Gourmet Dinner wins Delta Downs Jackpot
Gourmet Dinner, a 20-1 long shot, raced past the field down the stretch to win the $1 million Delta Downs Jackpot on Saturday and move closer to a trip to next year's Kentucky Derby.
Ridden by Sebastian Madrid, Gourmet Dinner broke from the rail, stayed back until the halfway mark of the 1 1/16-mile graded race for 2-year-olds and sprinted to victory. His winning time was 1:45.23.
With a $600,000 winning payout and Derby entries decided by purse money in graded races, the winner of the Delta Downs Jackpot is almost assured of a spot in the May race.
''I think he is capable of being a Kentucky Derby horse,'' Madrid said. ''The horse is very strong and was right where we wanted him all day. We will have to see how things go.''
Winning trainer Steven Standridge wasn't ready to make any future commitments.
''It is too early to tell what we will do,'' he said. ''We will have to wait and see, but this was a big race for us; a big step for him.''
Decisive Moment, another long shot at 45-1, finished two lengths back in second and Rush Now grabbed third.
Calvin Borel, who was fined for fighting with fellow jockey Javier Castellano following a race at the Breeders' Cup, was unseated from Aces N Kings when the thoroughbred darted to the outside at the final turn. Castellano, aboard Bug Juice, wasn't close to Aces N Kings when it happened and Borel hopped back on the horse to finish the race.
Gourmet Dinner's biggest steps came down the stretch, when he broke to the outside and raced past half the 10-horse field. Gourmet Dinner paid $42 in his fourth victory in five starts.
''We ran the exact race we wanted to run,'' Madrid said. ''He was in the right spot from the start. I could tell he wanted to run today.''
Hall of fame trainer Bob Baffert's horse, Classic Legacy, finished fifth. The three-time Derby champion trainer has started four horses in the Jackpot without a victory.
Sweet Ducky, the 3-1 favorite, faded and finished fourth. Bug Juice, trained by Bruce Levine, took sixth and Louisiana-bred Dreamsrunwild was seventh. Aces N Kings finished last.