Paco Rides For Lukas In Rich Delta Races

It’s not a hop, skip and a jump to get toBreeders' width=
Delta Downs in the small southwestern
Louisiana town of Vinton.
“The last two hours are by stagecoach,”
trainer D. Wayne Lukas said.
Lukas on Wednesday confirmed he intends
to send Breeder’s Cup winner Take Charge
Brandi for the Grade 3, $400,000 Delta
Downs Princess on Nov. 22.

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It is not a simple trek to get to Delta. Horses
flying in must land in either Houston or
New Orleans, then van several hours to the
Louisiana-Texas border track, nestled under mile-high pine trees.
The journey can be well worth the effort. Delta is putting on eight stakes worth $2.3 million on the
afternoon of Nov. 22. The Princess, for 2-year-old fillies at a mile, and the Grade 3, $1 million Delta
Downs Jackpot, for 2-year-olds at 1 1/16 miles, anchor the card.
Lukas is targeting both races. He pre-entered Take Charge Brandi, winner of the BC Juvenile Fillies,
in the Princess on Tuesday, and also made Mr. Z, fifth-place finisher in the BC Juvenile, eligible for
the Jackpot. Lukas was just starting to work on shipping arrangements for both Churchill Downsbased
horses Wednesday.
“We’re starting to firm up plans,” he said. “We’re trying to get there by [next] Wednesday. I don’t
know how it’s going to shake out with the flights. We’re looking at all options.”
Lukas said Paco Lopez will ride Take Charge Brandi because Victor Espinoza, who was aboard for
her BC win, has commitments in Japan. Lopez will also ride Mr. Z.
Lukas said the graded status and large purse of the Princess were among a number of reasons to
send Take Charge Brandi. He also feels her natural speed will work well on the six-furlong track at Delta.
“She came out of the California race great, absolutely bouncing,” Lukas said. “When they’re good,
we run them.”
There were 17 horses pre-entered in the Princess, but the field will be capped at 10.
Final entries for the Princess and the Jackpot will be taken on Nov. 18. There were 13 horses preentered
in the Jackpot, including Wake Up Nick and Conquest Tsunami.
Take Charge Brandi races for Willis Horton. Mr. Z is owned by Zayat Stables.