Trial by Jury Wins Verdict in Dallas Turf Cup

(from Lone Star Park report)
Trial by Jury rallied late in the stretch to nail 1-2 favorite New Export by a neck in Saturday's $200,000 Dallas Turf Cup Handicap (gr. IIIT) at Lone Star Park in Grand Prairie, Texas.

It was the 7-year-old gelding's third win in four starts at the 1 1/8-mile distance and first career graded stakes triumph.

Ridden by Alfredo Juarez Jr. and toting 115 pounds, Trial by Jury was clocked in 1:52.69 over a turf course labeled "soft" due to overnight rain. The 12-1 third choice in a field of six older horses, Trial by Jury paid $26, $4.80, and $2.60. New Export returned $2.40 and $2.10. Waupaca was another length behind in third and paid $2.40.

The win was Trial by Jury's sixth in 31 lifetime starts, and the $120,000 winner's share of the purse pushed his career earnings to $345,580 for owner Luciano Martinez and trainer Bruce Jackson.

New Export, conditioned by Bobby Frankel, was all the rage coming into the Dallas Turf Cup after his third-place effort in the April 29 Inglewood Handicap (gr. IIIT) at Hollywood Park. The odds-on choice broke alertly and contested for the lead from the outset, but received pressure from six-time stakes winner Waupaca.

The pace was a slow one – :25 4/5, :50 3/5 and 1:14 3/5.

"The pace was slow and then Waupaca came up on our outside and pushed us," said New Export's pilot Cliff Berry. "He laid on us pretty good for most of the way. He ran good, but (Trial by Jury) just came up and got us."

Trial by Jury tracked behind the leaders in fifth during the early stages of the race before ranging into contention just before the turn for home.

"He really relaxed nice and calm, and that's what you really want in a race like this," Juarez said. "Actually, I had everything in my favor because the pressure was on (New Export). I was just riding the rail behind horses. When I asked him on the turn for home, I had to split horses, but he started rolling and that was it."

For Jackson, best known as the conditioner of In Excess in the early 1990s, it was his first graded stakes win since Lord Smith captured the Explosive Bid (gr. III) at Fair Grounds in 1999.

"I think Trial by Jury liked it a little soft," said the 52-year-old trainer. "The only horse I was going to run was Brego (who finished sixth). I threw in Trial by Jury at the last minute because of the short field."

Later on the card, War Bridle held on to beat Nuttyboom by a head in the $40,000 Carter McGregor Jr. Memorial Stakes, a six-furlong race restricted to Texas-breds. Boots on Sunday, an eight-time stakes winner who was coming out of a 3 ½-year retirement to race again at age 9, was well-positioned early in the race, but faded to eighth.

(Chart, Equibase)