Delta Downs

Delta Downs held two stakes races last weekend, and both winners were dominant in their respective performances Dec. 28-29 in Vinton, La.

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Trainer Doug O’Neill has won a lot of big races this year including the Kentucky Derby, and he has now added another big one to his resume. Goldencents, who was one of two O’Neill trainees in the race, led gate to wire and held off two late runners in Bern Identity and Mylute to win the Grade 3, $1 million Delta Downs Jackpot on Nov. 17.

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The 10th running of the $1 million Delta Downs Jackpot will not only feature a full field of nine of the most talented 2-year-old horses in the country, but in town will be this year’s Kentucky Derby winning jockey/trainer tandem of Mario Gutierrez and Doug O’Neill, who will try to win the Jackpot with Know More. Gutierrez and O’Neill won this year’s Derby and Preakness Stakes with I’ll Have Another.

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Led by Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Sprint champion Hightail, the Delta Downs’ racing office received 15 pre-entries on Nov. 6 for this year’s Grade 3, $1 million Delta Downs Jackpot, which will celebrate its 10th anniversary on Saturday, Nov. 17. The Jackpot Day program will have a special first post time of 1:15 p.m., and it will feature eight stakes races and more than $2.2 million in total purse money awarded.

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For the third consecutive year, nominations to the Grade 3, $1 million Delta Downs Jackpot have reached an all-time high. A total of 301 possible candidates have been nominated to the race, which will celebrate its 10th anniversary Saturday, Nov. 17. That number represents a 19.4 percent increase over last year’s total of 252 nominations.

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Trainer Kelly Breen won his second consecutive Jean Lafitte Stakes at Delta Downs when Kentucky bred Bern Identity won the $200,000 race for open bred 2-year-olds going 1 mile on Oct. 20.

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The fastest athletes on dirt will return to Delta Downs on Friday, Oct. 19, as the 2012-13 thoroughbred horseracing season begins with a first-race post time of 5:45 p.m. After opening weekend, live race days are Wednesday-Saturday until the meet concludes March 23. The only exceptions to the schedule will come on Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 22, when the track is closed.

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Don Stevens (Delta track announcer)
Winners: 166-527 (.314)
Best Bets: 21-51 (.411)
Longshots: 28-78 (.358)
Top 3 picks in the $: .521

Morning Line (track odds)
Winners: 155-527 (.294)
Best Bets: 58-130 (.446)
Longshots: 19-67 (.283)
Top 3 picks in the $: .501

Chad Cooper (Sports Editor)
Winners: 150-527 (.284)
Best Bets: 5-23 (.217)
Longshots: 11-37 (.297)
Top 3 picks in the $: .511

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