September 19, 2020

Jackie’s Warrior zooms to stakes-record score in Hopeful

Jackie's Warrior wins the 2020 Hopeful Stakes (Dom Napoiltano/Coglianese Photography)

Jackie’s Warrior out-footed six rivals, including even-money favorite Reinvestment Risk, in posting an emphatic, stakes-record victory in Monday’s $250,000 Hopeful Stakes (G1) on closing day of the Saratoga meet.

The 9-5 second choice, Jackie’s Warrior broke sharply and was left unchallenged on the front end while ripping through fractions of :22.56 and :44.83. Reinvestment Risk was the closest pursuer turning for home, but proved no match as Jackie’s Warrior kept going under Joel Rosario.

Up five lengths a furlong out, Jackie’s Wonder won geared down by 2 1/2 lengths and passed the wire in 1:21.24 for 7 furlongs, a final time that eclipsed the previous stakes record of 1:21.94 set by Came Home in 2001. The Hopeful was lengthened from 6 1/2 furlongs to seven in 1994.

Owned by J. Kirk and Judy Robinson, the Steve Asmussen-trained colt paid $5.70. Reinvestment Risk finished 10 1/4 lengths ahead of Mutassabeq, with Ampersand, Papetu, Nutsie, and Fearless Fly rounding out the strung-out field.

Jackie’s Warrior remains unbeaten from three starts. Victorious by 2 1/2 lengths over 5 furlongs at Churchill Downs on June 19, he followed up with a three-length tally in the 6-furlong Saratoga Special (G2) on Aug. 7. He’s now earned $265,064.

“It seems like he’s going to carry his speed a long ways,” said assistant trainer Scott Blasi. “We’re already in New York, the (one-mile) Champagne (G1) definitely may be a possibility going forward on Oct. 10 and then hopefully to the Breeders’ Cup from there.”

Bred in Kentucky by J & J Stables, Jackie’s Warrior sold for $85,000 at Keeneland September. By Maclean’s Music, is out of the A. P. Five Hundred mare Unicorn Girl.

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