10/23/2016 7:22AM

Line Judge handles first two-turn test in Jean Lafitte

Coady Photography
Line Judge, ridden by C.J. McMahon, wins his third straight race in the Jean Lafitte, the local prep for the Delta Downs Jackpot.

Line Judge may have punched his ticket to the Grade 3, $1 million Delta Downs Jackpot.

He conquered two turns in his first attempt Saturday night at Delta, where he drove to a 3 3/4-length win over Tip Tap Tapizar in the $200,000 Jean Lafitte. It was another 1 1/2 lengths back in third to favorite Cohen’s Kat.

The Jean Lafitte, for 2-year-olds at a mile, is the local prep for the Jackpot, which will be run on Nov. 19. Line Judge now has first preference into the meet’s richest race if it is oversubscribed. The field will be capped at 10 on the six-furlong track at Delta. Nominations for the Jackpot closed Saturday.

Line Judge ($18.20) won his third straight race in the Jean Lafitte. He was always prominent, trading the lead with Hard to Be Good through fractions of 23.69 seconds for the opening quarter-mile and 48.27 for the half-mile. The eventual winner took over through six furlongs in 1:13.12 and continued his momentum through the stretch to cover the distance on a fast track in 1:39.79.

C.J. McMahon was aboard Line Judge for trainer Joe Sharp.

Line Judge came into the Jean Lafitte off back-to-back wins at Canterbury. He rolled by 2 1/2 lengths in a maiden special weight in his second career start Aug. 7, and then backed up the performance with a 6 1/2-length romp in the $41,000 Careless Navigator overnight stakes Aug. 27.

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Line Judge earned $120,000 for the Jean Lafitte win for owners Barry and Joni Butzow. He is a son of Spring At Last and a half-brother to Really Sharp, a Grade 3 winner of $233,624, and U S Marshal, a stakes winner of $167,138.

The Jackpot will anchor the meet’s most prestigious card next month. The program features a total of eight stakes worth $2.3 million. The Jackpot also offers Kentucky Derby eligibility points in a program administered by Churchill Downs.

Last year’s Jackpot was won by Exaggerator, who went on to finish second in the Kentucky Derby then win the Preakness Stakes.