Jackson Bend and Hall of Fame trainer Nick Zito got a bad scare Saturday morning, when a horse crashed into the two-time Grade I winner during training hours on the Oklahoma training track.
Little Nick, a 7-year-old gelding trained by Anthony Quartarolo, was spooked as he walked onto the track and bolted, hitting Jackson Bend on his right side as he was in the midst of his routine morning gallop under exercise rider Carlos Correa.
Neither horse was seriously hurt, although examining veterinarian Dr. Joe Migliacci said it’s possible Jackson Bend may have sustained a bruised lung.
Jackson Bend, the star of Zito’s barn, is being pointed to the Forego on Sept. 1, which he won last year.
“I didn’t see it. Thank god, I didn’t see it,” Zito told the New York Racing Association.
“He was laying on the track for close to five minutes — he was just in shock. He went back to the barn in the ambulance, and we started giving him fluids right away. All the vital signs were fine. It’s a miracle.”
Dr. Migliacci gave a detailed account of his exam and treatment.
He said that, for a typically active, aggressive horse, Jackson Bend was unusually quiet after he was slowly backed off the ambulance, although there was no sign of lameness.
“I couldn’t tell which side he was hit on, which is a good sign,” he said. “He walked the shedrow, and although he did it slowly, he was walking fine. I found no fractured ribs or damage to his shoulder area, but his heart rate was up. I think he got the air knocked out of him. My main focus was that he might have a lung contusion or trauma to his lungs from the blow, but we wouldn’t be able to find that out for a while.”
Dr. Migliacci went back to check on the patient a short time later and found Jackson Bend to be “hollering for food and acting normal.”
“He took eight liters of fluids that have electrolytes, which is the same way you would treat a person in shock. Within 15 minutes, his eyes got brighter, his heart rate came down and he seemed to do fine. Listening to him, he sounded nice and clean. I think he’s a tough guy.”
Zito said he would monitor Jackson Bend closely over the next few days before deciding to go ahead with their plans to run in the Forego.
“He is an amazing, amazing, amazing horse, and this proves how amazing he is,” Zito said.
Jackson Bend finished fourth to Pacific Ocean in the James Marvin on opening day.
Later in the day, Quartarolo’s Nelson Avenue held on to beat Zito’s Sonnyandpally at the wire in a maiden special weight race.
BACK FOR MORE
In the 11⁄16-mile Grade II Lake George on the Saratoga turf July 25, Somali Lemonade was sixth, but just 11⁄4 lengths behind the nose of winner Centre Court.
In today’s Grade II $200,000 Lake Placid, five of the top six finishers from that race will see if an extra sixteenth of a mile can separate them any farther.
Centre Court is the 2-1 second choice on the morning line, just behind 9-5 favorite Stephanie’s Kitten, who was fourth by a half length in the Lake George. Trainer Wayne Catalano said Stephanie’s Kitten, who won last year’s Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf, could benefit from the added distance.
“She’s been doing excellent since the Lake George,” Catalano told the New York Racing Association. “It was a tough beat, but what are you going to do? We’re looking forward to this next race, and I think the extra sixteenth will help her.”
After a fifth-place finish in the Lake George gave Medolina her first loss in four career races, she is the 4-1 third choice here. Better Lucky, who was second by a neck in the Lake George, is 5-1, and Somali Lemonade is 12-1.
The one filly in unfamiliar company is Disposablepleasure, who has run her last eight races (2-3-1) on dirt after opening her career with a fourth-place finish in a maiden special weight turf route at Saratoga. In her last start, she was fourth in the Grade I Coaching Club American Oaks to three Alabama runners.
“Based on her last race here, which wasn’t as good as we were expecting, we thought about trying the grass again,” Pletcher said. “And now, having worked her twice on it since them, it seems like she really does like it. So we’re excited about getting her back on it.”
Pletcher’s 2-year-old Violence won a stretch duel with Titletown Five by a nose in the fourth race, keeping Hall of Fame trainer
D. Wayne Lukas winless at the meet.
Speaking of Hall of Famers, Titletown Five is owned in part by former Green Bay Packers Paul Hornung and Willie Davis.
Trainer Phil Serpe had three entries on the card and won with each of them, taking the first race with 12-1 Cybertron, the seventh race with 5-2 Shrewd One and the 11th with 2-1 Ladywell Court.