FUTURITY STAKES | PURSE: $150,000 | GRADE 2 | 2-YEAR-OLDS | 6 FURLONGS
ELMONT, N.Y. -- Unable to find the proper maiden race to fill at Delaware Park for her 2-year-old Jack's in the Deck, trainer Robin Graham opted to supplement him to Sunday's Grade 2, $150,000 Futurity Stakes at Belmont Park.
The $2,000 investment paid huge dividends when Jack's in the Deck -- the only maiden in the field of six -- came off the rail turning for home and easily moved past pacesetter Team Six to win the 121st Futurity by four lengths. Team Six held second by a nose over Tarpy's Goal, the 8-5 favorite who drifted out badly in midstretch. Large Kaufy, Getupwiththeson, and Threeanddonedan completed the order of finish.
Jack's in the Deck, a Maryland-bred son of Love of Money, was coming off a second-place finish in a 4 1/2-furlong maiden race at Delaware Park on May 25. Graham, who is based at Laurel Park in Maryland, wanted to run back at Delaware because the colt is Delaware-certified, meaning he runs for an additional $15,000 in maiden races that are worth $40,000. But races weren't filling at the distance Graham wanted, and with the Futurity field coming up light, she opted to take a shot in the six-furlong race.
Graham initially named Alan Garcia to ride, but that jockey had engagements at Monmouth Park on Sunday, so instead Graham got Joe Bravo to ride.
Under Bravo, Jack's in the Deck stalked the pace inside of Tarpy's Goal and was within two lengths of Team Six, who set fractions of 22.97 seconds and 47.18 for the opening half-mile. Tarpy's Goal, under Javier Castellano, joined the leaders at the quarter pole and looked like he was going to win it before shortening stride and drifting out at the eighth pole. Meanwhile, Bravo guided Jack's in the Deck off the rail leaving the quarter pole and pulled clear of Team Six in the final sixteenth.
Jack's in the Deck, owned by Skeetdattle Stable, covered the six furlongs in 1:13.36 and returned $30.20 as the longest shot in the field.
"He had run 4 1/2 furlongs first time, and this was three-quarters, which made us real happy," Graham said. "At Delaware first time, he broke with the field and they ran away from him. We work to get our horses to relax, finish well, and close, and he did that. We figured there'd be a lot of speed today because so many of those horses were coming out of 4 1/2-furlong races. It looked like it would set up perfectly."