On Saturday, the Oaklawn Park witnessed a return of the sprinter Eclipse Award winner Jackie’s Warrior. With three G1 wins under his belt, the four-year-old colt was a hot favorite for the Count Fleet Sprint, and even though he didn’t win by a large margin, he scored the race decisively and looked prime for some more significant things to come in the season 2022.
Grade 3 Count Fleet Sprint
Despite carrying the biggest weight in the field of six four-year-old and older horses, Jackie’s Warrior (1-2) didn’t hesitate in his seasonal reappearance and scored this G3 handicap held at the distance of six furlongs.
On the dirt and a pretty sloppy surface, the Steven Asmussen bound four-year-old colt snatched up most of the purse of $500,00 when hitting the track for the first time since being disappointing at the Breeders’ Cup meeting. On Saturday, he had a great start, led the pack narrowly, and in the final stretch, he just did enough to win.
Jackie’s Warrior crossed the wire in 1m 9.09s with the advantage of ¾ of a length to strongly finishing Letsgetlucky (183-10), while third Chipoftheoldblock (36-1) was also close in third.
As Jackie’s Warrior used his early speed to show the way, Empire of Gold (28-1) used the inner gate to stalk the favourite closely, but once the duo hit the final stretch, Jackie’s Warrior remained alone on the front. He might’ve idled a bit there, but as soon as Letsgetlucky was closing on him, Jackie’s Warrior held him off easily.
Still, also third horse, Chipoftheoldblock, ran a good race as well, while the second chance in the field, Bob’s Edge (17-10), didn’t manage to improve his position throughout the race enough to do better than take fourth in front of fifth and tired Empire of Gold.
The son of Maclean’s Music has always boasted lots of talent, given that as a junior, Jackie’s Warrior bagged two G1 victories, and after amassing four wins in a row, he attempted to achieve a triumph in the G1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile.
However, he failed to shine on that day and had to settle for fourth, and in 2021, he quickly affirmed he’s not about to develop into a Kentucky Derby horse. His connections then pointed him towards shorter trips on which Jackie’s Warrior collected three G2 wins and the G1 H. Allen Jenkins Memorial Stakes.
Although he once again didn’t have a big say at the Breeders’ Cup, he definitely is a champion who left his Saturday rivals decisively behind. In the Count Fleet Sprint, the bay colt looked ready to achieve even more in 2022 also due to his obvious willingness to run and fight. He just keeps showing he’s a true warrior, as his name suggests.
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