Exaggerator looks to end his juvenile campaign on a high note Saturday when he heads a field of 10 in the $1 million Delta Downs Jackpot (G3) over 1 1/16 miles.
The Keith Desormeaux-trained son of Curlin, the 2-1 morning line favorite, captured the Saratoga Special (G2) in August and then was only beaten a length as the runner-up in the Breeders’ Futurity (G1). Last time, Exaggerator was fourth beaten three lengths in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1), also at Keeneland.
The second choice at 7-2 on the morning line is Sunny Ridge, second in the Champagne (G1) last out. Hero of the $100,000 Sapling over a mile at Monmouth previous to that, the gray gelding was withdrawn from last week’s Nashua (G2) at Aqueduct in favor of this spot.
The Doug O’Neill-trained Found Money stretches out beyond seven furlongs for the first time. Winner of the 5 1/2-furlong Santa Anita Juvenile in June, the Square Eddie colt was second in a pair of California-bred stakes at Del Mar in his last two attempts.
Also expected to attract play are Forevamo and Harlan Punch, one-two in the $200,000 Jean Lafitte at Delta last month; Memories of Winter, undefeated after early wins at Monmouth and Laurel; and Whitmore, a debut winner at Churchill Downs November 6.
The winner of the Jackpot will receive 10 qualifying points toward Kentucky Derby (G1) eligibility as part of the Road to the Kentucky Derby series.
The $400,000 Delta Downs Princess (G3), a one-mile event for juvenile fillies, has developed into a proving ground of future champions. Won last year by Breeders’ Cup winner and eventual division titlist Take Charge Brandi, it was captured two years ago by Tepin, who romped in the Breeders’ Cup Mile (G1) earlier this month and is a favored to win 2015 champion turf female honors.
The expected heavy favorite in the Princess is La Appassionata, who has captured her two starts by a combined 11 1/2 lengths, including the $100,000 My Trusty Cat at Delta over returning rivals Above Fashion and Jet Black Magic.
In other open stakes action on the special afternoon card at Delta, multiple graded stakes winner Departing will face 2013 Delta Jackpot winner Rise Up and last year’s runner-up Agent Di Nozzo in the $250,000 Delta Mile, while six fillies and mares were entered in the $200,000 Treasure Chest, also at one mile.
(Exaggerator photo: NYRA/Adam Coglianese Photography)
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