02/17/2012 6:01PM

Aqueduct: Lakeman declines Jacobson offer

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Barbara D. Livingston
Thisskysabeauty was claimed by David Jacobson.

OZONE PARK, N.Y. - There were more than a few raised eyebrows, some Internet chatter, and backstretch banter regarding David Jacobson’s claim of Thisskysabeauty from Andrew Lakeman on Thursday.

Thisskysabeauty was the first horse Lakeman – the former jockey who was paralyzed in a spill in May 2007 – ever trained and just one of two horses in his care. Thisskysabeauty gave Lakeman his first win as a trainer last Thanksgiving Day.

On Thursday, Jacobson claimed Thisskysabeauty for $30,000 out of the fifth race, where he finished seventh of nine as the 3-1 second choice. Lakeman was visibly upset but didn’t have time to mope, as his other horse, Shes Loca, was running in the next race, a maiden $16,000 claimer for New York-bred fillies. Somewhat fittingly, Shes Loca won.

Jacobson said he was unaware of Lakeman’s situation when he put in the claim for Thisskysabeauty. After being made aware by several people – including a New York Racing Association official – Jacobson called Lakeman Thursday night to offer the horse back to him.

Lakeman asked Jacobson for 24 hours to think about it. On Friday morning, Lakeman said he was going to decline the offer. Lakeman thought the horse would run better than he did and said he had already begun to have second thoughts when Jacobson called him.

“I learned a lot from that horse, that horse taught me a lot,” Lakeman said. “I didn’t really have a tremendous amount of confidence in myself. That horse changed my life.”

Thisskysabeauty did suffer a condylar fracture after his debut 13 months ago. In his last three starts before Friday, the colt had a win and two thirds.

Lakeman said he would use the money from the claim to purchase “a nice New York-bred.”

n Friday morning, Jacobson said that while he still would give the horse back to Lakeman if he wanted him, he doesn’t believe he did anything inappropriate.

“It’s not like I snuck in at night and stole the horse,” Jacobson said.

Jacobson said he claimed the horse because he was impressed with the way he looked in the paddock, and he complimented Lakeman on his horsemanship.

“Certain people think they’re horseman,’’ Jacobson said. “He is a horseman.”

Jacobson did say that he has no plans to claim from Lakeman in the future.