11/19/2016 8:45PM

Hesinfront narrowly defeats Great Minds in Delta Mile

Coady Photography
Hesinfront, with Robby Albarado aboard, wins the Delta Mile by a head.

VINTON, La. - Hesinfront closed from off the pace to win the $250,000 Delta Mile by a head over Great Minds on Saturday at Delta Downs. The race was one of seven undercard stakes supporting the Grade 3, $1 million Delta Downs Jackpot won by Gunnevera.

The Delta Mile also was the first leg of an all-stakes pick four on races 4-7 that returned $1,088 on a 50-cent ticket. The winning numbers were 1-8-8-6. The other races in the sequence were the Sam’s Town won by Wildcat Wish ($12), the Grade 3, $400,000 Delta Downs Princess won by Shane’s Girlfriend ($8.80), and the Jackpot. Delta guaranteed a minimum pool of $200,000 and it closed at $298,485.  

Hesinfront ($17.60) settled off the pace in the Delta Mile, as Rise Up was clear through fractions of 23.25 seconds for the opening quarter-mile, 46.99 for the half-mile, and 1:12.17 for six furlongs. The eventual winner came rolling through the stretch to prove best in a blanket finish of four horses. Great Minds was along the inside in second, a nose in front of third-place finisher Pinson, who ended up a head in front of fourth-place finisher and favorite Rise Up.

Robby Albarado was aboard Hesinfront, who entered the Delta Mile off a third-place finish in an optional $80,000 claiming race at Keeneland in October.

“He’s a nice horse,” Albarado said. “I’ve ridden him quite a few times.”

:: Enjoy news and analysis from DRF? Get handicapping analysis, real-time coverage, special reports, and charts. Unlock access with DRF Plus.

Keith Bourgeois trains Hesinfront for Troy Williams. The horse is a son of War Front. He picked up $150,000 for his win in the Delta Mile to push his earnings to $428,158. Overall, he has won 7 of 34 starts, with Albarado aboard for his last two wins, the other an optional $62,500 claiming race in September at Churchill Downs.

In other stakes Saturday:

Savings Account ($2.60) delivered at short odds in the $200,000 Treasure Chest, when she rallied for a 1 1/4- length win over 20-1 shot Vieja Luna. The mile race for fillies and mares went with four after the scratch of Steel Cut. There was no show wagering. Savings Account covered the mile in 1:39.53. Florent Geroux was aboard Savings Account, a daughter of Medaglia d’Oro, for trainer Tom Proctor.

Wildcat Wish was up for a head win over Black Bear in the $75,000 Sam’s Town. It was another three-quarters of a length back in third to The Truth Or Else. Wildcat Wish covered the seven furlongs run around two turns in 1:25.68. Javier Castellano was aboard Wildcat Wish, a son of Wildcat Heir, for trainer Efren Loza Jr.

Kathballu ($2.80) proved much the best in the $75,000 Orleans for fillies and mares who had not won a stakes, rolling by eight lengths. Julien Leparoux was aboard for trainer Ken McPeek. Kathballu, who is a daughter of Bluegrass Cat, covered the seven furlongs run around two turns in 1:26.11. 

Sashimi Blaster ($26) closed from last for 1 3/4-length win over Naughty Little Nun in the $150,000 Louisiana Jewel, the first stakes of the card. The mile race was for 2-year-old fillies bred in Louisiana, and the winner covered the distance in 1:42.17. Gerard Melancon was aboard for trainer Steve Flint.

Magic Vow put jockey Kerwin Clark within five wins of career victory 3,000 when he darted to 1 1/4- length win over Lucky Andy in the $150,000 Louisiana Legacy. The one-mile race was for 2-year-olds bred in Louisiana. Magic Vow, a son of Private Vow, covered the distance in 1:40.80. The winner is owned and trained by Allen Landry.

Handle on the 11-race card from all sources Saturday was $3,821,137, an increase of 14 percent over the corresponding card in 2015, according to officials with Delta.