners of the race. In 2012 he traveled to Louisiana with eventual Eclipse Award winner and multiple Grade I Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile hero Goldencents, who took the Jackpot in wire-to-wire fashion.
Brittlyn Stables' promising young colt Forevamo has already locked up a spot in the $1,000,000 Delta Downs Jackpot starting gate by virtue of his win in the $200,000 Jean Lafitte Stakes at Delta Downs last Saturday. The Al Stall, Jr. trainee broke his maiden in the Jean Laffite while making his third career start. Also sired by Uncle Mo, Forevamo was a $320,000 purchase earlier this year at the Ocala Breeders' Sale.
The nominees for the $1,000,000 Delta Downs Jackpot will be pared down on Tuesday, November 10 when pre-entries are taken in the track's racing office. Late nominations will be accepted until pre-entries close on the same date. The supplemental nomination fee is $10,000. To make a supplemental nomination to the race, contact racing secretary Matt Crawford or stakes coordinator Mohamed Ali Khan at 337-589-9008 or 800-589-7441, extension 1200.
The $1,000,000 Delta Downs Jackpot is part of the 'Road to the Kentucky Derby' series, which includes 35 stakes leading up to next year's big race at Churchill Downs on Saturday, May 7. The top four finishers in this year's Jackpot will be awarded points on a 10-4-2-1 scale toward a possible starting position in the first leg of the 2016 Triple Crown.
In all, the Jackpot Day program will feature 11 races including eight stakes and over $2.3 million in total purse money. The card will have a special first post time of 1:15 pm CT with the feature going off at 4:15 pm.
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