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Quick Turnaround for Hightail in Delta Jackpot

Hightail will be the first 2012 Breeders’ Cup winner to run back when he faces a field of nine in Saturday’s Grade 3, $1 million Delta Downs Jackpot. Entries for the 1 1/16-mile race for 2-year-olds were taken on Wednesday. Hightail drew post 5 just a few hours before he was to arrive at the Vinton, La., track aboard a flight bringing several Southern California- and Kentucky-based horses for Saturday’s card of eight stakes worth $2.2 million.

Hightail won the $454,000 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Sprint at Santa Anita in his last start Nov. 2. He was turning back from 1 1/16 miles, and closed up the rail to edge Merit Man at 15-1. Rajiv Maragh was aboard Hightail, and he has the mount again Saturday for Bluegrass Hall and trainer D. Wayne Lukas.

“Hightail ran a very nice Breeders’ Cup race and we were going to wait and give him a little break, but in the days following the race he was so sharp and so full of himself we decided to go,” said Lukas. “It may jump up and bite us, but he’s doing awfully well and he’s probably a better horse at a mile and a sixteenth.”

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