GEM Inc.’s J P's Gusto, who hadn’t won a race since the grade I Del Mar Futurity last September, signaled his fondness for sprinting with a blowout victory in the $400,000 Red Legend Stakes for 3-year-olds at Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races June 18.
Before the race trainer Mike Hushion indicated the goal for J P’s Gusto is the grade I King’s Bishop Stakes at Saratoga in late August. His win in the Red Legend, like the King’s Bishop at seven furlongs but around two turns, probably provided the ticket.
J P’s Gusto, favored in a field of 10 that included many graded-stakes competitors, sat in second behind Der Meister through the opening quarter-mile, took the lead at the three-eighths pole and was ridden out by jockey J.D. Acosta to win by 6 3/4 lengths. Fractions on the fast Charles Town surface were :23.34, :46.77, and 1:11.35, with a final time of 1:25.03.