Favored Corporate Jungle took over in upper stretch and held Trend at bay win in winning the $100,000 Appleton Stakes (gr. IIIT) (VIDEO) in his stakes debut March 31 at Gulfstream Park.
The lightly-raced 4-year-old son of Giant's Causeway
made his winning move coming off the far turn in the one-mile turf race, took a 1 1/2-length lead at the eighth pole, and scored by one length in the end. Sent off at 2-1 under leading rider Javier Castellano, the dark bay/brown colt made it consecutive wins over the course following an impressive allowance victory on Feb. 18.
Chad Brown trains Corporate Jungle for Gary and Mary West Racing Stables. The dark bay or brown colt was bred in Kentucky by Blandford Stud and Harty & O’Rourke, and is out of the Carson City mare Lady Carson. Blandford Stud consigned him at the Keeneland September 2009 yearling sale, where he was purchased for $210,000.
Corporate Jungle raced in third early on while El Commodore
set the pace under Daniel Coa, then dropped back a bit down the backstretch. El Commodore set a swift pace up front with Decisive Moment
hounding him, clicking off fractions of :22.97, :45.53, and 1:08.67. Monument Hill
and Street Game
were in the next group of horses chasing the quick pace.
Corporate Jungle made his winning four-wide move coming off the turn and took over from a wall of horses. Once he made the front he was never seriously challenged in the stretch, though Trend and Julien Leparoux ran on well for a clear-cut second. Monument Hill was third in a field of eight.
The final time on the firm turf course was 1:33.99.
“We knew there was a lot of speed in the race so it worked out great," Castellano said. "I just sat off them and when I asked him to run he really responded. He gave me a good kick in the end. It was a nice performance. He galloped out really nice and I think he will go farther.”
Unraced as a juvenile, Corporate Jungle broke his maiden in his third try last summer at Saratoga. He missed the rest of the year before coming back in January to run second to Trend in an allowance race at Gulfstream. This win improved his record to 3-1-0 from six starts and earnings of $127,260.
"We thought he had stakes potential. He’s the kind of horse that just needed to mature a little bit. I thought down here he came out of his races a lot better than he did last summer," Brown said. "I think that has to do with his overall physical maturity and he can handle the rigors of racing. He should be set up now for a good year.
“I’m going to go ahead and talk to Gary and Mary West and their racing manager, Ben Glass, and we’ll put our heads together and figure a spot out. I’ll probably take a look at the Woodford Reserve (gr. IT, May 5 at Churchill Downs) and try to stretch him out a little bit.”
The winner paid $6, $3.60, and $3. The exacta (2-8) returned $21.80 and the $1 trifecta (2-8-1) was worth $65.80.