ELMONT, NY – Gary Barber’s Jack and Noah got back on top in a turf sprint while taking the field gate to wire in Friday’s $80,000 Sir Cat Stakes at Belmont Park.
Breaking from post 2 as the co-2/1 favorite under John Velazquez, Jack and Noah went swiftly to the lead under his own power. Turned Aside gave closest watch as Jack and Noah blazed through early fractions of :21.57 and :43.84.
Turning for home still cruising on the front end, Jack and Noah never let anyone get close as he held position strongly under mild urging. With everyone else fighting for second behind him, the Mark Casse trainee crossed 1 length clear in a final time of 1:07.05 for the 6-furlong firm inner turf sprint.
“We knew he was quick, but I didn’t know he was going to open up like that,” Velazquez said. “I tried to settle him the best I could. I spoke to Mark yesterday and he said to just let him do his thing and try for a little give-and-take in the first part, but don’t take too much of a hold of him and he was right. That is his type of race; just let them come and get him.”
Turned Aside ran on for second, 1 length ahead of the winner’s stablemate Old Chestnut. Slightly further behind them came Maxwell Esquire, Guildsman, the non-threatening co-2/1 favorite Chimney Rock, and So Street to complete the order of finish.
Mr. Shortandsimple was scratched as a Main Track Only entry.
Jack and Noah’s win was his first since taking the Atlantic Beach Stakes last November at Aqueduct. The French-bred 3-year-old Bated Breath colt improved his record to 6-3-1-0 with $165,550 earned.
“He was pretty relaxed up front and he was happy,” said Casse assistant Jamie Begg. “Nobody really pressed him, so it worked out well for us. He galloped out huge. It was a pretty nice performance. He just has God-given speed, so everything that we do with him is just to try and make him relax as much as possible.”
Jack and Noah returned $6.10 to win, $3.80 to place, and $3.30 to show. Turned Aside brought back $5.10 to place and $4.30 to show, while Old Chestnut paid $7.70 to show.