Paul and Andrena Van Doren's Rise Up, who rolled to a 6 1/2-length victory for trainer Tom Amoss in the Oct. 26 Jean Lafitte Stakes at Delta Downs, continued to impress with a sparkling gate-to-wire triumph in the $1 million Delta Downs Jackpot Stakes (gr. III) Nov. 23 (VIDEO).
The 2-year-old son of Rockport Harbor rolled through 1 1/16 miles in 1:44.71 while finishing six lengths ahead of his nearest competitor. He was ridden by Gerard Melancon, who with the victory became the only rider to have taken two editions in 12 runnings of the Jackpot (he won in 2011 with Sabercat).
Rise Up found clear sailing from the outside post in a field of 10, breaking slightly to the right but setting off to an otherwise smooth beginning. That was not the case for 8-5 favorite Coastline, who stumbled badly and went to his knees from Post 2 before recovering and settling at the back of the bunch.
Angled expertly over from the outside by Melancon to a rail spot entering the first turn, Rise Up settled nicely while clicking off a quarter in :22.82, a half in :46.36, and three-quarters in 1:11.94. The bay colt maintained about a length advantage until striking the far turn, when Casiguapo and Rankhasprivileges both attempted to reel him in.
But Rise Up was already widening away, and drew off through a mile in 1:38.08 to win by daylight. He returned $6.20, $4, and 2.80 at 2-1, while a distanced Casiguapo paid $6 and $4 to place and Rankhasprivliges brought $4, 1 3/4 lengths further back in third. Roman Unbridled, Whyruawesome, Mighty Brown, Big Bazinga, Coastline, Flat Gone, and Rum Point completed the order of finish.
Amoss shipped Rise Up to Delta Downs early after he was dusted soundly in the Sept. 7 Iroquois Stakes (gr. III) at Churchill Downs, dueling through six furlongs of the 1 1/16-mile event before fading to sixth. In the Jean Lafitte, Rise Up tracked about four lengths off the lead before taking command heading into the far turn and drawing off in the stretch.
The Van Dorens purchased Rise Up privately from Blazing Meadows Farm and Cottonwood Stables prior to the Iroquois, after he impressed Amoss with a clear victory in the Mountaineer Juvenile Stakes in August. He was bred in Kentucky by Cottonwood out of the Johannesburg mare Appenzell, and raced for trainer Tim Hamm through the first three starts of his career.
Rise Up, a $27,000 RNA from the 2012 Keeneland September yearling sale when consigned by Brookdale Sales, improved his record to four wins and a second from six starts, with earnings of $810,633. The Delta Jackpot victory afforded him 10 points on the Road to the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I).