Exaggerator is 2-1 favorite for $1 million Delta Downs Jackpot; Valenzuela has mount in race

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VINTON, Louisiana — Exaggerator is the early 2-1 favorite for the $1 million Delta Downs Jackpot this weekend, with 10 2-year-olds entered.

Trained by Keith Desormeaux and ridden by his brother Kent, Exaggerator drew the No. 9 post Monday for the 1 1/16-mile race Saturday, when jockey Patrick Valenzuela takes another step in his comeback.

Sunny Ridge is the 7-2 second choice and drew the No. 3 post under Irad Ortiz Jr. Trained by Jason Servis, Sunny Ridge is a son of Holy Bull and was runner-up in the Champagne at Belmont Park.

Doug O'Neill will send out Found Money in trying to become the first trainer to win the Jackpot more than once. In 2012, he trained Goldencents to victory. Ridden by Mario Gutierrez, Found Money is 6-1 on the morning line and will break from the No. 7 post.

The winner will earn $600,000 and 10 points toward a possible starting position in next year's Kentucky Derby.

Valenzuela is set to ride 10-1 shot Memories of Winter in the Jackpot. The 53-year-old jockey hasn't ridden competitively in 22 months. He was suspended on Feb. 7, 2014, for failing to appear before the California Horse Racing Board over charges that he did not show for two scheduled mounts at Santa Anita.

He was granted a license to exercise horses by the CHRB last August, although his riding license in California remains suspended. Valenzuela rode Sunday Silence to victories in the 1989 Kentucky Derby and Preakness and has won seven Breeders' Cup races in a career marred by substance abuse and repeated suspensions.

Valenzuela is scheduled to ride two races Thursday at Delta Downs and another one Friday before his lone mount in the Jackpot on Saturday.

The Jackpot field, in post-position order, with jockeys and odds:

Forevamo, Colby Hernandez, 4-1; Memories of Winter, Valenzuela, 10-1; Sunny Ridge, Ortiz, 7-2; Whitmore, Robby Albarado, 8-1; Harlan Punch, Gerard Melancon, 10-1; Texas Jambalaya, Eddie Martin Jr., 20-1; Found Money, Gutierrez, 6-1; Cowboy Classic, Junior Iniro, 30-1; Exaggerator, Desormeaux, 2-1; Iron Dome, Steve Bourque, 20-1.

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