12/03/2007 1:00AM

Gomez will ride Z Humor in $1M Jackpot

EmailJockey Garrett Gomez, who leads the nation in earnings, will ride Z Humor in Friday night's Grade 3, $1 million Delta Jackpot, the horse's trainer, Bill Mott, said Monday. Gomez is one of several high profile jockeys heading to Vinton, La., for the 1 1/16-mile race for 2-year-olds, which is the richest stakes in Louisiana.

Robby Albarado, regular rider of Horse of the Year front-runner Curlin and second to Gomez in earnings, has the mount on Racecar Rhapsody for trainer Ken McPeek. Ramon Dominguez, who is the nation's second-leading rider in wins, will be named to ride the undefeated Cave's Valley, according to trainer Michael Trombetta.

Trainer Darrin Miller said Monday he was leaning toward starting St. Joe, third last out in the Grade 3 Iroquois at Churchill Downs, and if he goes he will be ridden by Rafael Bejarano, who ranks fifth in the nation in earnings.

Jackpot entries were to be taken Tuesday. As of Monday, it appeared 12 would be entered for a race that will be limited to 10 starters. Slew's Tiznow, the runner-up in the Grade 1 Lane's End Breeders' Futurity who had been under consideration for the Jackpot, will pass on the race, according to his trainer, Greg Fox. He will instead point for the Grade 1, $750,000 CashCall Futurity at Hollywood Park on Dec. 22.

Mott will have his first Delta starter in Z Humor, a horse that should vie for favoritism with Racecar Rhapsody, who was third in the Grade 2 Kentucky Jockey Club. Z Humor last raced in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile, finishing fifth, and before that was third in the Grade 1 Champagne. Mott said the Jackpot was appealing not only for its big purse, but because Z Humor has done well since the Breeders' Cup. The promising Distorted Humor colt races for Zayat Stables.

"He's got a fairly good combination of everything," Mott said of Z Humor. "He's got some talent. He seems to have a pretty good disposition. He seems to handle most every kind of racetrack."

Betatron will also get support. He last raced at Churchill Downs, winning a first-level allowance with a Beyer Speed Figure of 99, the highest career number among those expected for the Jackpot. Trainer Tom Amoss said Betatron would be ridden by Miguel Mena.

Golden Yank, the winner of the $150,000 Jean Lafitte at Delta, was to van out of his Remington Park base for Vinton on Wednesday night, said trainer Gary Thomas. He will be ridden by Delta's leading jockey, Gerard Melancon. Gangbuster, the runner-up in the Lafitte, is to be ridden by Kirk LeBlanc, said trainer Keith Desormeaux. Take the Money, who was third in the Jean Lafitte, will be entered in the Jackpot, his trainer, Steve Asmussen, said Sunday. Others expected to enter are Overextended, who could be ridden by Patrick Valenzuela, and Turf War.

Trainer Mark Shuman said Cudjo would enter and McPeek planned on entering Nistle's Crunch.

* Sky Mom will head Friday night's $300,000 Delta Princess.