Led by grade I winner Drill, a trio of California juveniles will invade Louisiana for the $1 million Delta Downs Jackpot (gr. III), a race that will give the winner plenty of earnings heading into next year’s Triple Crown season.
Drill, the 2-1 morning-line favorite, is the first grade I winner to contest the Jackpot, a 1 1/16-mile event that was inaugurated in 2002. The Bob Baffert trainee won the Del Mar Futurity (gr. I) in September, was second in the Oct. 1 Norfolk (gr. I) in his dirt debut at Santa Anita, and finished a disappointing 10th in the Grey Goose Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (gr. I) Nov. 5 at Churchill Downs. The other California shippers are Basmati, who was fourth in the Norfolk and broke his maiden in his last start, and the Golden Gate Fields-based Longview Drive, a winner of his last three starts for trainer Jerry Hollendorfer.
Two-time winners Jake Mo and Laurie's Rocket will ship in from Churchill Downs, as will Iroquois (gr. III) runner-up Seven Lively Sins. Another main contender is convincing Jean Lafitte Stakes winner My Adonis from the barn of Kelly Breen, who shipped him into Delta Downs earlier this month. In all, a field of 10 was drawn.
Post time for the Nov. 19 Jackpot is scheduled for 4:15 CST. The lucrative $2.2 million program also features the $500,000 Delta Downs Princess (gr. III) for 3-year-old fillies.