University of Louisville basketball coach Rick Pitino has a horse on the road to the Kentucky Derby.
The Pitino-owned Goldencents led most of the way and grabbed a one and three-quarters length victory on Saturday afternoon in the $1 million Delta Downs Jackpot for 2-year-olds in Vinton, La.
Goldencents, trained by 2012 Kentucky Derby-winning trainer Doug O'Neill, earned the $600,000 first place check and picked up 10 points in the new Road to the Kentucky Derby points system, which will determine starting positions for the 139th Derby on the first Saturday in May at Churchill Downs.
Ridden by Kevin Krigger, Goldencents went off as the 5-2 second-choice in the race and led for most of the race.
The son of Into Mischief won for the second time in three career starts. He broke his maiden at Del Mar by seven lengths on Sept. 2 and then was second to Breeders' Cup Juvenile champion Shanghai Bobby in the Champagne Stakes at Belmont.
Goldencents now has 14 points towards the Derby and currently ranks second behind only Shanghai Bobby's 20 points.
"I don't know the exact path (to the Kentucky Derby), but we will probably look somewhere at Santa Anita after the first of the year, maybe the Bob Lewis Stakes," O'Neill said. "This horse has been in New York and Louisiana in two of his three starts, so he travels great."