Jackson Bend

Jackson Bend

Coglianese Photos/Courtney Stafford

Jackson Bend Confirmed for Start in Forego

Trainer Nick Zito says the 5-year-old has passed all the tests for Sept. 1 race.

Jackson Bend will get the chance to defend his title in the $500,000 Forego Stakes (gr. I) at Saratoga Race Course Sept. 1, according to Hall of Fame trainer Nick Zito.

Zito entered the 5-year-old son of Hear No Evil in the seven-furlong race Aug. 29 but did not want to commit to running until he was absolutely certain Jackson Bend was suffering no after-effects from a training mishap less than two weeks ago.

"Everything we've seen so far has been good," Zito said Aug. 30. "Jackson has passed all the tests. Physically, he looks terrific. All our vets and everyone I work with has given us clearance and assured us he is the same Jackson."

Zito trains Jackson Bend for his Florida breeder, Fred Brei of Jacks or Better Farm, and Robert LePenta.

Jackson Bend earned his first grade I in the 2011 Forego with an easy 3 1/4-length victory over Jersey Town .

The small chestnut was concluding a routine gallop on the Oklahoma training track Aug. 18 when he collided with another horse coming onto the track. Although shaken up, Jackson Bend escaped serious injury, and resumed galloping Aug. 23. He breezed four furlongs in :49.77 over the same Oklahoma training track Aug. 27.

Jackson Bend earned a second grade I when he beat Caleb's Posse  and Shackleford  to win the Carter Handicap April 7 at Aqueduct Racetrack. Jackson Bend drew post 4 for the Forego as the 7-2 second choice on the morning line.

Shackleford, winner of of the 2011 Preakness (gr. I) and the 2012 Metropolitan Handicap (gr. I), is the 2-1 favorite in a field of accomplished older sprinters. Others entered are Jersey Town, Isn't He Perfect, Pacific Ocean, Hamazing Destiny, Emcee, and Caixa Eletronica.