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SARATOGA SPRINGS, NY – Undefeated in 2 local starts last year, J. Kirk and Judy Robison’s Jackie’s Warrior returned to Saratoga with a romping performance in Sunday’s $200,000 Amsterdam Stakes (G2).
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Jackie’s Warrior broke alertly from post 3 under Joel Rosario as the 1/2 favorite and set a pressured pace along the outside of 3/1 second choice Drain the Clock, with the two sons of Maclean’s Music posting a sharp opening 1/4-mile in :21.46.
Jackie’s Warrior suddenly took up a lengthy lead midway through the far turn while still running under his own power, leaving his rivals to spin their heels in the mud.
Straightening for home with a tremendous advantage, the Steve Asmussen trainee drew clear before gearing down late and easing across the wire 7 1/4 lengths very much the best.
The final time for the 6 1/2-furlong sloppy (sealed) sprint was 1:15.46.
“He broke really well today; better than last time,” Rosario said. “He’s fast and then he just kept going. That’s what he likes to do. He just got out of there and does it so easy. He’s amazing. He’s so fast. It doesn’t even feel like he’s going that fast.”
Drain the Clock held second by a length over Crowded Trade, who broke poorly and managed to make some headway late in the stretch.
Flash of Mischief and Mister Luigi were not far them for fourth and fifth, respectively. River Dog was eased.
Jackie’s Warrior’s win was his second of the year following the Pat Day Mile (G1) on Kentucky Derby Day and improved his overall record to 9-6-1-1, a mark that includes last year’s Saratoga Special (G2) and Hopeful (G1) over this course. Purchased for $95,000 as a yearling, he’s now racing’s newest millionaire with $1,058,964 in career earnings.
“He won on an off track today, which is the first time, and to get that variable out of the way knowing that weather doesn’t care how important we think something is, that he’ll be able to handle that going forward,” Asmussen said. “He’s a very special horse. I think that he’s shown that on many occasions. He gets the respect I think he deserves and it’s extremely fun to watch him run.”
Jackie’s Warrior returned $3 to win, $2.20 to place, and $2.10 to show. Drain the Clock brought back $2.90 to place and $2.50 to show. Crowded Trade paid $3 to show.
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