11/12/2012 4:39PM

Delta Downs: Itsmyluckyday comes into Jackpot on a roll


Itsmyluckyday was part of a small contingent of Florida-based horses who were traveling to Louisiana on Monday to start in major stakes on the Delta Downs Jackpot card Saturday. Itsmyluckyday is being pointed for the Grade 3, $1 million Delta Downs Jackpot, while his traveling companions, Salamera and Rose to Gold, are shipping in for the Grade 3, $500,000 Delta Downs Princess. The horses vanned out of Calder late morning Monday and were due to arrive at the Vinton, La., track before 5 a.m. Tuesday.

The Jackpot will anchor a card of eight stakes worth a cumulative $2.2 million. Entries for the 1 1/16-mile race for 2-year-olds will be taken on Wednesday. Hightail, winner of the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Sprint, and Bern Identity, who breezed at Delta on Saturday, are both expected, as are Know More and Goldencents from the barn of trainer Doug O’Neill.

Itsmyluckyday will be seeking his third straight stakes win when he starts in the Jackpot. He comes into the race off a three-length win in the $80,000 Foolish Pleasure in his two-turn debut at Calder on Sept. 15. Plesa said there were a number of reasons to target the Jackpot.

[DELTA JACKPOT: Get PPs, watch full Saturday card live]

“It’s a million dollars, and that’s a heck of an incentive,” he said. “It’s a graded race, so that’s a plus. And the timing works out well for him to go there for the million. We were looking at running in the Remsen in New York, but figured we’d try Delta. People from Calder have done pretty well in this race in the past. We’ll see if we can keep the tradition going.”

Gourmet Dinner shipped in from Calder to win the Jackpot in 2010, while Big Drama did the same in 2008.

Plesa said Angel Serpa has the mount on Itsmyluckyday, who is a son of Lawyer Ron. He races for Trilogy Stable and Laurie Plesa.

Bern Identity breezed a half-mile in 48.20 seconds Saturday at Delta. The move came under local jockey Trey Agilar, and it was the fastest of 65 at the distance. Kelly Breen, who trains Bern Identity, said Paco Lopez has the mount in the Jackpot. Lopez shipped into Delta last month to guide Bern Identity to a three-length win in the $200,000 Jean Lafitte at Delta. Earlier this year, the horse won the Grade 2 Sanford at Saratoga.

Overanalzye, the winner of the Grade 2 Futurity at Belmont, was pre-entered in the Jackpot but will instead await the Grade 2, $150,000 Kentucky Jockey Club at Churchill Downs on Nov. 24, said his trainer, Todd Pletcher. Two T’s at Two B, another pre-entered in the Jackpot, will also pass the race and seek out other options, said trainer Kathleen O’Connell.

A flight bringing horses for the Jackpot and undercard stakes is scheduled to arrive Wednesday at 1:45 p.m., according to an official with Tex Sutton Fowarding Company. The flight will originate in Southern California, pick up horses in Kentucky, then land in Houston, which is about a two-hour drive to Delta.

The Princess field will have a strong Florida flair with the presence of Calder stakes winners Salamera and Rose to Gold. Salamera enters off a fifth-place finish in the Grade 1 Chandelier at Santa Anita and is to be ridden by regular rider Angel Castillo, said her trainer, Rodolfo Garcia. Paco Lopez will have the mount on Rose to Gold, said her trainer, Sal Santoro.

Danalake, a stakes winner at Delaware Park, will start in the Princess, said Pletcher. He said she is scheduled to be ridden by Rajiv Maragh. Danalake flies in from Kentucky on Wednesday.

Madame Cactus, winner of the local prep, the $150,000 My Trusty Cat, is also expected for the Princess.

◗ Rule, winner of the Jackpot in 2009, will start in the $150,000 Delta Mile on Saturday, said Pletcher. Maragh has the mount. Also expected for the race is defending champ Decisive Moment, who was part of the contingent traveling from Calder on Monday.