My Boy Jack needed a top two finish in Saturday’s $200,000 Lexington (G3) to qualify for the Kentucky Derby and the 3-2 favorite did not disappoint his many supporters, getting up late to post a head decision. Trained by Keith Desormeaux and ridden by brother Kent Desormeaux, My Boy Jack rallied to nail Telekinesis on the wire.
Worth a total of 34 points (20-8-4-2 scale), the 1 1/16-mile Lexington was held under showery conditions on a fast Keeneland main track and My Boy Jack stopped the teletimer in 1:44.22. The winner is campaigned by Don’t Tell My Wife Stables and Monomoy Stables.
My Boy Jack broke from the widest post among 10 runners and rated about 10 lengths back in ninth as Greyvitos sped forward at the break and established splits in :23.28 and :47.11 on a short lead. The pacesetter was making his first start since winning the Springboard Mile in mid-December and still led by two lengths after three-quarters in 1:12.02, but rust eventually showed as he began to weaken turning for home.
Telekinesis tracked in second most of the way and advanced to take the lead in upper stretch, spurting clear with less than a sixteenth of a mile remaining. But My Boy Jack loomed a serious danger after launching his bid on the far turn, rallying past most of the field, and carried his momentum into the short stretch as he determinedly wore down his rival in the final strides.
Telekinesis, the 7-2 second choice, easily held second by 2 ½ lengths over 5-1 fourth choice Pony Up. It was another half-length back to 7-2 Greyvitos in fourth.
Seven Trumpets, Zanesville, Honor Up, Navy Armed Guard, Gracida and Arched Feather completed the order. Battle at Sea and Magicalmeister were scratched.
Bred in Kentucky by Brereton Jones, My Boy Jack is from the second crop of Creative Cause and has proved to be a bargain purchase for $20,000 at the 2016 Keeneland September yearling sale. He’s the first stakes winner out of the unraced Mineshaft mare Gold N Shaft, who hails from the Grade 3-winning mare Gold N Delicious.
My Boy Jack raced primarily on turf last year, winning the Zuma Beach and finishing second in the Del Mar Juvenile Turf, but switched back to the main track this year with a non-threatening third in the Sham (G3) at Santa Anita in early January. He recorded his first graded tally when taking the February 19 Southwest (G3) over a muddy Oaklawn oval and was exiting a fast-closing third in the TwinSpires.com Louisiana Derby (G2) in which he missed by three-quarters of a length.
With the $120,000 first-place prize, the dark bay colt bumped his earnings to $645,145 from a 10-3-3-2 scorecard and My Boy Jack is safely in the 20-horse Kentucky Derby field with a total of 52 points.
Kent Desormeaux (winning rider of My Boy Jack): “He was very, very comfortable in his stride and that was pretty much a repeat of his last start. Fortunately I didn’t grab a hot dog at the quarter pole and that made the difference (referencing My Boy Jack’s wide trip in the Louisiana Derby).
On the effects of his come-from-behind style in the Kentucky Derby:
“I think it will (suit him) probably even better. We always tend to get a true, honest pace in the Kentucky Derby and I think he’ll enjoy that.”
Kirk Godby (whose Don’t Tell My Wife Stables co-owns winner My Boy Jack with Sol Kumin’s Monomoy Stables): “Unbelievable. Everyone knows we came here to get points and he got the job done today. We’re just thrilled. When I saw Kent bring him out down the backstretch and we were within six or seven lengths, I felt pretty good about it. I was just hoping he had the gas to get home in the short stretch.”
Javier Castellano (rider of runner-up Telekinesis): “My trip was perfect. I was in a beautiful position – it was what I was looking for. I cut the corner and saved a lot of ground. I tried to get the jump, but the other horse (My Boy Jack) came way from the outside. Unfortunately, the other horse has been running more lately. My horse has great potential for only running three times.”
Mark Casse (trainer of Telekinesis): “I was very proud of him. He is playing catch-up. This is only his third start, so for him to run as well as he did, I think he is a superstar.”
John Velazquez (rider of third-place finisher Pony Up): “The first part he seemed like he was a little bit sluggish. The first eighth of a mile was like, ‘Come on, buddy, we need to be a little bit closer here.’ Then, geez, the last part he came running. I needed to be a little bit closer the first part. But he ran well.”
Joel Rosario (rider of fourth-place finisher Greyvitos): “He broke sharp and it seemed like he had a lot of energy. He looked good the whole way, it just looked like in the last part they ran by me. I kept trying but he got a little tired in the last part.”