Keeneland 'steppingstone' leads Jaywalk into Kentucky Oaks

March 20, 2019 10:44am

Chuck Zacney, who co-owns champion filly Jaywalk under the Cash is King banner, said he’s spoken with a number of horsemen since the daughter of Cross Traffic opened her 3-year-old campaign with a flat fourth-place finish in Gulfstream Park’s Davona Dale (G2).

“Everybody’s saying sometimes that happens with fillies,” Zacney said. “They need a race or two, so we’re calling it a mulligan, quite frankly. She looks good. She’s maintaining weight. Very happy with her last work, and we’ll continue with the plan.”

That plan is duplicating the successful road to the Kentucky Oaks taken by Cash is King’s 2016 winner, Cathryn Sophia, who went from the Davona Dale to Keeneland’s Ashland Stakes (G1).

This year’s 1 1/16-mile Ashland, set for April 6, carries a $500,000 purse.

“We like the Lexington area. We love Keeneland. It’s real close to Churchill. We certainly love the purse,” Zacney said. “It’s a great steppingstone for the Oaks, and that’s the reason why we’ll probably shoot for it."

Jaywalk posted her first work since the Davona Dale on Saturday, breezing a half mile in 49.30 at trainer John Servis’ winter base, the Palm Meadows Training Center.

In the March 2 race at Gulfstream Park, the champ sat a nice trip from the rail, tipping out to press pace-setting Cookie Dough, but didn’t go on to challenge in the stretch. Jeltrin upset at 51-1, and Cookie Dough ran on second by a head.

“We went into the race expecting good things, to be honest,” Zacney said. “It didn’t happen. Went over her with a fine-tooth comb. Didn’t find anything.”

Jaywalk is expected to ship from Florida to Kentucky seven to 10 days from the race.

“I haven’t seen a lot of big fields in it,” Zacney said of the Ashland, in which Cathryn Sophia faced four rivals, suffering a defeat of her own before turning the tables on the first Friday in May. “There might be eight or nine horses, max, and the good news is there’s a ton of 3-year-old fillies races right around there.”

Also campaigned by D. J. Stable, Jaywalk has won four of six starts, with the victories coming in succession to close her 2-year-old season capped by the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies under the Twin Spires.

 

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