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Jax And Jill Looks To Remain Unbeaten In Saturday's Smart Halo
LAUREL, MD. 11-01-12---Robert Cole’s Jax and Jill looks to remain unbeaten in Saturday’s $125,000 Smart Halo Stakes at Laurel Park. The 6-furlong test features eight 2-year-old fillies.
Trained by Scott Lake, Jax and Jill has gone unchallenged in four starts, winning by a combined 25-3/4 lengths in victories at Parx Racing, Timonium and a pair of state-bred stakes at Charles Town.
“She is very fast and we thought she would excel in the short races at Charles Town,” Cole said. “I don’t know how anybody is going to beat her going 5-1/2 furlongs or less. I wish this race was 5-1/2 because I would be super confident. Stretching out to 6 could be tough but she is going to the lead and we hope to hold on. Her half-mile splits are 44 (seconds) and change where everybody else in the race is around 46, so even though there is a lot of speed in the race she seems to have the dominant early speed.”
Jax and Jill is the first horse bred by Cole, who bred multiple stakes winner Rain Song, a mare he owned, to 1999 Frank J. De Francis Memorial Dash (G1) winner Yes It’s True.
Cole also owned graded stakes winning sprinter Shake You Down and Rapid Redux, who set a North American record with 22 consecutive victories.
“Rain Song was fast. There was a time Lake believed she was the fastest horse he had ever trained. Now he thinks Jax and Jill is the fastest,” added Cole. “We were offered $12,000 for Rain Song but she was so talented we decided to breed her and take advantage of the West Virginia program. There are so many easy races there throughout the years.”
Sheldon Russell has the riding assignment on Jax and Jill, who is 2-1 on the morning line.
Maryland Jockey Club handicapper Frank Carulli has tabbed Baby J as the 9-5 program favorite. The daughter of J Be K finished second in Matron Stakes (G2) at Belmont Park on Sep. 30 at this distance. The Rick Dutrow trainee was third in Schuylerville Stakes (G3) in her previous start. Erick Rodriguez picks up the mount.
Power Lady (4-1) is 2-for-2 for trainer John Servis, including a 7-3/4 length allowance score at Parx Racing last month. Regular rider John Bisono will be aboard the Discreet Cat filly.
Lighthouse Bay (5-1), Flattering Bea (10-1), Jubileebra (12-1) and Forest Diva (30-1) all come into the race off victories.
Ek Haseena (30-1) rounds out the field.
About Laurel Park
Laurel Park is a Stronach Group company, North America’s leading Thoroughbred racetrack owner/operator. The Stronach Group racetracks include Santa Anita Park, Gulfstream Park & Casino, Golden Gate Fields, Portland Meadows, Laurel Park and Pimlico Race Course, home of the world-famous Preakness. The company owns and operates the Palm Meadows Training Center in Florida and is one of North America's top race horse breeders through its award-winning Adena Springs operation. The Stronach Group is one of the world's largest suppliers of pari-mutuel wagering systems, technologies and services. Its companies include AmTote, a global leader in wagering technology; Xpressbet, an Internet and telephone account wagering service; and Monarch Content Management, which acts as a simulcast purchase and sales agent of horseracing content for numerous North American racetracks and wagering outlets. The Stronach Group is also a major producer of televised horse racing programming through its HRTV cable and satellite network and is North America's premier supplier of virtual online horse racing games, as well as a leading producer of social media content for the horseracing industry.