MR. JORDAN PREVAILS IN G3 PEGASUS
OCEANPORT, N.J. – At the top of the stretch, Mr. Jordan appeared poised to run by front-running Tekton and on to victory in the Grade 3, $157,500 Pegasus Stakes. But then things got interesting.
Mr. Jordan took a narrow lead, drifted out a bit, lost the advantage, and then was fully extended late to win by a head under Paco Lopez. Still, the performance pleased trainer Eddie Plesa, who took an inch is as good as a mile view of the race. “He’d been off since April 25, and was he 100 percent ready? Probably not,” Plesa said. “Was he 90 to 95 percent ready? Probably.”
Plesa described Mr. Jordan as a “peculiar horse.” He had put blinkers on him for his prior start but took them off for the Pegasus.
“If he’s running good, you might not want to try too hard to fix him,” Plesa said. “He’s kind of a good-feeling horse and he likes to do things at his own pace. You gallop him and he almost two-minute licks. He doesn’t want you to take too much of a hold.” Early in the Pegasus, Mr. Jordan looked like he was out for a morning gallop, loping along behind Tekton through fractions of 24.06 and 47.95 seconds. He challenged for the lead nearing the stretch after six furlongs in 1:11.93 and completed the 1 1/16 miles in 1:42.71 following a mile split of 1:36.21.
“I didn’t want to go to the lead because I knew there was some other speed in the race,” Lopez said. “He was able to relax nice for me and even though he drifted out a little, he was still running hard.”
Mr. Jordan paid $6 as a slight favorite in the eight-horse field. Tekton was second best, finishing 3 3/4 lengths in front of Good Pick Nick in third. Good Pick Nick was also sent off at 2-1.
As the Pegasus winner, Mr. Jordan earned an automatic invitation to the Grade 1 Haskell on Aug. 2. Plesa said he would discuss options with the colt’s owners. Mr. Jordan is owned by Leon
Ellman, David Melin, and Plesa’s wife, Laurie.
“The owners are sportsmen,” Plesa said. “The Haskell is a possibility.” Dan Horn: Saucy Don holds off Chunnel Saucy Don won his second New Jersey-bred stakes of the meet by taking the $60,000 Dan Horn. Saucy Don, a 5-year-old trained by Terri Pompay, had won the six-furlong John J. Reilly Handicap by a head on May 30. He came back to win the Dan Horn, a one-mile turf race, by a neck. Jockey Abel Castellano Jr. was aboard for both races. In the Dan Horn, Saucy Don stalked early, took the lead three wide on the far turn, opened up a clear lead, and then held off late-running Chunnel. It was 3 1/4 lengths farther back to Amblin Easy in third.
Saucy Don paid $6.80 as the favorite in the field of eight. Originally, there were 14 entrants but six scratched over the “good” course. Saucy Don completed a mile in 1:37.29.