11/14/2011 2:59PM

Delta Downs: Baffert shipping Drill for Jackpot

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Shigeki Kikkawa
Drill will be the first Grade 1 winner to start in the Grade 3, $1 million Delta Downs Jackpot.

The Delta Downs Jackpot has hit the jackpot.

The Grade 3, $1 million race at Delta Downs in Vinton, La., will have a Grade 1 winner in the field for the first time Saturday after trainer Bob Baffert on Monday committed Drill, the Del Mar Futurity winner, to the 1 1/16-mile race. The Jackpot was inaugurated in 2002.

Drill won the Del Mar Futurity in September and then was second in the Grade 1 Norfolk at Santa Anita one start later before finishing an uncharacteristic 10th in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile at Churchill Downs. He will add blinkers for the Jackpot, Baffert said.

“I just worked him this morning,” Baffert said Monday. “He worked well. It looks like he didn’t really run in the Breeders’ Cup.

“I wanted to see his energy level, and it looks good. He looked good today.”

Drill went three furlongs in a bullet 35.40 seconds at Santa Anita and is to fly in Wednesday, Baffert said. Martin Garcia will have the mount. Baffert said the horse is one of three he plans to run at Delta on Saturday.

Candrea, runner-up in the Grade 1 Oak Leaf at Santa Anita, is being pointed to the Grade 3, $500,000 Delta Downs Princess for 2-year-old fillies at a mile, while Hoorayforhollywood is a candidate for the $125,000 Mile.

Delta is running eight stakes Saturday on a special afternoon card that starts at 1:15 p.m. Central. Purses for the races total $2.2 million on what is the richest program at Delta. The track also will have a $100,000-guaranteed, all-stakes pick four on races 4-7. The Jackpot is the final leg, with a scheduled post of 4:15 p.m. Entries for the card will be taken Wednesday.

The Jackpot figures to have a full field of 10. There were 17 pre-entries for the race that drew a record 252 nominations. The probables include My Adonis, who won the local prep, the $200,000 Jean Lafitte; Dougs Buddy, an undefeated, multiple stakes winner from Northlands Park; Seven Lively Sins, runner-up in the Grade 3 Iroquois at Churchill; and Laurie’s Rocket, an allowance winner last out at Churchill.

Longview Drive, a two-time stakes winner based at Golden Gate Fields, was scheduled to fly in Tuesday for the Jackpot, trainer Jerry Hollendorfer said. He said Joel Rosario has the mount on the horse, who has won three of four starts including stakes at six furlongs and 1 1/16 miles. Hollendorfer said he also plans to send Spirit Seeker for the $125,000 Treasure Chest for fillies and mares Saturday.