Different training approach leads Jaywalk back to winner's circle

July 08, 2019 03:18pm
Different training approach leads Jaywalk back to winner's circle
Photo: Hoofprints, Inc.

John Servis re-evaluated Jaywalk’s work regimen after the champion started her 3-year-old season on a three-race losing streak.

Servis thought Jaywalk was training right but didn’t see those results carrying over on race day for the D.J. Stable LLC and Cash is King LLC filly.

“She had done well all year, but she just hadn’t run her races,” the conditioner said Sunday. “So we just went back to the way we were training her last year and did more two-minute licks and that kind of stuff and not as many works, not as many breezes.

“She seemed to be doing really, really good by it and seemed happy.”

Jaywalk rewarded her trainer’s tinkering with an authoritative win Saturday under jockey Joe Bravo in the Grade 3, $300,000 Delaware Oaks.

A 7-5 second choice, Jaywalk led gate-to-wire. She shrugged off a challenge in the far turn from 9-10 favorite Fashion Faux Pas, pulling away for a nine-length romp in 1:43.21 over 1 1/16 miles on Delaware Park’s main track.

“I was looking for a big race from her, hoping we were on track, and we were,” Servis said. “It was really good.”

Jaywalk’s dominant victory was a result reminiscent of a 2-year-old season where she went 4-for-5 and won the Eclipse Award as her division’s champ. Her freshman resume included Grade 1 wins in Belmont Park’s Frizette Stakes and at Churchill Downs in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies.

A string of disappointing results followed for Jaywalk at 3. She ran fourth at 1-5 odds March 2 in Gulfstream Park’s Davona Dale Stakes (G2), then third at even money April 6 in Keeneland’s Ashland Stakes (G1).

Jaywalk followed those two Kentucky Oaks preps with another flop in that 3-year-old filly showcase May 3 at Churchill. She crossed the wire sixth, 12 ¾ lengths off champion Serengeti Empress, then was disqualified to 13
th for an early-race incident with Positive Spirit.

After that race, Servis revisited how he was training the daughter of Cross Traffic.

“She’s very dainty,” Servis said. “She’s not a big, strong filly. You look at her, and you wouldn’t think she’s as good as she is. …

“I just think it was too much for her. I just think she didn’t want all that.”

Jaywalk breezed five furlongs in 58.98 seconds May 26 at Parx Racing, then went four furlongs handily in 47.79 on June 12 over the same track.

Outside of those two recorded works, Servis centered Jaywalk’s training toward the Delaware Oaks around two-minute miles.

Servis also added blinkers and gave Jaywalk class relief. The Grade 3 start Saturday was the filly’s first outside Grade 1 or 2 company since winning Delaware’s black-type White Clay Creek Stakes in August 2018.

“Joe Bravo and I talked about it before the race,” Servis said. “‘Joe, as good as she’s doing, don’t grab her. Just take a nice, long hold and let her run along.’ …

“Joe rode her perfect. He tried to slow her down a little bit early. She seemed to fight with him a little bit. Then she settled.”

Jaywalk laid down fractions of :24.12, :47.77, 1:10.72 and 1:36.76, building her lead from a half-length with 2 ½ furlongs to go, to 3 ½ at the top of the stretch and to nine at the wire.

With a 3-year-old win finally under Jaywalk’s belt, Servis said the plan is to stay in Grade 3 company for the $150,000 Monmouth Oaks on Aug. 17.

Then it’ll be on to the $1 million Cotillion Stakes (G1) on Sept. 21 at Parx, the filly’s home track. That race is a Breeders’ Cup Distaff Division “Win and You’re In.”

“As good as she’s doing right now,” Servis said, “I’m going to run her in another spot like that, maybe the Monmouth Oaks, and try to hopefully have a couple of wins leading into the Cotillion.”


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