This Saturday will see the 9th running of the $1 million Delta Jackpot, a Grade 3, 1 1/16-mile race for 2-year-olds at Delta Downs in Vinton, La. The race has the 1st richest purse for 2-year-olds behind the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile and continues to grow as a favorite among the horse racing community as evidenced by the record number of nominations this year. Delta Downs had a possible 252 nominations for the race, up 5.8 percent from last year’s record high of 238 nominations.
Besides the draw of the purse, the Delta Jackpot is also a favorite because it has Kentucky Derby implications. Due to the large amount of graded stakes earnings on the line, the Delta Jackpot nearly guarantees the winner a spot in the 2012 Kentucky Derby. That’s one very good reason that a Grade 1 winner will run for the first time in this Grade 3 race. Bob Baffert has shipped Del Mar Futurity winner Drill to Delta Downs to compete on Saturday in hopes of securing that Kentucky Derby spot.
Other probables for Saturday’s race include Jake Mo, winner of the Prairie Gold Juvenile, Jean Lafitte Stakes winner, My Adonis, and Laurie’s Rocket who came in fourth in the Hopeful.
Post time for the Delta Jackpot is 4:15 p.m. Ten other races are also scheduled with seven of them being stakes races. First post of the day is 1:15 p.m.