Each year, Delta Downs becomes a melting pot, luring 2-year-olds from across the country to compete in the rich Delta Downs Princess and Delta Downs Jackpot, and this year is no different.
The $500,000 Princess will provide an enticing appetizer for the $1 million Jackpot, drawing a field of nine juvenile fillies, with the first three finishers of the My Trusty Cat Stakes at Delta taking on winners from Calder, Woodbine, Presque Isle, and Hoosier Park.
The Steve Asmussen-trained Madame Cactus, impressive winner of the seven-furlong My Trusty Cat as the 9-5 choice, will be the likely favorite in the 1 1/16-mile Princess. The daughter of Cactus Ridge had been trained by Peter Eurton at Santa Anita, where she broke her maiden by 6 1/4 lengths in her previous start.
Madame Cactus' main competition should come from one of several fillies, including Rose to Gold who is returning to the dirt after a dismal 12th-place finish in the Darley Alcibiades Stakes on Keeneland's Polytrack. Prior to that the daughter of Friends Lake captured the Brave Raj Stakes at Calder by 13 1/2 lengths and a Calder maiden race by 13 lengths.
The Mark Casse-John Oxley team, which has had a big year, will be represented by Floral Sky, a daughter of Sky Mesa who is coming off an allowance victory on grass at Woodbine following a fifth-place finish in the Debutante Stakes at Churchill Downs and a Churchill maiden score, both on dirt.
Tom Amoss comes loaded with the undefeated Unhedged, a Broken Vow filly who scored in the Presque Isle Debutante in her last start for her third victory in as many starts. She indicated her sharpness with a bullet five-furlong work in 1:00 breezing in the slop at Fair Grounds. Amoss also has entered Cayllano, third-place finisher in the My Trusty Cat, who was fourth in the Adirondack Stakes at Saratoga and an easy winner of an overnight stakes at Delaware Park.
If you throw out Salamera's well-beaten fifth-place finish in the Chandelier Stakes at Santa Anita, then you can certainly make a case for the daughter of Successful Appeal , based on her second-place finish in the Adirondack Stakes behind Kauai Katie and her score in the JJ's Dream Stakes at Calder.
Even the price horses in here have to be given some kind of shot. Touch Magic, is coming off a fast-closing second in the Cassidy Stakes at Calder, Sittin At the Bar finished second in the My Trusty Cat, and Cloudy in Sandiego, trained by Steve Margolis, is coming off a fourth-place finish in the Pocahontas Stakes at odds of 55-1.