10/26/2013 11:57PM

Delta Downs: Rise Up dominates Jean Lafitte Stakes


Rise Up established himself as a top contender for next month’s Grade 3, $1 million Delta Downs Jackpot when he stormed to a 6 1/2-length win in Saturday night’s local prep, the $200,000 Jean Lafitte Stakes.

The one-mile race for 2-year-olds drew an eclectic mix of shippers, with Rise Up invading from Churchill Downs. For the win, he secured first preference into the Jackpot, a 1 1/16-mile race set for Nov. 23.

In the Jean Lafitte, Rise Up ($8) settled in second behind Burning Warrior, who was up by more than three lengths through fractions of 22.31 seconds for the opening quarter and 45.50 for the half-mile. Rise Up overtook the leader through six furlongs in 1:11.07, then pulled clear through the stretch to cover the distance in 1:38.20.

Gerard Melancon was aboard Rise Up, the rider’s second major stakes win of the weekend after taking Friday night’s $150,000 My Trusty Cat, a prep for the Grade 3, $500,000 Delta Downs Princess, aboard Synapse.

Rise Up, who races for Paul and Andrena Van Doren and is trained by Tom Amoss, won the $100,000 Mountaineer Juvenile in August, then was sixth in the Grade 3 Iroquois at Churchill in his most recent start Sept. 7. He picked up $120,000 for his win in the Jean Lafitte and improved his record to 3 for 5, with earnings of $210,633. Rise Up is a son of Rockport Harbor bred in Kentucky by Cottonwood Stables.

Mighty Brown, a maiden who last raced at Arlington Park, rallied for second in the Jean Lafitte. He finished 7 1/4 lengths clear of third-place finisher Flat Gone, who in his last start was fifth in the Grade 1 FrontRunner at Santa Anita.