11/16/2015 3:36PM

Exaggerator heads field of 10 for Delta Downs Jackpot

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Nikki Sherman
Exaggerator is the 2-1 morning-line favorite in the Grade 2, $1 million Delta Downs Jackpot on Saturday.

Exaggerator was made the 2-1 morning-line favorite for the Grade 3, $1 million Delta Downs Jackpot when entries for the race were taken Monday. He will start from post 9 in the 10-horse field on Saturday.

The Jackpot, a 1 1/16-mile race for 2-year-olds, is the richest offering of the year at Delta. It will anchor a card of eight stakes worth $2.3 million. Saturday’s program will have a special afternoon post of 1:15 Central.

The Jackpot will go as the seventh race and is the final leg of an all-stakes pick four with a guaranteed pool of $200,000, according to Chris Warren, director of racing for Delta. Warren said the sequence will open with the Louisiana Legacy and include the Delta Mile and the Grade 3, $400,000 Delta Downs Princess.

Entries for the Princess, a one-mile race for 2-year-old fillies, also were taken Monday. La Appassionata was made the 3-5 morning-line favorite following her seven-length win in the $100,000 My Trusty Cat at Delta. She will break from post 6 in the field of seven on Saturday. Steve Asmussen trains for Stonestreet Stables and has given the mount to Gerard Melancon.

Exaggerator enters the Jackpot off a fourth-place finish in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile on Oct. 31 at Keeneland. Earlier this year, the colt won the Grade 2 Saratoga Special and ran second in the Breeders’ Futurity. Keith Desormeaux trains the horse for Big Chief Racing and has given the mount to his brother, Kent Desormeaux.

The field for the Jackpot: Forevamo, Colby Hernandez, 4-1; Memories of Winter, Patrick Valenzuela, 10-1; Sunny Ridge, Irad Ortiz Jr., 7-2; Whitmore, Robby Albarado, 8-1; Harlan Punch, Gerard Melancon, 10-1; Texas Jambalaya, Eddie Martin Jr., 20-1; Found Money, Mario Gutierrez, 6-1; Cowboy Classic, Junior Inirio, 30-1; Exaggerator; Iron Dome, Steve Bourque, 20-1.

Sunny Ridge, the runner-up in the Champagne Stakes at Belmont, is due to arrive on Thursday, said Warren. Found Money, the runner-up in the $200,000 Golden State Juvenile in his most recent start Oct. 30 at Del Mar, was due to arrive later in the week, Warren said.

Whitmore, who in his lone start won a maiden special weight sprint at Churchill Downs by 7 1/4 lengths on Nov. 6, has picked up some new co-owners since taking that race for Southern Springs Stables. Robert LaPenta and Harry Rosenblum have bought into Whitmore in a deal that was inked Thursday, said Rosenblum. Whitmore is a son of Pleasantly Perfect and will continue to be trained by Ron Moquett.

◗ Jockey Patrick Valenzuela is named to ride two horses Thursday night at Delta Downs, but both horses are on the also-eligible list. If either were to draw in, the mount would be the first for Valenzuela since Jan. 20, 2014.

Valenzuela is named to ride Mypalcharliebrown in the seventh race and Stormy Allyssa in the 10th. Both horses are first on the also-eligible list and are trained by Karl Broberg.

Valenzuela also is named to ride the first race Friday night and has a mount in the Jackpot on Saturday.

◗ Heitai, a multiple stakes winner at Delta Downs, is being pointed for the Louisiana Champions Day program on Dec. 12 at Fair Grounds, said trainer Tom Amoss. Heitai is targeting the $100,000 Sprint.

“He’s doing well, pointing toward Champions Day,” Amoss said of the noted Louisiana-bred sprinter. “He’s $5,000 short of becoming a millionaire. He deserves his place in the books as a millionaire.”

Heitai is an 11-time stakes winner who has won 15 of 32 starts and $995,293. Heitai races for his breeder, Rowell Enterprises.

Marc Estrich More than 1 year ago
Heitai would be a millionaire already if jockey Colby Hernandez had used his whip in the Bonapaw stakes on Jan. 3, 2015 at Fair Grounds. He attempted to nurse him home and got picked up by Delaunay. Incredibly the trainer of Delaunay Amoss and the jock of Delaunay Jamie Graham ended up with Heitai 3 weeks later and they won a stakes at Sam Houston. Jamie 'kept him to task to hold sway" unlike Colby Hernandez's somnolent ride.