J. Kirk and Judy Robison’s Jackie’s Warrior broke to an early lead in Saturday’s $500,000 Pat Day Mile S. (G2) at Churchill Downs and held sway all the way. The sophomore son of Maclean’s Music earned a hard-fought head victory over a game Dream Shake and annexed his fourth graded triumph in the process.
Conditioned by Steve Asmussen and guided to victory by Joel Rosario, Jackie’s Warrior put the pedal to the metal from the get-go, posting swift fractions of :21.75, :43.68, 1:07.97 and 1:20.50. Jackie’s Warrior and Dream Shake, who fought the winner for most of the race, labored a bit in the stretch but were easily clear of the rest. The winner completed the one-turn, one-mile fast track Grade 2 contest in 1:34.39.
Whiskey Double was 4 1/2 lengths farther back in third, and completing the order of finish were Defunded, Sittin on Go, Dreamer’s Disease, Starrininmydreams, Prevalence, Joe Frazier, Three Two Zone and Noble Reflection. Ultimate Badger was withdrawn.
Jackie’s Warrior, a $95,000 Keeneland September graduate, previously captured the Champagne at Belmont as well as the Hopeful at Saratoga, both Grade 1 contests. He also won the Saratoga Special before running fourth as the favorite in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile at Keeneland. The colt exits the Pat Day with earnings of $868,964 and a record of 7-5-0-1.
Justifiably, Asmussen expressed considerable confidence in the colt.
“It’s quite obvious that he’s a special horse and there are plenty of opportunities for him out there that will serve his assets best,” he said.
Jackie’s Warrior was bred in Kentucky by J & J Stables and produced by the A. P. Five Hundred mare Unicorn Girl, a durable sort who won 19 times from 54 starts and earned nearly $500,000. Unicorn Girl has an unnamed yearling colt by American Pharoah.
Asmussen didn’t say when or where Jackie’s Warrior would make his next start.