The Grade 3, $1 Million Delta Jackpot has the purse power to guarantee the winner a starting spot in the 2012 Kentucky Derby, and headlining the Delta Downs showcase is Grade 1 winner Drill.
Bob Baffert’s Drill, a juvenile son of Lawyer Ron, finished a non-threatening 8th as the even money favorite in his synthetic sprint bow at Del Mar. He ran two more times at the seaside oval with a maiden victory and a game tally in the Grade 1 Del Mar Futurity.
He stretched out in Santa Anita’s Grade 1 Norfolk and was clearly second best behind Creative Cause. He was last seen finishing up the track in the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (blinkers off) and he may not have cared for the sticky, drying out track.
The $300,000 Keeneland sales grad returned to Southern California after his failed Kentucky journey and he fired a three furlong bullet in :35.40 at Santa Anita Park on Nov 14. He ran his best three races with blinkers on and Baffert reintroduces him to the hood on Saturday. The Delta Downs bullring is tricky to handle and Drill attempts to rebound after running poorly two weeks ago.
Longview Drive and Seven Lively Sins figure to carve out the fractions from the inside with Basmati, My Adonis, and Dougs Buddy chasing. Tiz Moe, Drill, Sabercat, and Jake Mo should be sitting in the next flight with the latter trying to work out a forwardly placed trip from the outside box. Laurie’s Rocket does his best running late but did show improved positional speed with the addition of blinkers at Churchill Downs last time.
My ideal Delta Jackpot contender will break from post 2-7 and sit a decent tactical trip. Drill fits that bill but will not offer value. My Adonis easily won the local prep for this and is a much better morning line price at 4-1. Tiz Moe was clearly second best in the local Jean Lafitte and has plenty of upside with only two races under his belt. His 15-1 price is right as well.
In the end, I am a fan of Drill and would like to see him run well but from a wagering standpoint I will pick My Adonis to win and play him in an exacta box with Tiz Moe.