Classic Point Wins for Jerkens in Inside Information
March 21, 2015 01:50pm

Just three days after the passing of legendary Hall of Fame horseman Allen Jerkens, Jimmy Jerkens stood in the same winner’s circle where his father was honored two days earlier, wiping away tears.

Making her 6-year-old debut, Classic Point outran Sweet Whiskey down the stretch and outlasted a late bid from long shot You Bought Her to win the $200,000 Inside Information (G2) Saturday at Gulfstream Park.

It was the first win for Jimmy Jerkens since his father’s death at age 85 on March 18 following a short illness. At his dad’s insistence, Jerkens took over the training of Classic Point for longtime client Joseph V. Shields, Jr. last summer.

“It was only three days ago, and it’s going to be a long time to get over it. I’ve been around him a long time,” Jerkens said. “Obviously, the circumstances make it a little special.”

Third choice at 4-1 in a field of six but clearly the sentimental favorite, Classic Point ($10.80) ran seven furlongs in 1:24.47 on a fast main track. You Bought Her was a neck back in second, followed by Sweet Whiskey, Centrique, Best Behavior and Merry Meadow.

Jerkens received an ovation from the crowd as he entered and left the winner’s circle, where he accepted hugs and handshakes from a large group of family, friends and staff who surrounded him following the victory, Classic Point’s third in four starts and first since Nov. 28.

“I think that Jimmy has the ability to continue on the same level as Allen did. He has gotten some good horses, and that will make a big difference,” Shields said. “As far as I’m concerned, personally, I’ve known him for 25 years. I’ve known him since he was at Allen’s barn. He’s a good guy and I think his career is really starting to blossom. He learned from the master.”

Breaking from Post 4 under Paco Lopez, Classic Point rated behind a wicked pace of 22.05 seconds for a quarter-mile set by Best Behavior with 1-2 favorite Merry Meadow tracking on the inside. Sweet Whiskey took over as Best Behavior began to drop back and ran a half in 44.60 with Merry Meadow continuing to stalk on the inside.

Classic Point swung to the outside to challenge the frontrunners approaching the stretch, reeling in Sweet Whiskey at the eighth pole and driving determinedly to the wire under steady urging from Lopez. Lopez won a seven-furlong allowance at Gulfstream last April for the late Jerkens, known throughout the industry as ‘The Chief.’

“She won it for Allen. I told [Jimmy], ‘She won it for your father,” Lopez said. “The filly, she really ran hard. I’m happy she won it for Allen.”

Classic Point wound up in Jimmy Jerkens’ care when Allen Jerkens decided to stay year-round at Gulfstream Park rather than spend the summer and fall in New York. The chestnut daughter of Flatter has three of her four starts for Jimmy Jerkens, all in stakes, including the Go For Wand (G3) at Aqueduct last fall.

“When she first came down here she didn’t do so well. She lost all her hair. My father said she did it to him last year around this time. That’s why she hadn’t run until today, when she finally came around,” Jerkens said. “She’s always been very game. I was a little concerned because she was making a big move against them and losing some ground off of some really tough fractions. That’s why they all got tired at the end. She just out-staggered them home.”

Jerkens worked as an assistant for his father before going out on his own in 1997. Another former Allen Jerkens assistant and exercise rider, Leah Gyarmati, trains Dreamboat Annie, longshot winner of the race that followed the Inside Information.

Source: Gulfstream Park Press Release


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