Odds-on favorite Bern Identity made quick work of seven rivals in the $200,000 Jean Lafitte Stakes at Delta Downs Oct. 20 (VIDEO) in preparation for next month's $1 million Delta Jackpot (gr. III).
We need the big one," said Kelly Breen, who conditions Bern Identity for George and Lori Hall. "Four more weeks and we'll come back for the Jackpot."
Sent off as the 1-2 choice with Paco Lopez aboard, Bern Identity won ridden out by three lengths over Mylute. Mr. Bandini's Band was four lengths farther back in third. The final time for the one-mile distance on a fast track was 1:39.47.
Bred in Kentucky by Galleria Bloodstock, Crosshaven Bloodstock, Petaluma Bloodstock, et al., Bern Identity is out of the graded stakes winner Maddalena, by Good and Tough. The bay colt sold for $75,000 as a yearling at Keeneland in September 2011.
Bern Identity graduated in his second start at Belmont Park June 1 and captured the Sanford Stakes (gr. II) at Saratoga Race Course in his next outing seven weeks later. He ran third in the Three Chimneys Hopeful (gr. I) in his most recent effort Sept. 3 at Saratoga.
Bern Identity raced mid-pack near the inside as first Manewal and then Bandini's Band led through fractions of :23.15 and :47.95. Ive Struck a Nerve stuck a head in front on the outside after three-quarters in 1:13.74. But Bern Identity moved to the outside to soon challenge four wide and took the lead midway on the final turn. He was in firm control at the head of the stretch and left his rivals behind with little urging from Lopez.
"He got some experience, a little dirt in the face," Breen said of the winner.
Bern Identity has won three of five starts with a second and a third. He has earned $426,000.
Under 117 pounds he paid $3, $2.40, and $2.10 while topping a $15.20 exacta. Mylute, ridden by Gerard Melancon, returned $6.20 and $3.80. Mr. Bandini's Band was $5.60 to show.
In a strung-out finish, Ive Struck a Nerve was fourth, followed by Ledokol, Show Some Magic, Dee Notional, and Manewal. Sir Yes Sir scratched.