Taking over shortly after a quarter-mile under Garrett Gomez, J Be K easily pulled away from his five rivals, extending his lead with every stride. The 3-year-old son of Silver Deputywas in total command at the top of the stretch and cruised to the wire four lengths in front of runner-up Silver Edition. It was a repeat of the June 7 Woody Stephens (gr. II) at Belmont when the pair finished one-two. The margin of victory that time was 5 1/2 lengths.
J Be K completed the six-furlong Jersey Shore in 1:09.10 on a fast main track. Indy Joe was six more lengths back in third under Joe Bravo.
Trained by Steve Asmussen, J Be K has now won five of seven lifetime starts with earnings of $427,200. His other graded stakes victory this year came at Aqueduct when he won the April 5 Bay Shore (gr. III) by five lengths. The dark bay colt is now a perfect five-for-five when travelling seven furlongs or less.
Early on J Be K was one of four horses competing for the lead, as Go Go Shoot, Bright Pick, and Indy Joe were barely separated before the turn. Go Go Shoot and Jose Lezcano eventually found themselves on the front end after the first call, getting a quarter-mile in a speedy :21.46. But shortly thereafter Gomez moved J Be K to the lead and by the time they approached the quarter-pole it was lights out for his rivals.
“Going into the race, I knew I had the best horse, so I really wanted to keep him in the clear and out of trouble,” said Gomez, who throttled his mount down in the late stages. “People don’t really think he has any speed, but if you look back at his 2-year-old line at Saratoga, you see differently. He’s a great horse with a great mind, and is maturing at a good rate. He’s like a teenager just getting out of high school and adjusting to everything the right way. He’s a very nice horse.”
Asmussen’s assistant trainer Toby Sheets added: “He’s a sharp breaker, so the plan was to just let him hop out of the gate and go from there. I didn’t expect four horses to be going for the lead, but it all worked out well. We’ll see how he comes out of this race. Garrett geared him down toward the wire, which should have saved something for his next race. He was real impressive today.”
Going off as the overwhelming 2-5 choice, J Be K paid $2.80, $2.20, and $2.10. The exacta (5-3) returned $8.40, while trifecta (5-3-6) was just $20.40.
Bred in Kentucky by Glory Days Breeding, J Be K is out of the Valid Wager mare Major Wager. He was purchased for $350,000 at the 2007 Fasig-Tipton Florida select sale of 2-year-olds in training.