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SARATOGA SPRINGS, NY – After 4 straight runner-up efforts against open company foes, Skychai Racing’s Jolting Joe dropped to the state-bred ranks and finally broke his maiden in Thursday’s $100,000 New York Stallion Stakes Series (NYSSS) Cab Calloway.
Sent from the far outside post 6 under Tyler Gaffalione as the even-money favorite, Jolting Joe sat comfortably in third while Stuy Town Baby led into the clubhouse turn and down the backstretch.
With Dream Bigger tracking from second, Stuy Town Baby posted tepid opening fractions of :25.19 and :49.24. Dream Bigger ranged up two-wide heading into the far turn and challenged for the lead.
Dream Bigger straightened for home along the rail with a narrow advantage, but Jolting Joe and his Mike Maker stablemate Turbo Drive were coming after him two- and three-wide at the top of the stretch.
Digging deep between rivals, Jolting Joe poked his head in front at the 1/16 pole before drawing off to win by 1 3/4 lengths. He completed the 1 1/16-mile firm outer turf route in a final time of 1:43.07.
“With a short run into the first turn, I was trying to be a bit more forwardly-placed, but we didn’t get away the cleanest,” Gaffalione said. “I looked to my inside and there were two going at it, so I figured I would just sit behind them and let them do the dirty work. He was traveling nicely throughout, and when I asked him for run at the top of the lane, he gave me an extra punch. I still think there’s more in the tank. We haven’t seen the best of him yet. Hopefully, he just keeps improving.”
Turbo Drive was 3/4 of a length past a late-moving Zipalong, while the field’s other filly, Fresco, was a head behind them in fourth after struggling to find racing room until late.
Another 1/2-length back came Dream Bigger, while a distanced Stuy Town Baby completed the order of finish.
Jolting Joe’s win improved the 3-year-old Mission Impazible colt’s record to 5-1-4-0 with $90,450 earned. Though bred in Kentucky, Jolting Joe qualified for the NYSSS because Mission Impazible currently stands at Sequel Stallions in New York.
“The horse ran a credible race at Ellis Park (last time out),” Maker said. “He seems to find some tough competition and he proved our high hopes for him today. Some of the seconds we were disappointed with, but it turns out they were some pretty live races.”
Jolting Joe returned $4 to win, $2.90 to place, and $2.40 to show. Turbo Drive brought back $4.90 to place and $3.30 to show, while Zipalong paid $4.40 to show.
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