Betatron on $1M Delta Jackpot rail in field of 10
Betatron is the speed from the rail in Friday night's Grade 3, $1 million Delta Jackpot, a 1 1/16-mile race for 2-year-olds at Delta Downs in Vinton, La. Although 11 horses were entered Tuesday morning, the field will be limited to 10.
The Jackpot is the richest of four stakes on a 10-race card that also features the $300,000 Delta Princess for 2-year-old fillies. Together, the stakes are worth more than $1.4 million, making the program the most lucrative of the meet.
Betatron owns the highest last-race Beyer Speed Figure in a competitive Jackpot, which drew Breeders' Cup Juvenile alums Z Humor and Overextended; undefeated colts Cave's Valley and Golden Yank; and Racecar Rhapsody, who was third last out in the Grade 2 Kentucky Jockey Club.
Betatron earned a 99 Beyer for a first-level allowance win at six furlongs at Churchill Downs on Oct. 28. The race, in which he broke from the rail, was his first start for Michael McLoughlin, who purchased the colt privately about a month prior to the allowance and sent him to trainer Tom Amoss. Betatron returns to stakes competition for the Jackpot.
"It's going to be our first try around two turns for this horse, and in the last month, that's what we've been kind of preparing him to do, trying to teach him to do," Amoss said. "Do we know he can get two turns? No, we absolutely don't. But are we basing a little bit on his pedigree? Yes, we are. So, that's what we're going to do."
Betatron is by Tale of the Cat and out of the Seeking the Gold mare Adversity. He will van in from Fair Grounds for the Jackpot, and Amoss's shippers from New Orleans have gone 3 for 4 this meet at Delta.
The Jackpot will be held on a six-furlong oval, but the horses will have a three-furlong run to the first turn after starting in a chute at the top of the stretch. The race will be run around two turns, with a distance of 660 feet from the last turn to the finish line.
The complete field for the race from the rail with riders: Betatron, Miguel Mena; Golden Yank, Gerard Melancon; Overextended, Patrick Valenzuela; Z Humor, Garrett Gomez; Cudjo, Curt Bourque; Cave's Valley, Ramon Dominguez; Racecar Rhapsody, Robby Albarado; St. Joe, Rafael Bejarano; Turf War, Calvin Borel; and Take the Money, Shaun Bridgmohan.
Nistle's Crunch, who in his last start was third in a first-level allowance at Churchill, also was entered in the Jackpot but was excluded, according to officials at Delta.
The Jackpot will go as the eighth race, with a scheduled post of 9:47 p.m. Central. It will be the final leg of an all-stakes pick four that has a guaranteed pool of $100,000. The series begins in the fifth with the $75,000 Treasure Chest and continues with the Delta Princess, the $75,000 Sams Town, and the Jackpot.
Cave's Valley, Cudjo, Racecar Rhapsody, and St. Joe flew into Houston on Tuesday and then vanned 90 miles to Delta. Overextended, who will add blinkers for the Jackpot, and Champagne Eyes, a top contender in the Princess, were scheduled to fly in from Southern California on Wednesday.
There is a 30 percent chance of precipitation Friday, according to weather.com, with a high of 79 degrees forecast and a low of 64.