Inclement weather plagued opening day at The Spa, but neither showers nor the outside draw in six-furlong Schuylerville deterred Jardin, the 12-1 shot who always looked like a winner under Robby Albarado. Jardin, who broke her maiden in her debut by three lengths at Churchill Downs June 22, is now perfect in two starts for owner Padua Stables.
"I was concerned with Jardin being on the outside," said Asmussen, who won three races on opening day at Saratoga. "As the day went on (under the conditions), it looked like that’s where she needed to be. She was comfortable the whole way."
Ocean Colors, who is out of the Kentucky Derby-winning Winning Colors (who died of colic in February), was sent off as the 13-10 choice in spite of drawing the rail on the sealed track. Ocean Colors was sent from the start by jockey Shaun Bridgmohan and after setting a brisk pace for the opening quarter mile, soon faded as the field reached the turn.
“(Ocean Colors) looks like she’s going to be fine," Asmussen said. "She was tying up a bit. We want to make sure she gets back okay."
Starting on the far outside of the nine-horse field, Jardin found a comfortable stalking position as Ocean Colors clicked off an opening two furlongs in :22.44 while getting pressure from Cameron Crazies and Julian Leparoux. When Ocean Colors dropped back on the turn, it was second-choice Collegiate who seized the lead from between horses, completing the half in :46.97 and taking them down the stretch. But Collegiate, ridden by Edgar Prado, would also tire. That left Jardin, closing the deal from the middle of the track, to take command at the eighth pole en route to a four-length triumph in a time of 1:12.79.
"She didn’t break well but she has enough speed to be forwardly placed," Albarado said. "The outside post helped -- she didn’t get mud kicked in her face. The best part of the race was that she handled the course, unlike some of the other fillies.”
Cameron Crazies held on for second by a nose over Girlfrienontheside, who had dropped back after breaking with the leaders for Cornelio Velasquez and was charging at the end. Collegiate settled for fourth.
Jardin ($26.40, $11.40, $7.70) topped a $2 exacta worth $375 with Cameron Crazies ($17, $8.60), and a $2 trifecta of $2,210 with the show horse Girfrienontheside ($6.60). The $1 superfecta paid a whopping $5,291.
The victory was worth $67,740 to Jardin's connections, boosting the dark bay's overall earnings to $87,270.
Collegiate was followed by Renda, Chartreux, Boom Town Sally, Ouchy Night and Ocean Colors. Mani Bhavan and Mine All Mine scratched.
Bred in Florida by Ocala Stud Farm, Jardin is by Montbrook--Unlimited Pleasure (by Valid Appeal) and sold for $425,000 at the February 2008 Ocala Breeders' Sale.
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