Jakkalberry Rallies, Takes American St. Leger
Ridden by Colm O'Donoghue and trained by Marco Botti, Jakkalberry rated in fifth for most of the 1 11/16-mile turf event before accelerating on the last of three turns and passing a very game Ioya Bigtime with about a sixteenth of a mile to go. Team Block's Ioya Bigtime, an Illinois homebred, led from the start through reasonable fractions and was easily second best.
German-bred Zuider Zee was third, followed by Lake Drop, a recent purchase in Italy by Team Valor International.
Jakkalberry, the 8-5 favorite in the race for 3-year-olds and up, had been competing with some success in group company in Great Britain, the United Arab Emirates, Hong Kong, and Italy. He finished third in the Longines Dubai Sheema Classic (UAE-I) in late March. He was a champion in Italy in 2010 and 2011.
Jakkalberry, bred in Ireland by Azienda Agricola Allevamento Deni, is a 6-year-old horse by Storming Home out of the Barathea mare Claba di San Jore. He is now 10-for-24 in his career with earnings of about $1,418,259. In the American St. Leger, Jakkalberry raced for the Australian TB Bloodstock Jakkalberry Syndicate.
"What a fantastic thrill," said Darren Dance, who was identified by Arlington as Jakkalberry's owner. "To do what he has done is a dream come true."
Jakkalberry, who raced without Lasix, paid $5.20, $3.20, and $2.40. Ioya Bigtime returned $3.60 and $2.80, and rounded out a $19.40 exacta. Zuider Zee paid $3.20.
There was little change in the running order for most of the American St. Leger, which had a nine-horse field after the scratches of Vertiformer, Suntracer, and Game Ball. Ioya Bigtime, winner of the Stars and Stripes Stakes (gr. IIIT) at Arlington in his last prior start, was tracked by Bridge of Gold, Zuider Zee, and Lumberyard Jack for about 1 1/4 miles before Jakkalberry rallied from fifth.
Jakkalberry, urged by O'Donoghue on the turn, won by 2 1/4 lengths. Ioya Bigtime finished 6 1/4 lengths ahead of Zuider Zee, who was a length ahead of Lake Drop.
The fractions for the American St. Leger were :25.11 for the opening quarter-mile, :50.82 for a half-mile, 1:15.43 for six furlongs, and 1:41.30 for one mile. The mile and a quarter went in 2:05.62, with a final time of 2:49.01 on a course rated good.
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