Delta Downs: Bern Identity points to Delta Jackpot after sharp Jean Lafitte score

Cory MoranBern Identity will head to next month’s Grade 3, $1 million Delta Downs Jackpot after he easily won his two-turn debut Saturday night in the $200,000 Jean Lafitte. He was a three-length winner of the one-mile race that served as the local prep for the Jackpot, which is to be run Nov. 17.

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Bern Identity ($3) was the 1-2 favorite in the Jean Lafitte on the strength of his summer form at Saratoga, where he won the Grade 2 Sanford then finished third to divisional heavy Shanghai Bobby in the Grade 2 Hopeful. Saturday night, Bern Identity broke with the field and settled in fourth along the rail as Manewal and Mr. Bandini’s Band dueled through fractions of 23.15 seconds  for the opening quarter and 47.95 for the half-mile.

Bern Identity angled off the rail down the backside, advanced four-wide around the final turn and went on to win by three lengths over Mylute. It was another four lengths back in third to Mr. Bandini’s Band. Bern Identity covered the mile on a track rated fast in 1:39.47.

“I had a lot of horse,” said Paco Lopez, who was in to ride the winner for George and Lori Hall and trainer Kelly Breen.

Breen said the Jackpot, to be run at 1 1/16 miles , is the next objective for Bern Identity.

“We have the big one in four more weeks,” he said. “We’ll come back for the Jackpot.”

The Jean Lafitte score gives Bern Identity first preference into the Jackpot. The horse also earned $120,000 for his win in Saturday night’s race to improve his career record to 3 for 5 for earnings of $426,000. Bern Identity was the second straight Jean Lafitte winner for the Halls and Breen behind My Adonis in 2011.

Simington breaks collarbone

Jockey Don Simington broke his collarbone in the second race Saturday night when he was thrown from his mount, Sweet Boston Lady, who broke down. Simington was transported to a hospital in nearby Lake Charles, La., was treated and was released, said his agent, Ron Ardoin.

Ardoin said Simington could be sidelined anywhere from a month to six weeks. Simington is a leading rider at Delta and Louisiana Downs.