11/22/2010 3:21PM

Gourmet Dinner, Decisive Moment could meet again in Holy Bull

Coady Photography
Delta Downs Jackpot winner Gourmet Dinner could make his next start in the Jan. 30 Holy Bull at Gulfstream Park.

VINTON, La. – Gourmet Dinner and Decisive Moment could get a rematch at Gulfstream Park.

The one-two finishers from Saturday’s Grade 3, $1 million Delta Downs Jackpot are both being considered for a start in the Grade 3, $400,000 Holy Bull on Jan. 30. The horses left Louisiana on Sunday for their Calder headquarters, with Gourmet Dinner’s 2 1/4-length win in the Jackpot earned him a career-high Beyer Figure of 93.

“One of the races under consideration is the Holy Bull,” said Billy Terrill, who owns the Steve Standridge-trained Gourmet Dinner. “Steve had mentioned the race. So, that’s a chance. It’s a one-turn mile. He’ll relish it.”

Decisive Moment could go in the Holy Bull but also has options at Calder, said his trainer, Juan Arias.

“We’re going to take him back home, freshen him up and look for races that are probably a month, a month and a half from now,” he said. “We’ll kind of look at the Holy Bull. The Tropical Park Derby is an option, too, on the grass. But we’re going to sit down and decide which way to go with him. He’s been running so well on dirt it’s kind of hard to try something new.

“But he should love the grass and he should love Polytrack,” said Arias.

Gourmet Dinner and Decisive Moment traveled to Delta together and spent the better part of last week side by side in the stakes barn. Terrill owns the vanning company that shipped the horses, and by Sunday morning had picked up four more to transport back to Florida. It was the cherry on top of the $600,000 first-place check earned by Gourmet Dinner.

“It was a successful trip,” said Terrill, 59.

Terrill, who co-bred Gourmet Dinner with Ocala Stud, is retired from a 37-year career as a stagehand. He worked at the Metropolitan Opera House and for different Broadway shows. But his roots are racing, as he is the son of the late Red Terrill, whose top horses included multiple Grade 1 winner Turnback the Alarm.

Billy Terrill established Ebert Horse Transportation in 1978. He has 10 horses in training, split among Standridge, Kathy Ritvo, and Bruce Brown, who is Terrill’s son-in-law. Down the road, Terrill would be thrilled if Gourmet Dinner developed into a prospect for the Kentucky Derby.

“If he proves to us that he can go on, we certainly have the graded earnings that can get us there now, which is a big plus,” Terrill said. “We can pick our spots. The last time I had anything to do with the Kentucky Derby was when my dad ran Secret Prince. It’s been at least 30 years.”

Decisive Moment picked up $200,000 in graded earnings, which might be enough to secure him a spot in the Kentucky Derby.

“It’s a goal,” Arias said. “So if he keeps moving forward, he deserves a chance.”

Arias, 45, said he feels Decisive Moment will thrive with added distance. The horse is one of 25 he has in training at Calder.

Changes to stick for Jackpot?

Delta made significant changes to the timing of the Jackpot this year in an effort to increase its visibility, and the result was the biggest day in the history of the 37-year-old track Boyd Gaming purchased in 2001.

Delta handled $3,817,849 from all sources on its 11-race card, which shattered the previous all-time mark of $3,172,578 achieved on Jackpot Night in December 2008. This year, the Jackpot was run the third week in November. There was also a special daytime post.

“It was a great day, and we set a lot of handle records,” said Steve Kuypers, assistant general manger of Delta. “We had increases across the board.”

Kuypers said Delta also set a record for handle on the Jackpot itself, with $1,108,555 bet on the race. The previous mark was $635,893, in 2008.

As for the future placement of the Jackpot, that will be decided after some due diligence.

“We don’t know about next year, because we haven’t finalized all the numbers,” Kuypers said. “We’re going to sit down in the next couple of weeks and decide, ‘Was it good to run a day race? Was it good in November?’

“We’re going to make a call on this at the beginning of next year. We’re going to make it early so people will definitely know which way we’re going. We’re so pleased with the outcome of this, and we want to continue to grow the race in years to come.”

Delta first introduced the Jackpot as a $500,000 race in 2002.