John Oxley's Coastline, who posted a three-length victory in the one-turn mile Street Sense, will stretch out to two turns for the first time in the 1 1/16-mile Delta Downs Jackpot, where the son of Speightstown will face nine other juveniles including Rise Up, the impressive winner of the local Jackpot prep race.
Trained by Mark Casse, Coastline finished second to Almost Famous in his Sept. 13 maiden special weight debut at Churchill before rolling to a 3 1/2-length victory in a seven-furlong maiden special race Oct. 5 on the Keeneland Polytrack. Returned to the dirt for the Street Sense, Coastline dueled with Almost Famous early through a half-mile in :47.14 before drawing off against five rivals while completing one mile in 1:36.77.
"His race at Keeneland was very good, and then in his last start with Almost Famous, they didn't kid around early. They went a pretty good first half-mile and he kept running, so I was proud of him," Casse said. "That was the day they ran all of the 2-year-old races at Churchill, a big preview day, and they ran like a second faster than anyone else that day."
Bred in Kentucky by DATTT Farm, Casse went to $190,000 to land Coastline for Oxley at the 2012 Keeneland September yearling sale. Casse's opinion of the Street Sense victory only became stronger after Almost Famous rolled to a six-length score in a Nov. 9 allowance-optional claiming race at Churchill.
"Almost Famous is a good horse; he came back and won again," Casse said. "For us to press him and keep running, I thought it was a big race."
"I think it's a nice little racetrack," Casse said. "We enjoy going down there and they put a lot of money up."
Already comfortable at Delta Downs is Paul and Andrena Van Doren's Rise Up, who rolled to a 6 1/2-length victory in the one-mile Jean Lafitte Stakes Oct. 26 at the Vinton, La. Track. Trainer Tom Amoss decided to ship early to Delta after the Rockport Harbor colt dueled through six furlongs of the Iroquois Stakes (gr. III) in 1:11.63 before fading to sixth in the Sept. 7 1 1/16-mile race at Churchill.
"We came into that Churchill race thinking we had a horse that would relax and was ready to route, and we got just the opposite; an aggressive horse that faltered," Amoss said. "We worked on that a lot between the Churchill race and the Jean Lafitte, and that worked out well."
In the Jean Laffitte, Rise Up tracked from three or four lengths off the lead early before taking command in the far turn and drawing off in the stretch. The bay colt, who already has started at tracks in four different states, will break from the outside post in Saturday's field of 10.
"He handled the (Delta) configuration well," Amoss said. "The outside is a good spot for us because we know he has that in him—being too aggressive—so being outside and not too crowded is a good thing for our horse."
The Van Dorens privately purchased Rise Up after he impressed Amoss with a clear victory in the Mountaineer Juvenile Stakes. He was bred in Kentucky by Cottonwood Stables, which initially campaigned him with Blazing Meadows Farm.
Trainer Doug O'Neill, who captured last year's Delta Jackpot with Goldencents who would go on to win this year's Santa Anita Derby (gr. I) and Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile (gr. I), is back with Reddam Racing's Rum Point. The Malibu Moon colt enters off an off-the-board finish in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I).
All 10 juveniles entered in the race are Kentucky-breds.
$1,000,000 Delta Downs Jackpot Stakes (gr. III, race 7, approximate post time 4:15 p.m. CST) 2YOs, 1 1/16 miles
PP, Horse, Jockey, Weight, Trainer
1. Whyruawesome (KY), E. Martin Jr., 117, A. Smith
2. Coastline (KY), S. Bridgmohan, 119, M. Casse
3. Roman Unbridled (KY), K. Smith, 117, C. Cook
4. Mighty Brown (KY), M. Mena, 117, T. Aloe
5. Rum Point (KY), M. Gutierrez, 117, D. O'Neill
6. Flat Gone (KY), D. Saenz, 117, K. Desormeaux
7. Rankhasprivileges (KY), R. Albarado, 117, K. McPeek
8. Casiguapo (KY), L. Saez, 117, M. Morales
9. Big Bazinga (KY), R. Napravnik, 117, K. Vassilieva
10. Rise Up (KY), G. Melancon, 119, T. Amoss