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All Systems Go for Jackson Bend

Jackson Bend (no. 2), ridden by Corey Nakatani and trained by Nick Zito, wins the James Marvin Stakes for three year olds and upward on July 22, 2011 at Saratoga Race Track in Saratoga Springs, New York. (Bob Mayberger/Eclipse Sportswire)
Hall of Fame trainer Nick Zito said this morning that Jackson Bend will get the chance to defend his title in Saturday’s Grade 1, $500,000 Forego. Zito had entered the 5-year-old son of Hear No Evil yesterday in the seven-furlong race but did not want to commit to running until he was absolutely certain Jackson Bend was suffering no after-effects from a training mishap two weeks ago.


“Everything we’ve seen so far has been good,” said Zito, who trains Jackson Bend for his breeder, Fred Brei, and Robert V. LaPenta. “Jackson has passed all the tests. Physically, he looks terrific. All our vets and everyone I work with has given us clearance and assured us he is the same Jackson.”


Jackson Bend, who earned his first Grade 1 in the 2011 Forego with an easy 3 ¼-length victory over Jersey Town, was concluding a routine gallop on the Oklahoma training track on August 18 when he collided with another horse coming onto the track. Although shaken up, the diminutive Jackson Bend escaped serious injury, and resumed galloping on August 23. On Monday, he breezed four furlongs in 49.77.


Winner of a second Grade 1 when he beat Caleb’s Posse and Shackleford to win the Carter Handicap in April at Aqueduct Racetrack, Jackson Bend drew post position 4 for the Forego as the 7-2 second choice on the morning line. Multiple Grade 1 winner Shackleford, hero of the 2011 Preakness and the 2012 Metropolitan Handicap, is the 2-1 morning-line favorite in a field of accomplished older sprinters, including Jersey Town, Isn’t He Perfect, Pacific Ocean, Hamazing Destiny, Emcee and Caixa Eletronica.




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