Kirk and Judy Robison’s reigning Champion Male Sprinter Jackie’s Warrior made short work of his rivals in the $350,000 Alfred Vanderbilt H. (G1) at Saratoga on Saturday, winning the six-furlong test geared down by two lengths, becoming the first horse in history to win Grade 1 events at Saratoga for three consecutive years.
A Kentucky-bred son of Maclean’s Music, Jackie’s Warrior carried a race-high 127 pounds and was sent to the post as the odds-on favorite. He broke alertly from post No. 4 but sat off Doc Amster in an opening quarter-mile of :22.39 over the fast main track. Jockey Joel Rosario gave Jackie’s Warrior his cue around the far turn and the handsome bay responded, quickly drawing clear of the field effortlessly by 4 ½ lengths in the stretch.
Jackie’s Warrior coasted under the wire well clear of runner-up Kneedeepinsnow and stopped the clock in 1:09.74 in the facile score. For Jackie’s Warrior, it was the fifth Grade 1 win of his stellar career.
“I was made aware that if he wins today, he’s the only horse ever to win a Grade 1 three years in a row at Saratoga,” said winning trainer Steve Asmussen. “Saratoga—the great racehorses that have won here and he’s the only one to do that. I just can’t say how much I have wanted that for him and am proud of it, and Jackie’s Warrior has done it.
“He’s the whole package,” Asmussen added. “He just has a tremendous amount of ability and confidence in himself. A game horse.”
Asmussen related that Jackie’s Warrior is targeting the Breeders’ Cup Sprint (G1) in November at Keeneland, and his next start could come in the Forego (G1) on Aug. 27 on Travers Day. Bred in Kentucky by J & J Stables, Jackie’s Warrior is produced from the 19-time winner Unicorn Girl, by A.P. Five Hundred. The win improved Jackie’s Warrior’s record to 16-12-1-1 and increased his bankroll to $2,667,164. He is undefeated in four starts this year.