Sunday, November 28, 2010
After a long wait, the official photo showed Jersey Town a winner by a nose of the prestigious Cigar Mile (G1), giving the Darby Dan foaled and raised 4-year-old his first graded stakes win for owner/breeder Charles Fipke. The $250,000 race was the centerpiece of the Nov. 27 card at Aqueduct that featured several graded stakes over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. (VIDEO
Jersey Town had been close to getting that elusive graded win on a few occasions. He'd been second three different times, including both the Bold Ruler (G3) and Kelso (G2) Handicaps last month.
This time would be different though. Jersey Town ran third through the early going as pacesetter Vineyard Haven was prompted through fractions of 22.69 and 45.27 by Haynesfield. Moving up to challenge for the lead on the turn, Jersey Town bore down on Haynesfield in upper stretch and the two battled back-and-forth to the wire, with Jersey Town sticking his head in front at the last second for the victory.
“Today, he wanted to win,” said jockey Cornelio Velasquez, aboard the 4-year-old son of Speightstown. “The other horse, he ran a big one too. My horse is a very good horse.”
“Mr. Fipke had him out West, and wanted to go to the Breeders’ Cup,” said trainer Barclay Tagg. “I talked him out of that, and said the Cigar Mile would be a lot easier, and it’s still a Grade 1. Then the race came up so tough, and I thought we made a mistake.”
Fortunately for Tagg, his reservations proved wrong, and Fipke's colt is now 5-5-1 in 12 starts, with earnings of $394,001. Tagg takes his stable to south Florida for the winter, and Jersey Town is likely to make the trip, with his next start to be determined.