Grade I winner Jackson Bend is to join what is shaping up as a powerful lineup for the $400,000 Carter Handicap (gr. I) at Aqueduct April 7.
Hall of Fame trainer Nick Zito confirmed March 21 that the modestly bred 5-year-old son of Hear No Evil would be entered in the Carter, part of the Wood Memorial Day undercard.
Jackson Bend, owned by Robert LaPenta and Fred Brei, has earned more than $1.3 million. He owns a grade I win at the seven-furlong Carter distance in Saratoga's Forego Stakes, which he won by 3 ¼ lengths last summer.
After opening his 2012 campaign with a victory in the one-mile Hal’s Hope (gr. I) at Gulfstream Jan. 14, Jackson Bend most recently ran third in the one-mile Gulfstream Park Handicap (gr. II) March 10.
“He stumbled leaving the gate and was outside the entire race,” Zito said of Jackson Bend's most recent effort. “We really can’t take much from that race, but he came out of it really well. He’s a terrific at seven furlongs and the Carter makes perfect sense.”
The race will mark Jackson Bend’s second career start at Aqueduct. He ran second by 9 ¾ lengths to Eskendereya in the 2010 Wood Memorial.
Also expected for the Carter is 2011 Preakness (gr. I) winner Shackleford , 2011 Foxwoods King’s Bishop (gr. I) and Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (gr. I) winner Caleb's Posse , grade I winner Capt. Candyman Can, and five-time graded stakes winner Calibrachoa.