Returned to sprinting after he stopped in the Preakness Stakes (gr. I) in his last start, Flashpoint humbled three opponents en route to a seven-length romp in the $143,000 Jersey Shore Stakes (gr. III) (VIDEO) on a muddy track at Monmouth Park July 3.
Three scratches, including Cal Nation , drastically reduced the field of 3-year-olds for the six-furlong Jersey Shore. Odds-on choice Flashpoint, racing between rivals on the backstretch and the turn for jockey Cornelio Velasquez, seized control at the top of the stretch and drew away under urging to win with ease.
Under rainy conditions, Flashpoint completed the distance in a sharp 1:08.73 over the off-going after quick quarter-mile splits of :21.79 and :44.46.
Flashpoint, bred in Florida by Silverleaf Farms, is owned by John Fort's Peachtree Stable and is trained by Wesley Ward. The gray/roan colt is a son of of the one-time speedster Pomeroy out of the Two Punch mare Two Punch Lil, a listed stakes winner who like Pomeroy was best around one turn. Flashpoint sold for $100,000 as a Keeneland September yearling in 2009 for Paramount Sales, agent.
“Cornelio has been working him from behind horses in the morning at Aqueduct so the plan was to sit off horses a little bit today," said Ward, who took over training duties on Flashpoint from Rick Dutrow Jr. this spring. "The ultimate goal with this horse is the King’s Bishop (gr. I at Saratoga Aug. 27). That’s the premier race for 3-year-old sprinters in the country and to win that race would be really good for him as a stallion.”
Velasquez said he never doubted he was on the best horse.
“He broke sharp and was moving comfortably," the jockey said. "He had a ton of horse the whole way and was loaded with run when I called on him. He loves these distances, six and seven furlongs. He’s great at them.”
Flashpoint earned $90,000 for his third victory in five starts, boosting his career bankroll to $255,200. Flashpoint's three victories have come by a combined margin of 20 1/2 lengths, including a 7 1/4-length triumph in Gulfstream Park's Hutcheson Stakes (gr. II) Feb. 26.
He jumped into the 1 1/8-mile Florida Derby (gr. I) after the Hutcheson, but gave way late to finish fourth. After a seven-week freshening he set a pressured pace in the Preakness for new trainer Ward and stopped in the lane, finishing last.
Flashpoint carried top weight of 123 pounds in the Jersey Shore and paid $3.60 and $2.60 as the 4-5 pick. C J Russell, ridden by Alan Garcia for trainer Bob Baffert, suffered his first loss in three starts and returned $3.20. The exacta was $9.80. There was no show wagering.
Chipshot finished third, with early leader Zero Rate Policy finishing last after dueling along the inside and tiring.