Kentucky-bred Jack Christopher returned to his winning ways on Saturday, Aug. 27, with an impressive victory in the $500,000 H. Allen Jerkens Memorial Stakes (G1).
After winning each of his first four career starts by open lengths, including a 10-length romp in the Woody Stephens Stakes (G1) at Belmont Park in June, Jack Christopher finished third last time out in the Haskell Stakes (G1) at Monmouth Park. Also winner of the Pat Day Mile (G2) in May, and the Champagne Stakes (G1) at two, Jack Christopher bounced right back to his winning form in the seven-furlong Jerkens.
Sent off as the odds-on favorite, Jack Christopher conceded the early lead to Conagher along the inside down the backstretch. After setting a brisk early pace, Conagher retreated turning for home, while Jack Christopher gained command. He finished determinedly through the stretch to defeat Gunite in a final time of 1:21.15.
Owned by Jim Bakke, Gerald Isbister, Coolmore Stud, and Peter Brant, Jack Christopher is trained by Chad Brown and was ridden to victory by Jose Ortiz. The chestnut 3-year-old is by Munnings out of the Half Ours mare Rushin No Blushin, and he was a $135,000 graduate of the Fasig-Tipton October Yearling Sale.
“To win a Grade at Saratoga is a dream come true,” said co-owner Jim Bakke. “It’s obviously a big race and the horse ran awesome. He really did. I have to give kudos to Jose [Ortiz] and Chad Brown, and Bradley Weisbord and Liz Crow, who selected him at the auction. A total team effort and I couldn’t be more happy. It’s a thrill of a lifetime for me. I’ve been in this game for 25 years and never had a Grade 1 winner, so this is really special.”
The win was Jack Christopher’s fifth from six lifetime starts. He now boasts earnings in excess of $1.2 million. Castleton Lyons and Kilboy Estate bred Jack Christopher in Kentucky.