Punch Appeal Strikes First in Delta Princess

Front-running Punch Appeal turned back Summer Raven in the stretch run of the $250,000 Boyd Gaming's Delta Princess for 2-year-old fillies and pulled away for a 5 1/2-length victory Saturday at Delta Downs.

Punch Appeal led throughout under Donnie Meche and responded when challenged by Summer Raven and Victor Espinoza. The Florida-bred daughter of Successful Appeal -Okanagan (Two Punch) proved best in the battle of even-money fillies. Summer Raven was sent off the slight favorite in the field of six, the main companion feature to the $1 million Delta Jackpot on the Delta Downs card.

Steve Asmussen trains Punch Appeal for owners Heiligbrodt Stable and Burning Day Farm, who picked up a $150,000 winning share. The winner of six of nine in her first season of competition, Punch Appeal has earned $389,840 in her career.

She had won two stakes races previously at a mile -– the Pocahontas in her last start at Churchill Downs a month ago and the Kentucky Cup Juvenile Fillies at Turfway Park in September.

The bay filly set fractions of :23 3/5, :48 4/5 and 1:14 before clearing off to win in a time of 1:40 2/5 on the six-furlong oval at Vinton, La. She paid $4, $2.10 and $2.10.

Summer Raven ($2.10, $2.10), trained by Todd Pletcher, was favored off her two-length victory in the one-mile Tempted (gr. III) at Aqueduct Nov. 2.

Snipper Lou ($2.10), sent off at 19-1, finished third.

(Chart, Equibase)