11/13/2007 1:00AM

Golden Yank primed for Jackpot

EmailGolden Yank has been racing only since October, but the undefeated 2-year-old has accomplished so much since his debut that he could vie for favoritism next month in the Grade 3, $1 million Delta Jackpot. The 1 1/16-mile race will be run at Delta Downs on Dec. 7.

Golden Yank won the prep for the Jackpot on Friday night, when he stalked the pace, then powered to a 5 3/4-length win in the $150,000 Jean Lafitte at Delta. It was his second straight win in a two-turn stakes, and for the effort he earned a career-best Beyer Speed Figure of 86.

"He was pretty impressive, I thought," said Gary Thomas, who trains Golden Yank for a longtime client, the Millard R. Seldin Revocable Trust. "He just relaxed, and the turn of foot's really showing up. He's getting to be a professional."

Gerard Melancon, who won the Grade 1 Vosburgh in 2002 with Bonapaw, was aboard Golden Yank.

"He's one of the nicest ones I've been on in a while," he said. "He did it like a good horse."

Golden Yank is based at Remington Park. He launched his career there on Oct. 4, and was prominent throughout while winning his debut in a six-furlong race. One start later, Golden Yank made his two-turn debut in the $100,000 MEC Mile, and rolled to a 4 3/4-length win.

Delta had 162 nominations for this year's Jackpot, among them Indian Blessing, the winner of the $2 million Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies. Pre-entries for the race will be taken next Wednesday. Golden Yank earned a guaranteed berth in the jackpot by winning the Jean Lafitte.

Miss Missile to Delta Princess

Miss Missile will be shooting for the third stakes win of her career next month when she starts in the $300,000 Delta Princess, a one-mile race for 2-year-old fillies on the Jackpot undercard. She earned a guaranteed berth in the starting field by posting a 10 3/4-length win in the $100,000 My Trusty Cat on Friday night at Delta.

Miss Missile earned a Beyer Figure of 87, the second-best of her career behind the 90 she earned for a win at Lone Star Park in May. She was moving back to dirt for the My Trusty Cat after three starts on grass.

"I think she showed the type of horse she really is," said Charlie Smith, who owns and trains Miss Missile. "We'll keep her on dirt and keep her trucking."

Justin Shepherd is the regular rider on Miss Missile, who in April set a track record for 4 1/2 furlongs at Lone Star when she won her debut in 51.18 seconds. Her other stakes win came in the $45,000 Debutante at Assiniboia Downs in Winnipeg, Canada, in August.

Delta had 97 nominations for the Delta Princess, among them Indian Blessing, Backseat Rhythm, who was third in the Juvenile Fillies, and Set Play, the winner of the Grade 1 Del Mar Debutante.

Tejera on favorite in Retama turf feature

Eguard Tejera will be the leading rider when Retama Park concludes its meet Saturday. On Thursday night, he will be aboard Boundus, the probable favorite in the featured eighth race. The one-mile turf starter for fillies and mares also drew multiple stakes winner Wild Encounter, who is returning from a freshening. The race figures to produce starters for the $50,000 San Jacinto during the Texas Champions Day program at Sam Houston Race Park on Dec. 1.

Boundus is returning to the overnight ranks after finishing third by two lengths in the $45,000 Fiesta Mile at Retama on Oct. 13. She is trained by Gilbert Ciavaglia. Wild Encounter, who won last year's San Jacinto in a dead heat with Tunnel Time, is trained by Michelle Lovell.

Retama has had a strong meet. As of last week, average daily handle on its races from offtrack sources was up 35 percent, to $776,090 a night. Ontrack handle on Retama's races has averaged $106,110 a night, up 31 percent from the corresponding meet in 2006.

Morales stable after breaking jaw in spill

Jockey Benito Morales was listed in stable condition at Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio on Tuesday afternoon following a spill Saturday night at Retama. Track officials said he fractured his jaw and a cheekbone.

Morales was injured when he was thrown from his mount, Ratchet, who fell shortly after the start of the seventh race, a turf sprint.