Boyd Gaming Corporation April 23 announced that this year's $1 million Delta Downs Jackpot (gr. III) for 2-year-olds will be held at Delta Downs Nov. 23.
This year will mark the 11th anniversary of the Jackpot, which is contested at 1 1/16 miles on a dirt surface. The race is one of the richest in the country for 2-year-olds and has become a launching pad for Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) starters. Last year's Jackpot winner, Goldencents , along with third and sixth-place finishers Mylute and Itsmyluckyday , are expected to start in next week's 139th Run for the Roses.
The 2012 edition of the Jackpot was one of 36 races that made up the inaugural Road to the Kentucky Derby points system. In addition to the $600,000 paycheck he received at Delta Downs last November, Goldencents also scored 10 points toward a starting position in the first leg of the Triple Crown.
Last year's Jackpot Day program featured eight stakes races and more than $2.2 million in total purse money. The undercard was highlighted by the $500,000 Delta Downs Princess (gr. III) for 2-year-old fillies and it was won by Rose to Gold, among the favorites for the May 3 Kentucky Oaks (gr. I).
The 2012 program produced a near-record handle of $4.3 million, which ranks second all-time to the $4.4 million fans poured through the wagering windows in 2011 at Delta Downs. The program also propelled the racetrack to its most successful meet ever. The 2012-2013 season produced a total of $141,735,025 in all-sources handle, which marked a 12.52% increase year-over-year.
"The Delta Downs Jackpot Day program continues to grow and with the enormous impact it is having on this year's Kentucky Derby field we expect even better things in the future," said Steve Kuypers, executive vice president and general manager of Delta Downs, in a release. "The Derby points along with the huge payday enhance the winner's credentials tremendously as they move forward to their 3-year-old campaign and hopefully on to the Triple Crown races each year."