11/18/2012 3:28PM

Delta Jackpot winner Goldencents likely to begin road to Kentucky Derby in January

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Goldencents, with jockey Kevin Krigger, received a Beyer Speed Figure of 89 for his win in Saturday's Delta Jackpot.

VINTON, La. - The goal for Goldencents is a “Derby journey,” trainer Doug O’Neill said on Sunday, a day after the horse won the Grade 3, $1 million Delta Downs Jackpot in just his third career start. O’Neill said the horse will likely make his next start in January, in a race to be determined. Goldencents was traveling on Sunday, headed for Santa Anita.


“I think we’ll keep him at the track, go nice and easy for the next few weeks and shoot for a fourth start in January,” said O’Neill. “I’m not exactly sure where. Timing-wise for the colt, January would be great. The spacing works well as we go, save injuries, on our Derby journey.”


O’Neill, who won this year’s Kentucky Derby with I’ll Have Another, was impressed by the composure Goldencents has shown in his short career, which has included a trip to New York and now Louisiana. In the Jackpot, a 1 1/16-mile race for which he earned a Beyer Speed Figure of 89, Goldencents set a quick pace and went on to a 1 ¾-length under regular rider Kevin Krigger.


“I think I was most impressed that he’s a horse, third start of his life….he never turned a hair,” said O’Neill. “Kevin rode him with a ton of confidence, which I like. We had to use him a little more than we wanted because of the [outside] post we were in, but it didn’t seem to faze him at all. He had a clean trip and kept on going.


“He came back awesome. He came back in great shape, and the future is bright with him.”


Goldencents debuted at Del Mar on Sept. 2 and won a maiden special weight sprint with a Beyer Figure of 93. He then tackled Grade 1 company in New York, finishing second to eventual Breeders’ Cup Juvenile winner Shanghai Bobby in the Champagne at Belmont.


Goldencents races for the partnership of Dave Kenney, Rick Pitino of RAP Racing, and Josh Kaplan and Glenn Sorgenstein of W.C. Racing.


Goldencents on Sunday was flying out of Houston to Kentucky, where he will lay over for a few days before catching a flight to Southern California, said O’Neill. Goldencents was joined on the plane by Know More, the winner of the Grade 2 Best Pal at Del Mar who ran eighth in the Jackpot.


“Know More, he looks to have come out of it great,” said O’Neill. “He never really seemed to get untracked. He was doing so well, we thought it was a great spot. We’ll get him back to California, give him plenty of time to group from what I think was a real strong, successful 2-year-old season.”


In addition to winning the Best Pal in his debut, Know More also ran second in a pair of Grade 1 races, the Del Mar Futurity and the FrontRunner at Santa Anita. O’Neill said the horse’s racing plans will be determined after he talks with the ownership of Reddam Racing, for whom he won this year’s Kentucky Derby.


Bern Identity is headed to Florida after finishing second in the Jackpot. He was the favorite off a win in the local prep, the $200,000 Jean Lafitte. Prior to that, Bern Identity won the Grade 2 Sanford at Saratoga. Trainer Kelly Breen said Bern Identity is headed to Palm Meadows training center in Florida, after a brief layover in Ocala. Plans for his next start will be determined, said Breen.


“We’ll see how he’s training, and start looking at races in Florida,” he said.


Bern Idenity had a troubled trip in the Jackpot. He found himself farther off the pace than usual after breaking from the rail on Delta’s six-furlong oval. Bern Identity was also caught behind a weaving horse at one point, Breen noted, before launching a six-wide bid to finish 1 3/4 lengths behind Goldencents.


“He ran great,” said Breen. “He came back blowing. When he came back, the horse was really blowing. He gave it his all.


“I haven’t seen so many horses close as well as we did from the three-sixteenths pole to the wire, where we were literally last and came running to finish second.”


Bern Identity races for George and Lori Hall.


Mylute, who rallied from last for third in the Jackpot, left Delta on Saturday night for Fair Grounds in New Orleans, said his trainer, Tom Amoss. Amoss said next-race plans will be determined after discussions with Paul Bulmahn, who races as Gold Mark Farm, and Bulmahn’s farm manager, Todd Quast.


“The three of us are going to sit down and we’ll map out a plan,” said Amoss. “I think I speak for the group when I say we’re pleased with the way he ran. He made a really nice middle move on a track where, when you make those kinds of wide moves, you lose a lot of ground. So, we’re real pleased with his race. We think it’s a big step forward for him, and we’re going try to move forward into the 3-year-old races and see what happens.”


Amoss said the horse would prep for his next start at Fair Grounds, and would probably run back in New Orleans.

“But that’s something the three of us will discuss,” Amoss said.