11/05/2010 2:44PM

Sweet Ducky pre-entered for Delta Jackpot

Bill Denver/Equi-Photo
Sweet Ducky, winner of the Seton Hall at Monmouth in October, has been pre-entered for the Grade 3 Delta Jackpot.

Sweet Ducky is scheduled to ship to Delta Downs in Vinton, La., later this week to begin preparations for the Grade 3, $1 million Delta Jackpot for 2-year-olds on Nov. 20. He was one of 19 horses pre-entered in the 1 1/16-mile race Friday. Final entries for the Jackpot are Nov. 17.

Others pre-entered in the Jackpot included Blue Laser and Classic Legacy, who finished a respective first and third in the Grade 3 Grey at Woodbine; Bug Juice, a top New York-bred who has won his last three starts by a combined margin of 23 lengths; and Ribo Bobo, the runner-up in the recent Grade 3 Iroquois at Churchill Downs. The list of pre-entries also included stakes winners Aces N Kings, Rush Now, Gourmet Dinner, Su Casa G Casa, Clubhouse Ride, and Dreamsrunwild.

Delta also took pre-entries for the Grade 3, $500,000 Princess and had nine 2-year-old fillies for the one-mile race, said John Simon, the track’s racing secretary. The Princess is to be run on the same card as the Jackpot, with final entries also Nov. 17.

Sweet Ducky will come into the Jackpot off back-to-back stakes wins at his base of Monmouth Park. He took the $100,000 Garden State over future Iroquois winner Astrology in September and then won the $70,000 Seton Hall in October.

“He’ll ship in midweek,” said Kelly Breen, who trains Sweet Ducky for George and Lori Hall. “I want to get him in there and get a breeze over the track next Saturday.”

Breen said Joe Bravo would have the mount in the Jackpot, which is the richest race of the meet. Sweet Ducky will be Breen’s second starter in the Jackpot behind West Side Bernie, who also shipped in early to work over the track and ran second to Big Drama in 2008.

The field for the Jackpot will be limited to 10 starters, and if oversubscribed first starting preference will go to horses who have finished first, second, or third in a Grade 1 or Grade 2 race, Simon said. The second preference is for horses who have finished first, second, or third in a graded stakes. The third preference is earnings.

There were five stakes winners among the Princess pre-entries. The list was led by Promise Me a Cat, who won the $70,000 Sweet Patoote at Belmont Park in her last start Oct. 31. She is trained by Carlos Martin. Other stakes winners pre-entered included Fiscal Policy, winner of the Bassinet at River Downs; All About Allie, winner of the E.L. Gaylord at Remington Park; and Perfectly Candid, a two-time stakes winner at Hoosier Park.

The fee to pre-enter either the Jackpot or Princess on Friday was $1,000. Both races have been run at night, but this year there will be a special daytime post for the Jackpot program. Delta also has boosted the purse of the race from $750,000 to $1 million. The Jackpot is North America’s second richest main-track offering for 2-year-olds behind the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile.

◗ Oaklawn Park in Hot Springs, Ark., is requiring that all horses entering its stable area have a negative test for Equine Piroplasmosis, the tick-borne blood disease that is sometimes spread through unsanitary needles. Oaklawn will open its stable area Nov. 15, with the first day of training set for Nov. 22. The meet begins Jan. 14.

Oaklawn’s policy on EP is similar to policies now in place in such states as Kentucky, Louisiana, Texas, and Oklahoma.

◗ Noconi, a champion Quarter Horse who has not raced since winning the Grade 2 All American Gold Cup at Ruidoso Downs on Sept. 5, will return to action Sunday at Zia Park in Hobbs, N.M. He heads the field for the $55,000 Lovington for 3-year-olds and up at 400 yards. Trainer Paul Jones has given the mount to Jacky Martin.