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SOUTH OZONE PARK, NY – Gary Barber’s Jack and Noah broke sharply from the gate and never looked back notching his first stakes victory in the 2nd running of the $100,000 Atlantic Beach over the outer turf at Aqueduct Racetrack.
The French-bred juvenile son of Bated Breath arrived at the six-furlong turf sprint with two starts under his belt. After a career debut victory over the inner turf at Belmont Park, he finished fourth beaten 3 ½ lengths to subsequent Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint winner Four Wheel Drive.
Piloted by Jose Ortiz, Jack and Noah broke sharply but it was Turned Aside who initially set the pace, but Jack and Noah challenged his foe for the lead and took command of the field of a dozen juveniles through an opening quarter-mile in 22.02 seconds.
Jack and Noah, travelling comfortably under Ortiz, recording a half-mile in 44.90 seconds and shook away to lead by 2 ½ lengths at the stretch call with Turned Aside and So Street battling for second. Embolden, who was in behind horses at the top of the stretch, made a furious late bid but could do no better than second finishing 1 ¾ lengths back of Jack and Noah, who completed the six-furlong journey in 1:09.11. So Street was another half-length back in third.
Completing the order of finish were Me and Mr. C, Old Chestnut, Montauk Daddy, Turned Aside, Fly Fly Away, Mystic Lancelot, Freewheeler, Prince of Thieves and Axiomo.
The triumph was a second stakes win on the day for trainer Mark Casse, who won the Artie Schiller with Curlin’s Honor in the race prior.
“They went fast today but he wasn’t going like he was going last time,” said Jamie Begg, who oversees Casse’s New York string of horses. “He opened up last race [in the Grade 3 Futurity on October 6 at Belmont Park] by a few lengths and there was speed in that race, too. Today, it was a much more reasonable speed. Jose said he was going easy for him. He finished good like he did in his maiden start and that was more like what we expected from the horse.”
According to Ortiz, going to the front wasn’t the original plan.
“The instructions were to try to take him back a bit today, because his last race he went too fast in front. Of course, last time he ran with Four Wheel Drive who went on to win the Breeders’ Cup [Juvenile Turf Sprint],” Ortiz said. “I tried to break and sit back as long as I could but he was very sharp. He pulled me towards the lead. I was a little worried because I wanted to follow the instructions of Mr. Casse and Mr. [Gary] Barber but he pulled me to the front. He was very relaxed and passing the three-eighths pole I was very confident because I felt a lot of horse underneath me. It wasn’t the way we drew it up, but it worked out.”
Jack and Noah returned $10.60 and upped his lifetime bankroll to $105,250 after cashing $55,000 from the win.
Bred by Oceanic Bloodstock and Ariane Gravereaux, Jack and Noah is out of the unraced Mizzen Mast broodmare Winter Count and is from the same family as Grade 1 winner Flotilla.
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