Jean Lafitte, My Trusty Cat stakes on tap at Delta

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It’s just a few days into the 2015-16 thoroughbred season at Delta Downs in Vinton, La., and the track will host two important stakes races this weekend, $200,000 Jean Lafitte and the $100,000 My Trusty Cat.

Winner of the Jean Lafitte will gain an automatic spot in the Grade 1, $1 million Delta Downs Jackpot on Nov. 21, and the My Trusty Cat winner gets entry into the Grade 3, $400,000 Delta Princess, which is also held Nov. 21.

The My Trusty Cat stakes will come first on Friday, Oct. 23 – Race 9 on the 11-race program –and gets a full field of 10 open bred fillies 2 years old racing 7 furlongs on the dirt surface.

The 2-1 morning line favorite, Decked Out, will break from Post 6 and will get the services of veteran Kent Desormeaux riding for his brother and trainer Keith Desormeaux. The Kentucky-bred daughter of Street Boss is just 1-5 with earnings of $114,420 winning her debut in May at Santa Anita in a Maiden Special Weight race.

What makes her the morning line favorite is the fact that the last three races she has competed in were graded stakes events.

Her last effort was a fifth-place finish in the Grade 2, $200,000 Pocahontas at Churchill Downs in September. The winner of the Pocahontas, Dothraki Queen, went on to win the Grade 1, $400,000 Darley Alcibiades Stakes at Keeneland earlier this month.

The second favorite is at 3-1 odds in La Appassionata, who will be in Post 9. The daughter of Bernardini is trained by Steve Asmussen and owned by the famed Stonestreet Stables. She has one start, a four-length romp at Churchill Downs in September that earned her a 74 Beyer Speed Figure. Gerard Melancon will be in the saddle.

The Jean Lafitte will be Race 9 on Saturday, Oct. 24, and looks to be a completely wide-open race as a full field of 10 open bred colts and geldings at 2 years old race 1 mile.

Of the 10 runners, two are Louisiana bred, and the leading earner of the group is Zackarooney, a one-time winner of a $75,000 stakes race at Evangeline Downs.

Runaway King, a Kentucky bred, comes to Delta after running sixth in a Grade 2 turf stakes at Saratoga for trainer Tim Ice.

Racing days are Wednesday-Saturday with a first post time at 5:40 p.m.