Updated on 11/17/2012 7:47PM

Delta Downs: Goldencents ends season on high note with Jackpot win

Delta Downs/Coady Photography
Goldencents set fast fractions under jockey Kevin Krigger but had enough left to hold off favored Bern Identity.

VINTON, La. - Goldencents hinted he had the makings of a top-class of colt last month when he played runner-up to eventual Breeders’ Cup Juvenile winner Shanghai Bobby in the Grade 1 Champagne at Belmont Park.

Goldencents now has a major stakes win of his own after setting a fast pace and prevailing in the $1 million Delta Downs Jackpot at Delta Downs. He won by a length and three-quarters over favorite Bern Identity. It was another length and a quarter back to Mylute in third.

“He’s such a nice colt,” said Doug O’Neill, who trains Goldencents. “He has so much natural speed and he handled himself like a seasoned pro.”

Goldencents ($7.20) broke well in the Grade 3 Jackpot, and proceeded to run the opening quarter of the mile and a sixteenth race for 2-year-olds in 22.69 seconds, pushed along by Heaven’s Runway. Goldencents shook free down the backside, and continued to lead through quick fractions of 46.22 for the half-mile and 1:11.18 for six furlongs. Goldencents went on to cover the distance on a track rated fast in 1:44.89.

“The more I asked, the more he gave,” said Kevin Krigger, regular rider on Goldencents.

“I came in confident like I did in New York, when we finished second in the Champagne. This is the best 2-year-old I have ever sat on. To come into this type of race with this type of horse I have been waiting my entire career for a horse like this. This horse is very professional. He’s never rank and never does anything wrong.”

Goldencents won his debut at Del Mar, then shipped to Belmont Park for last month’s Champagne. He set the pace in that race and finished second, five lengths behind Shanghai Bobby, who in his next start won the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile. Goldencents was not nominated to the Breeders’ Cup but would have gone in the Juvenile if he was, said O’Neill.

O’Neill said next-race plans are to be determined for Goldencents.

“I don’t know the exact path, but we will probably look somewhere at Santa Anita after the first of the year,” he said. “Maybe the Bob Lewis Stakes.”

I’ll Have Another won this year’s Lewis in his first start of the season for O’Neill and went on to win the Kentucky Derby and Preakness.

Goldencents earned $600,000 for his Jackpot win and earned10 points on the new Kentucky Derby qualifying system that governs preference into the race if it is oversubscribed. Goldencents had previously earned 4 points in the Champagne. He races for the partnership of W.C. Racing, Dave Kenney, and Rap Racing.

Goldencents is a son of the young stallion Into Mischief, a winner of the Grade 1 CashCall Futurity.

The remaining order of finish in the Jackpot was Hightail in fourth, followed by Central Banker, Itsmyluckyday, Heaven’s Runway, Know More, and Show Some Magic.

* Delta handled $4,359,362 on its 11-race card from all sources on Saturday, a dip of 1.5 percent from last year's Jackpot card when Delta set a track record handle of $4,434,099.

* The $100,000-guaranteed pick four that ran on races 4-7 returned $843.60 on a $2 bet. The winning numbers were 3-2-1-9. The pool was $259,279.