10/18/2012 3:25PM

Delta Downs: Bern Identity on path to Jackpot in Jean Lafitte

Tom Keyser
Bern Identity has shipped to Delta Downs for a shot at the Jean Lafitte and Delta Downs Jackpot.

Since 2008, the East Coast-based stable of George and Lori Hall and trainer Kelly Breen has regularly sent a promising 2-year-old to the small southwestern Louisiana town of Vinton with the hopes of winning the Grade 3, $1 million Delta Downs Jackpot.

The pattern continues Saturday night as the Halls and Breen have Bern Identity for the $200,000 Jean Lafitte at Delta Downs. The one-mile race rewards its winner with first preference into the Jackpot, and Breen said Bern Identity was shipped in with the hope he will advance to that 1 1/16-mile race on Nov.  17.

“We love coming to Delta Downs,” Breen said. “They run a race for $1 million, and we’re going to try to win it.”

The Halls and Breen have come close. They finished second in the 2008 Jackpot with West Side Bernie and fourth in the 2010 running with Sweet Ducky. Last year, My Adonis won the Jean Lafitte by more than five lengths, then finished ninth in the Jackpot.

Bern Identity, scratched from the Grade 1 Champagne at Belmont Park on Oct. 6, comes into the Jean Lafitte off a third-place finish in the Grade 2 Hopeful at Saratoga on Sept. 3. Earlier in the summer, he won the Grade 2 Sanford, also at Saratoga, as well as a maiden special weight by 13 lengths at Belmont Park. Bern Identity will be making his two-turn debut in the Jean Lafitte.

“I’m kind of excited to see what he can do,” Breen said. “At first, I thought he was a sprinter, and I’m hoping I’m wrong in that first judgment. He’s doing everything so easily, I actually think two turns might be a benefit to him.” Bern Identity worked a half-mile in 47 seconds at Belmont on Oct. 13 in his final prep for the Jean Lafitte. The move was the fastest of 47 at the distance that morning. Saturday night, he will break from post  2 under Paco Lopez.

In all, a field of nine will go in the Jean Lafitte, including Show Some Magic, who like Bern Identity exits the Hopeful. Show Some Magic finished fifth to winner Shanghai Bobby, who next month could go favored in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile. Steve Asmussen trains Show Some Magic for J. Kirk and Judy Robison and has given the mount to Mark Guidry.

Manewal invades from Remington Park, where he won a first-level allowance Sept. 15. Prior to the start, he was second in the $100,000 Gold Rush Futurity at Arapahoe. Roman Chapa has the mount for trainer Cody Autrey.