By Claire Novak, @BH_CNovak
Goldencents went wire-to-wire in the $1 million Delta Jackpot (gr. III) at Delta Downs Nov. 17, setting quick early fractions and responding with something more to hold off a late run from 9-5 favorite Bern Identity.
The juvenile son of Into Mischief became the stallion's first stakes winner when he held by 1 3/4 lengths and finished 1 1/16 miles in 1:44.89 for owners W.C. Racing, Dave Kenney, and University of Louisville men's basketball coach Rick Pitino's RAP Racing. He also earned a $600,000 share of the purse and climbed to second on the list for the 2013 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) with 14 points after earning 10 for the win under the new "Road to the Kentucky Derby" qualifying system.
Goldencents already had four points for an Oct. 6 runner-up effort behind eventual Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I) winner Shanghai Bobby in the Foxwoods Champagne Stakes (gr. I) at Belmont Park. Shanghai Bobby tops the list with 20 points after winning the Champagne and the Juvenile, each also worth 10 points.
In the Jackpot, Goldencents got away alertly from post nine under jockey Kevin Krigger and made a determined run for the lead, fending off Heaven's Runway to get it. He ticked through a rapid quarter in :22.64 and went the half in :46.22 with Heaven's Runway right behind. Show Some Magic and Breeders' Cup Juvenile Sprint winner Hightail were among those in close pursuit.
While Goldencents increased his advantage to a length through three-quarters in 1:11.18, jockey Gerard Melancon made a huge sweeping move on 25-1 shot Mylute, ranging up the outside to threaten as the field turned for home. Post-time favorite Bern Identity was also far back in traffic and looking for running room; he finally found it coming off the turn but only after looping the field six wide—and Goldencents was already gone.
Maintaining his advantage after a mile in 1:38.04, the bay colt held sway over Bern Identity's ferocious late run. Mylute was third while Hightail, Central Banker, Itsmyluckyday, Heaven's Runway, Know More, and Show Some Magic completed the order of finish.
Off at odds of 5-2, Goldencents returned $7.20, $3.60, and $3.40 while Bern Identity brought $3 and $2.60 and Mylute paid $5.40.
Rosecrest Farm & Karyn Pirrello bred Goldencents in Kentucky out of the Banker's Gold mare Golden Works. He was a $62,000 purchase by Dennis O'Neill at the June 2012 Ocala Breeders' Sales Co. 2-year-olds and horses of racing age sale when consigned by Southern Chase Farm Inc. (Greg and Karen Dodd), agent for Webb Carroll.
In 2011, Carroll purchased the colt for $5,500 at the Fasig-Tipton Kentucky Fall 2011 yearling sale when consigned by Pope McLean's Crestwood Farm, agent.
The Jackpot victory increased Godlencents' earnings to $722,000. His other win, a Sept. 2 maiden special weight going 5 1/2 furlongs on the all weather track at Del Mar, was notched by 7 1/4 lengths.
The Jackpot rewarded three other top finishers in the Jackpot with a 4-2-1 system. Churchill Downs officials have estimated it will take approximately 40 points to make the 20-horse Derby field in 2013.
For an Equibase chart, click here.
GOLDENCENTS LEADS THE DELTA JACKPOT FIELD INTO THE STRETCH