With his 6 1/2-length romp in the Jean Lafitte Stakes at Delta Downs the night of Oct. 26, Rise Up stamped his ticket for the $1 million Delta Downs Jackpot (gr. III) at the Vinton, La., track next month.
Paul and Andrena Van Doren's colt earned an automatic bid to the 1 1/16-mile Jackpot Nov. 23 with his one-sided tally in the $200,000 Jean Lafitte with Gerard Melancon aboard.
Tom Amoss trains the winner, a son of Rockport Harbor bred in Kentucky by Cottonwood Stables.
Rise Up, sent off at odds of 3-1 in the field of nine 2-year-olds going one mile on the main track, was timed in 1:38.20. He broke sharply before settling into second position behind pacesetter Burning Warrior, the 9-5 favorite. Burning Warrior would open up a four-length lead racing up the backstretch while carving out swift fractions of :22.31 for the opening quarter mile and :45.50 for the half.
Burning Warrior weakened approaching the second turn, allowing Rise Up to sweep past and open a one-length advantage over Mighty Brown in the homestretch. Rise Up was kept busy by Melancon in the drive for the wire as he drew off impressively.
Mighty Brown held second with Richard Eramia aboard, 7 1/4 lengths better than the show horse, Flat Gone, ridden by Diego Saenz. Burning Warrior finished eighth.
Rise Up's final time was the second fastest Jean Lafitte clocking behind Rule, who won the 2009 edition in 1:37.45. Rule, a Todd Pletcher trainee, went on to win the Delta Downs Jackpot.
In addition to his victory with Rise Up, Melancon also won the $150,000 My Trusty Cat Stakes at Delta Downs a night earlier aboard Synapse. The My Trusty Cat is the local prep race for the $500,000 Delta Downs Princess (gr. III), also contested on the Jackpot card.
Scoring his third win from five lifetime starts, Rise Up bumped his earnings to $201,633. The bay colt, out of the winning Johannesburg mare Appenzell, was coming off a sixth-place effort in the Iroquois Stakes (gr. III) at Churchill Downs Sept. 7. Prior to that, he won his stakes debut in the Mountaineer Juvenile.
The second choice, Rise Up paid $8 to win, $5 to place, and $4.60 to show. Mighty Brown returned $12.40 and $7.40. Flat Gone was worth $5.20 to show. The exacta came back $100.20.
Rise Up was a $27,000 RNA at last year's Keeneland September yearling sale.