01/15/2011 8:25PM

Chief Jay wakes up returning to dirt sprint in John Jackson Memorial

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Lou Hodges Jr.
Chief Jay, under Shaun Bridgmohan, relishes the return to a dirt sprint in the John Jacksosn Memorial.

One start after a failed turf experiment, Chief Jay returned to what he does best, running short on dirt, and upset the $60,000 John E. Jackson Memorial Stakes on Saturday at Fair Grounds.

Chief Jay outkicked pace-pressing favorite My Star Runner and was able to hold off Flashy Wise Cat to win the Jackson by a neck. The winner, a 6-year-old son of Ile St. Louis, is trained by Sam Breaux for owner Sara Citron.

Chief Jay had previously done his best work at Evangeline Downs, and Breaux recently seemed determined to make Chief Day into a route horse, running him two turns in his last four starts. Until the turf race, Chief Day had been doing all right, but his form jumped forward back in a sprint on Saturday. Jockey Shaun Bridgmohan firmly held Chief Jay off the early pace of Foreign Production, who set fractions of 22.41 seconds for the opening quarter-mile and 45.67 for the first half before fading from contention. My Star Runner took command at the top of the stretch, but Chief Jay, moving before wide-rallying Flashy Wise Cat, was up to challenge at the eighth pole, and took the lead in the final half-furlong.

Flashy Wise Cat did not kick home as strongly as he had winning the Louisiana Champions Day Sprint last month, and could not reach the winner before the finish line. Chief Jay paid $20.80 to win and was timed in a fine 1:03.39 for 5 1/2 furlongs. My Star Runner held third, and was followed by Mr. Porter, Foreign Production, and Down the Road.

Speedacious regains form in Happy Ticket

After four sub-par performances, Speedacious finally got back on her game Saturday, leading the $60,000 Happy Ticket Stakes from start to finish in a sharp victory.

Speedacious won the 2009 Louisiana Champions Day Lassie by more than 12 lengths in December 2009, but didn’t make her next start until July. Her comeback race was fine, a neck victory in a fast allowance race at Louisiana Downs, but Speedacious then lost her next four starts, and most recently finished ninth in the Champions Day Ladies Sprint.

Saturday was much different. Breaking on top under Carlos Gonzales, Speedacious ($13.120) zipped through wicked fractions of 21.92 and 44.65. Even-money favorite Cajun Conference gave chase, but Speedacious never wavered in the stretch run, finishing well clear of Cajun Conference while running 5 1/2 furlongs in 1:03.37. Cajun Conference easily got second over Cherry Forever.

Speedacious is a 4-year-old daughter of Louisiana stallion Yankee Gentlemen. She’s owned by Carle Moore and trained by Bret Calhoun.