Race of the Week 2017

Sweet Forego Victory for Jackson Bend

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)
Jackson Bend bookended his meet in stylish fashion, coming from off the pace to win the 32nd running of the $250,000 Grade 1 Forego on Saturday at Saratoga Race Course.


Attempting to build upon his victory in the July 23 James Marvin on opening day, Jackson Bend was able to work out a good trip from post position 1, racing in seventh behind fractions of 22.09 and 44.45 seconds set by Hamazing Destiny and favored Sidney’s Candy. Jockey Corey Nakatani guided Jackson Bend between horses on the run into the stretch, and the colt closed stoutly to register a 3 ¼-length victory over Jersey Town, who finished a head in front of third-place finisher Aikenite.


Jackson Bend, who returned $8.90 for a $2 win wager as the 3-1 second choice, completed the seven furlongs in 1:22.08.


“Last time, I was able to figure him out a little bit,” said Nakatani. “He can be tactical. I just let him get in that high cruising speed. When I called on him and needed to get into position at about the three-eighths pole, he was there. Turning for home, I angled down, then I angled back out and he exploded. Once I get to the lead on him, he kind of waits a little for horses. I’m getting to know him a little better each time. Once I set him down and got him running, it was a matter of how far he was going to win.”


Winning trainer Nick Zito said he vigorously conditioned Jackson Bend in the lead-up to the Forego and was grateful the strategy paid off.


“We socked it to him pretty good [with] those workouts,” said the Hall of Famer, who trains the colt for Robert LaPenta and Fred Brei. “He hadn’t run in six weeks. Whether I’m a tough coach on him, I don’t know, but he responded. He didn’t get away good but he made up for it and it worked out perfectly for him. We all got excited [on the turn]. Tom Durkin’s call was right on the money, he said ‘Jackson Bend’s starting to run!’ and we all got excited.”


The Forego was the first graded stakes win for Jackson Bend, who in 2008 won four stakes at Calder Race Course. He was second in the Grade 1 Wood Memorial and third in the Grade 1 Preakness in 2009 and this year had gone 0-1-1 in four Florida starts prior to his two starts at Saratoga.


Overall, Jackson Bend is 7-5-2 from 20 starts. He becomes racing’s newest millionaire, with the $150,000 winner’s share of the purse lifting his earnings to $1,062,450.


Hamazing Destiny was fourth and was followed home by Golddigger’s Boy, Escrow Kid, Regal Ransom, favored Sidney’s Candy, and Rule by Night.




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