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Breeders' Cup 2017
HRN Original Blog:
From Coast to Coast

Jackson Bend Looks to Return to His Winning Ways

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)
As a two-year old Jackson Bend swept the Florida Stallion Series at Calder. After winning the 1 1/16 mile Florida Stallion In Reality, trainer Nick Zito and owner Robert LaPenta placed their talented colt on the Kentucky Derby trail. The speedy Hear No Evil colt reeled off three straight place efforts before finishing 12th, about twelve lengths behind winner Super Saver, in the 2010 Kentucky Derby. Zito continued to place Jackson Bend in route races after his Derby effort, but it would take nearly two years and a cutback in distance before Jackson Bend would again find the winner’s circle.

It had been two years since Jackson Bend had been entered in a sprint, but the 7 furlong James Marvin was just the ticket to get the chestnut colt back in the winner’s circle. A month and a half and another sprint later and Jackson Bend was a Grade 1 winner. Since his Forego victory, he has finished second in the G2 Kelso behind the brilliant Uncle Mo and third in the Breeders’ Cup Sprint behind Amazombie and Force Freeze. Despite just missing getting up in time in the BC Sprint and a win at a mile and a sixteenth, it is clear that Jackson Bend is a sprinter through and through. That is why I find the G3 Hal’s Hope Stakes such an interesting choice for the newly minted 5-year old son of Hear No Evil.

Jackson Bend has been tried at a mile four previous times, but the closest he has come to winning at the distance was a three-quarter length loss to Winslow Homer in the 2010 edition of the G3 Holy Bull. It is clear that a mile is not his best distance, but he has a very good chance of making it work for him this Saturday when he faces a field of eight other contenders in the one mile Hal’s Hope Stakes. Two entrants will make his task difficult, however. Among his competition is G3 winner Successful Mission who relishes the mile distance and defending Hal’s Hope Stakes winner Soaring Empire. Successful Mission, a dark bay gelded son of Successful Appeal, will enter the starting gate on Saturday off of a two race win streak and a 47% win rate. Of his eight wins, three have come at a mile with a fourth win at a mile and seventy yards. Soaring Empire (Empire Maker—Flying Passage, by A. P. Indy) is the only other graded stakes winner in the field and has a 40% win rate at Gulfstream Park. The dark bay son of Empire Maker can sprint or route and will be one to watch.

The rest of the field consists of non-graded stakes winners Sangaree, Decisive Moment, and Will’s Wildcat and non-stakes winners Sky Venture, Our Dark Knight, and Cool Blue Red Hot. Cool Blue Red Hot is cross-entered in the G3 Fort Lauderdale Stakes as a main track only entrant. From the inside out, post positions for the field are:

1.Jackson Bend—5/H—J. Velazquez—N. Zito
2.Sky Venture—5/G—J. Leyva—C. Paul
3.Sangaree—7/H—R. Maragh—K. McLaughlin
4.Successful Mission—6/G—E. Trujillo—E. Plesa, Jr.
5.Decisive Moment—4/C—S. Madrid—J. Arias
6.Our Dark Knight—5/H—J. Bravo—N. Zito
7.Soaring Empire—5/H—J. Leparoux—C. Gambolati
8.Cool Blue Red Hot—4/C—M. Cruz—A. Penna, Jr.
9.Will’s Wildcat—4/G—C. Borel—J. Baker

Jackson Bend has been putting in some excellent works since returning to the worktab following his third place effort in the Breeders’ Cup Sprint. The task at hand will not be easy, but he should be well up to it. Look for him to run a big race and add a Grade 3 to his résumé.


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Older Comments about Jackson Bend Looks to Return to His Winning Ways...

JB was yet another one that beat the BC bounce this time. The mile wasn't ideal since it typically isn't his best distance, but he looked good in 2012 debut.
tough place to start the comeback trail
Looks like there's enough speed to set it up for Jackson Bend, I always question BC runners first time back though, so I'm going to try to beat him with Soaring Empire and Cool Blue Red Hot.
Uncle Mo was definitely a freak in the Kelso, DeadHeat. JB's best finish at a mile was second place, so he'll be on the board even if he doesn't win.
Those who say the East has no top sprinters better not overlook JB. I think a one turn mile is with in his abilities, he ran quite a race in the Kelso, just ran into a freak. I hope he returns a winner.
Should be a great race! I *almost* think Soaring Empire may have the advantage.
Jackson B against Soaring Empire is an interesting match-up, and at one of my favorite distances!

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Meet Ashley Tamulonis

Despite growing up in a non-horse racing state, Ashley has been a fan of the sport since a young age. Her love for horse racing was fostered through the kids’ book series Thoroughbred by Joanna Campbell, and it was her love of reading and horses that led her to educate herself on the ins and outs of the sport. Since becoming actively involved in the industry just a few short years ago, Ashley has had the opportunity to meet many important players in the industry, attend the Eclipse Awards, see personal favorite Mucho Macho Man race twice in person, and get to personally meet and befriend many of the fantastic fans and horsemen involved in the sport.


Before joining Horse Racing Nation, Ashley created her own blog Wired with Ashley Paige. The idea to venture into the world of blogging came to her when she realized that she had much to say about horse racing and no one to say it to at the time. Ashley began her time with Horse Racing Nation blogging as The Florida Filly. Using that moniker, she mainly covered racing in South Florida but also blogged about nationwide racing, industry issues, and from time to time offered her opinion on how various changes could be beneficial to the industry as a whole. A move north to New Hampshire began both a new chapter in both Ashley's personal life and professional life. She currently pens the new From Coast to Coast blog for HRN, which is simply a revamped version of The Florida Filly. Don't let the new look and name change fool you, though. Ashley still brings to the table the same great coverage as From Coast to Coast as she did for The Florida Filly. Ashley also participates as a voter in the NTRA Top Thoroughbred Polls.


An alumni of Macon State College, Ashley is from Central Georgia but is currently living in New Hampshire with her husband Chris and their two sons Charlie and Michael. A stay-at-home mom, Ashley juggles parenting with blogging and her other passions. Aside from horse racing, Ashley is a fervent football fan, enjoys reading and studying history, and hopes to someday author a historical work covering the Tudor period as well as biographies of horse racing’s stars, equine and human alike.

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