Jersey Town stamped his ticket to the Breeders’ Cup with a come-from-behind, 3 ½-length victory in the $400,000 Kelso H. (G2) on Saturday at Belmont Park. The son of Speightstown is one of 18 stakes winners in 2012 by the WinStar stallion. With $7,674,406 in progeny earnings, Speightstown ranks second on this year's General Sire list.
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Six-year-old Jersey Town got a good stalking trip behind dueling leaders Shackleford and Trickmeister, who went the half mile in :45.02. Splitting rivals heading into the stretch, Jersey Town took command at the top of the lane and was never threatened as he hit the wire well clear of the fading pacesetters.
With the victory, Jersey Town earned an automatic berth in the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (G1), to be run on November 3 at Santa Anita Park, in 1:35.24.
“He just needed to have a couple of races in a row before this one,” said winning trainer Barclay Tagg, who had saddled Jersey Town to a third-place finish in the Grade 1 Forego on Sept. 1 at Saratoga Race Course. “I thought he needs that kind of thing. He’s a real hefty horse. He needs to train hard, and things were just coming together real nicely for him this fall, so we took a shot at it.”
“Turning for home, the (leading) horses got tired; they started backing up a little bit,” said winning jockey Javier Castellano. “My horse is a really nice horse to ride. He split horses and took off, and I’m very satisfied with the way he did it.”
Owned by his breeder Charles Fipke, Jersey Town is now 6-8-3 from 20 career starts, with earnings of $789,668. He won the 2010 Cigar Mile H. (G1).
Jersey Town is out of Jersey Girl, a top-class filly in the late 1990's who accounted for wins in the Acorn S., Mother Goose S., and Test S., all Grade 1 events.