11/11/2016 3:39PM

Gunnevera tops field of 10 for Delta Downs Jackpot

Barbara D. Livingston
Gunnevera, winner of the Grade 2 Saratoga Special, will be a prime contender in the Delta Downs Jackpot next Saturday.

Horses who last raced in California, Kentucky, and New York are set to descend on the rural community of Vinton, La., next Saturday for the Grade 3, $1 million Delta Downs Jackpot. On Friday, 10 were entered for the race, led by Grade 2 Saratoga Special winner Gunnevera.

The Jackpot, for 2-year-olds, will be run at 1 1/16 miles on the six-furlong oval at Delta.

Others entered include Pat On the Back, winner of the $250,000 Sleepy Hollow last month at Belmont Park; Balandeen, runner-up in the Street Sense at Churchill Downs; and the Bob Baffert-trained Hot Sean, a winner of back-to-back races at Santa Anita.

The Jackpot will anchor a card of eight stakes worth $2.3 million. The program also features the Grade 3, $400,000 Delta Downs Princess, which also drew 10 entries on Friday. Delta plans to offer an all-stakes pick four with a guaranteed pool of $200,000. It will run on races 4-7 and have a reduced takeout of 12 percent. First post will be 1:45 p.m. Central, and the card will be streamed live on DRF.com.

Flights bringing horses to Louisiana for the program are due early in the week, with a plane from Kentucky scheduled to arrive Monday and one from Southern California on Tuesday, according to officials with Delta. 

The Jackpot will go as the seventh race, and it has a scheduled post of 4:45 p.m.

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The complete field from the rail with riders is: Pat On the Back, Robby Albarado; Line Judge, C.J. McMahon; Thirstforlife, Florent Geroux; Our Stormin Norman, Julien Leparoux; Dangerfield, Flavien Prat; Gunnevera, Javier Castellano; Balandeen, Channing Hill; Hot Sean, Martin Pedroza; J Boys Echo, Corey Lanerie; and Tip Tap Tapizar, Gerard Melancon.

Mark Casse trains both Thirstforlife, winner of a first-level allowance route Oct. 22 at Keeneland, and Our Stormin Norman, who comes off a maiden special weight win, also at Keeneland. Trainer Doug O’Neill sends out stakes winner Dangerfield. Casse and O’Neill both have won the Jackpot, as has Pat On the Back’s trainer, Ken McPeek.

The first four finishers in the Jackpot will earn Kentucky Derby eligibility points on a scale of 10-4-2-1. The Princess offers Kentucky Oaks eligibility points on the same scale to its first four finishers.

The Princess field from the rail with riders is: Golden Mischief, Gerard Melancon; Jilly, Martin Pedroza; Caroline Test, Julien Leparoux; Forest Circle, Colby Hernandez; Flatter Up, C.J. McMahon; San Antonio Stroll, Ted Gondron; Chanel’s Legacy, Robby Albarado; Shane’s Girlfriend, Flavien Prat; Cajun Delta Dawn, Juan Leyva; and Dude Fantasy, Tyler Gaffalione.

The long-range forecast for next Saturday is for a high of 71 degrees and a 10 percent chance of precipitation, according to The Weather Channel.