11/16/2013 3:15PM

Calder: Casiguapo heading off to Delta Downs

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Tom Keyser
Casiguapo will try to become the third 2-year-old based at Calder in the last six years to win the Delta Jackpot.

Casiguapo, runner-up behind Strong Mandate earlier this season in the Grade 1 Hopeful, was scheduled to van Sunday from Florida to Delta Downs, where he will attempt to become the third Calder-based juvenile to win the Delta Jackpot in the last six years. The Grade 3, $1 million Delta Jackpot will be decided at 1 1/16 miles on Saturday.

Casiguapo will attempt to follow in the footsteps of Big Drama and Gourmet Dinner, the 2008 and 2010 winners of the Delta Jackpot.

Casiguapo had his final tune-up at Calder on Saturday, drawing rave reviews from the track clockers after working five furlongs from the gate in 1:00.80.

“He went 48.20 for the first half and really finished up strong, and you don’t even see too many older horses go that fast from the gate around here,” said clocker Kathy Marrero. “He worked a mile in 1:41 before he shipped to Saratoga this summer for the Hopeful, and that’s also about as good as it gets at Calder.”

Casiguapo made his first two starts at Calder, finishing third following a slow start launching his career in the Frank Gomez Memorial Stakes before winning his maiden by 11 lengths four weeks later. Casiguapo stepped right up into Grade 1 company off his maiden win and finished a distant second in the Hopeful before finishing a tiring fourth stretching to a mile for the first time in the Grade 1 Champagne.

“I ran him in a stakes the first time because I thought he was that good, and if he didn’t get blocked he would have won that day,” said Mario Morales, who trains Casiguapo for All American Horses.

Morales said he chose not to run Casiguapo in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile because he was not nominated, leaving the Delta Jackpot as his next best option.