Charles Fipke's homebred Jersey Town has been scratched from the Cigar Mile Handicap (gr. I) at Aqueduct Racetrack and will ship to John Phillips' Darby Dan Farm near Lexington to commence stud duty for 2013, trainer Barclay Tagg said Nov. 24.
Six-year-old Jersey Town was supposed to have made his final start in the Cigar Mile and was seeking a repeat victory, having captured the race by a head in 2010 at odds of 34-1. Jersey Town spiked a fever, however, and Tagg opted not to run.
"He went off his feed a little bit and got a bit of a temperature, and I couldn't see running him in a compromised situation," Tagg told the New York Racing Association'ss press office. "We were going to retire him after the race. That's what the plans were. It's Mr. Fipke's horse, but I haven't talked to him about it. I'm going to send him to the farm Monday if he's healthy enough."
Jersey Town finished fifth in the Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile (gr. I) Nov. 3 at Santa Anita Park last time out. His other graded stakes victory came in his penultimate start, a 3 1/2-length win over Shackleford in the Sept. 29 Kelso Handicap (gr. II) at Belmont Park. He also raced in the Pacific Northwest for trainers Barbara Heads and Tim McCanna and placed in the British Columbia Derby (Can-III) and the Longacres Mile (gr. III). He returned to Tagg in the fall of 2010.
"He's been a lovely horse. He's a tremendous horse to work with," said Tagg. "He had minor little problems his whole career that took a lot of work, but he's very fast, very strong, very competitive, and he loves to run. Those are the kinds of horses you want. We liked everything about him. We had him since he was a 2-year-old, and he will be missed around the barn."