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BENSALEM, PA – Michael Stinson’s King Jack made a valiant move in mid-stretch to sweep past fellow California shipper Landeskog before championing Saturday’s $300,000 Gallant Bob Stakes (G3) at Parx.
Breaking from post 7 under Joel Rosario as the 7/5 favorite, King Jack sat three-wide down the backstretch early, just behind Strong Will on the rail and Landeskog to his outside. Midway through the far turn, Landeskog sidled past Strong Will as King Jack followed close behind.
Straightening for home, Landeskog had a slight advantage, but King Jack’s stride closed the gap quickly. Surging ahead midway home while under a mild drive, the Jerry Hollendorfer trainee was ridden out to the wire before crossing in a final time of 1:08.89 for the 6-furlong sprint over the fast main track.
“I kind of wanted to just get him in the race and then he could be comfortable, but it seems like he was fine and I just tried to not be too wide on the turn,” Rosario said. “He was giving me everything nice and he was just enjoying his work. When I started riding, he just went forward.”
Landeskog stayed on well for second, nearly a country mile ahead of Trophy Chaser in third. The rest of the field crossed close behind him, with Strong Will fading to fourth ahead of Bulletin, War Bridle, and War Tocsin to complete the order of finish.
Shortly before the gates were set to open, Get Hammered acted up when attempting to load. Along with tossing the rider, his antics caused Bethlehem Road to rear and flip in the gate. While no serious injuries appeared to occur, both were scratched on advice from the track veterinarian.
King Jack’s win came in his graded stakes debut and improved his overall record to 4-3-1-0 with $277,400 earned.. The 3-year-old son of Jimmy Creed was most recently second in the Shared Belief Stakes behind the Pennsylvania Derby (G1) favorite Improbable. The trip to Parx was King Jack’s first time shipping from southern California.
“I thought Joel had him placed perfectly,” Hollendorfer said. “They had some trouble in the gate early and we got lucky and got out of that. He had him placed perfectly and had enough horse to run him down. A very fast time. We thought the (distance) would fit this horse very well and it seemed like it did. I like to be up close and we thought we would be up close. Looked like we had a lot of horse down the backside, and that proved to be true.”
King Jack returned $4.80 to win, $2.60 to place, and $2.10 to show. Landeskog brought back $3 to place and $2.20 to show, while Trophy Chaser paid $2.40 to show.
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