The biggest day of racing at Delta Downs in Vinton, La., will feature several horses with Calder connections as Trilogy Stable and Laurie Plesa’s Itsmyluckyday will start in the $1 million Grade 3 Delta Jackpot; Kathleen Amaya and Raffaele Centofanti’s Rose to Gold, Tanourin Stable’s Salamera, and Monsan Racing Partnership, LLC’s Touch Magic will run in the $500,000 Grade 3 Delta Downs Princess; and Just For Fun Stable’s Decisive Moment will defend his title in the $150,000 Delta Mile on Saturday.
A two-time stakes winner at Calder, boasting a four-length victory in the $75,000 Fasig-Tipton Dash before stretching out to post a three-length triumph in the $100,000 Foolish Pleasure Stakes for trainer Eddie Plesa, Jr., Itsmyluckyday has yet to finish worse than third in his five lifetime starts. The son of Lawyer Ron has drawn post six for the Delta Jackpot where he will meet Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Sprint winner Hightail, Grade 2 Sanford hero Bern Identity, and Grade 2 Best Pal winner Know More. Jockey Angel Serpa rides.
The Sal Santoro-trained Rose to Gold was the dominant late-summer 2-year-old filly at Calder, winning the $75,000 Lindsay Frolic Stakes in her career debut by 13 lengths before upping that margin slightly when a 13 ½-length winner of the $75,000 Brave Raj Stakes. The daughter of Friends Lake was then shipped to Keeneland for the Grade 1 Alcibiades where she never fired on Polytrack, finishing 12th. Paco Lopez will supplant Jesus Rios in the saddle for the Delta Princess.
Salamera captured the first 2-year-old filly stake at Calder this year when prevailing in the $75,000 J J’s Dream Stakes in late June. The Rodolfo Garcia-trained daughter of Successful Appeal was subsequently shipped to Saratoga for the Grade 2 Adirondack Stakes where she finished second before going on a cross-country trip to Santa Anita where she was fifth in the Grade 1 Chandelier. Angel Castillo will ride.
A winner in each of her first two starts for trainer Antonio Sano, Touch Magic exits a second-place performance in the $75,000 Cassidy Stakes and will be ridden by Rios in the Delta Princess.
Decisive Moment will be making his fourth start at Delta Downs having first travelled to the Vinton to contest the 2010 running of the Delta Jackpot where he finished second at odds of 48-1. The son of With Distinction returned to southwest Louisiana in early 2011 to win the $250,000 Jean Lafitte Stakes, and then later crossed state lines to capture that year’s running of the Delta Mile. Jockey Kerwin Clark, who was at Calder last Saturday to finish second in the Arthur I. Appleton Juvenile Turf aboard Hardrock Eleven, is scheduled to ride Decisive Moment.
STAKES-PLACED FILLIES MEET IN SATURDAY TURF ALLOWANCE FEATURE
The feature race at Calder on Saturday will see a field of eight fillies and mares take to the turf for a one-mile optional-claiming allowance test that marks the return of Bruce Mendel’s sophomore filly Ainsley, third when last seen locally contesting the $100,000 Calder Oaks in late April.
Trained by Marcus Vitali, Ainsley hasn’t won since taking a turf allowance at Calder on April 9, but the daughter of Officer has been consistently competitive when facing stakes rivals for much of the year, adding a second-place finish in the $90,000 Tweedside at Belmont Park and a third in the $100,000 Hilltop at Pimlico to her third in the Calder Oaks.
Ainsley has drawn post one for the Saturday feature, which goes early on the card as race six, and will be ridden by Orlando Bocachica.
The main obstacle to Ainsley’s prospects for a successful return to Calder on Saturday is the filly drawn directly to her outside in post two, Alters Racing Stable, Inc.’s Wicked Night, a 3-year-old filly that has yet to win a turf race in seven tries but is stakes-placed on the surface having finished third, but placed second, when meeting older horses in the $55,000 Ms. Brookski Stakes in late July.
Trained by Ron Spatz, and claimed for $75,000 at Gulfstream last December, Wicked Night was also a close fourth in the grassy Sweettrickydancer Stakes, where she was beaten less than a length for everything, and exits a third-place performance in the $75,000 Frances A. Genter Stakes, which was rained from the grass to the main track.
Jockey Luis Saez, aboard the filly for her stakes-placed run in the Ms Brookski, returns to the saddle for Saturday’s race.