Jackie’s Warrior Continues To Dominate Saratoga And Wins The Jerkens


SARATOGA SPRINGS – Life Is Good was very good in Class I, $ 500,000 H. Allen Jerkens Memorial Stakes on Saturday. Jackie’s Warrior was a bit better.

The two 3-year-old colts battled the entire Saratoga stretch and, in the end, it was Jackie’s Warrior who put his neck over the wire first to win the seven-meter race.

“This horse is amazing,” said Steve Asmussen, Jackie’s Warrior’s Hall of Fame trainer.

He certainly is. Jackie’s Warrior, who was ridden by Joel Rosario, won for the seventh time in nine career starts. This kept him undefeated at Saratoga in four starts.

It was certainly the toughest test in the 3-year-old’s career. He faced Life Is Good, who earlier this year was considered the frontrunner to win the Kentucky Derby and possibly more.

Life Is Good won their first three starts by a total of 18 lengths. He earned an eight-length victory in the Grade II San Felipe, Calif. And the hype was flying. Then he injured his left rear ankle and the Triple Crown was removed and Life Is Good was put on the equine injured list.

On Saturday he got away with it and he ran big. Not big enough.

“He never stopped trying,” said Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith, who rode Life Is Good in his four starts. “It was his first comeback race and we were asking a lot. He was racing against probably the best sprinter in the country, if not the world. For him, running like he did was really amazing.”

Despite the long layoff, Life Is Good started as a 4-5 favorite and ran out. After half a mile, which he ran in 44.16 seconds, he was two steps ahead. Jackie’s Warrior, who had led in his previous five wins in the stakes race, was content to let Life Is Good do its job.

Rosario knew how fast Life Is Good is and let the race go.

“Life Is Good was very fast so I decided to stay where I was,” said Rosario.

In the process, Jackie’s Warrior came to an agreement with Life Is Good and the two beat him to the end.

Jackie’s Warrior, winning for the third time in five starts this year, did the job, winning the race in 1: 21.39 on the fast track. Maclean’s Magic’s son came out at 3-2.

“What you love about him is his behavior and the way he does everything he does,” Asmussen said. “Joel has a lot of self-confidence.”

In the end, Jackie’s Warrior and Life Is Good were 8 3/4 lengths ahead of third, Follow Sea.

Life Is Good was taking his first steps for Hall of Fame coach Todd Pletcher. He had been in the Hall of Famer Bob Baffert barn until he was moved east by Elliott Walden, the president and CEO of WinStar Farm. WinStar owns the foal with the China Horse Club.

Walden admitted he was disappointed with the result, but not with the horse’s effort. After all, it was Life Is Good’s first departure in 175 days.

“It shows how good he is,” said Walden in the paddock after the Jerkens race. “The horse that beat him is 4-for-4 on the track. He was in front of him. He was just beaten on a fitness level. He ran hard. He ran really well. That will do it. definitely move forward. “

Jackie’s Warrior grossed $ 5.10, $ 2.30, and $ 2.10. His four wins at Saratoga are all stakes races. Besides the Jerkens and Amsterdam this summer, he won Grade II Saratoga Special and Grade I Hopeful last year.

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