J C’s Pride, second to eventual
Sanford winner Overdriven in his debut, set a track record for five furlongs in
his second start when he broke his maiden on Wednesday at Saratoga Race Course.
Photo: NYRA, Adam Coglianese
With the victory, J C’s Pride joins the New York Watch, which
shines the spotlight on up-and-coming horses who cleared the maiden ranks at
Aqueduct Racetrack, Belmont
Park, and Saratoga Race
In his first race, a five-furlong dash at Belmont Park
on July 1, J C’s Pride opened a clear lead but could not hold off a
challenge from Overdriven, who returned to take Sunday’s Grade 2 Sanford
by four lengths.
Yesterday, J C’s Pride grabbed the early advantage under Jose
Lezcano and never looked back, rattling off fractions of 21.87 and 44.65 and finding
the finish line 3 ¼ lengths to the good of Mr. Style.
The final time of 56.54 improved the previous track record, set on August
18, 1993 by Fabulous Force, by 0.17 seconds. J C’s Pride received a Beyer
Speed Figure of 101, currently the highest among all 2-year-olds so far in
“Today was beautiful,” said trainer Bobby Barbara. “It
was as good as it could get. He did it easy. He did it the right way today. He
[Jose Lezcano] said if he bore down on him at the eighth pole, he would
have went in :55. I’m glad he didn’t.”
Barbara was quick to credit J C’s Pride, owned by Joseph Bucci,
for his professionalism.
“He’s a sweetheart – he’s like an old horse,”
said Barbara. “He does everything so right. He handles himself with a lot
of class. He doesn’t care about anything. What I appreciated so much from
his last race to this race is he has gained weight and is growing. I think he
might be special. It looked like he could keep going. Jose said he galloped out
J C’s Pride is a son of Henny Hughes, who as a 2-year-old won the
2007 Tremont and Grade 2 Saratoga Special and finished second in the Grade 1
Hopeful, Grade 1 Champagne, and Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile. Kept in
sprints in his 3-year-old season, he added a pair of Grade 1 wins in the
King’s Bishop and Vosburgh.
Hi Lili, J C’s Pride’s dam, is a winning daughter of the
1997 Cotillion winner Snit, who has produced three horses with black type,
including 2009 Grade 3 Virginia Oaks heroine Blind Date.
J C’s Pride passed through the auction ring three times prior to
his racing career, fetching $190,000 as a weanling at the 2007 Keeneland
November Sale, selling for $90,000 the following September at Keeneland as a
yearling, and being purchased by Bucci for $200,000 at this year’s
Fasig-Tipton Midlantic Two-Year-Olds In Training sale at Timonium.
Photo courtesy of NYRA (Adam Coglianese).