03/05/2013 3:20PM

Dick Jerardi: Jax and Jill definitely her mother's daughter

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Charles Town
Jax and Jill, a daughter of the super-speedy Rain Song, wins the Rachel’s Turn Stakes at Charles Town last September.

Scott Lake has trained some really fast horses. He was pretty certain he would never train one any faster than Rain Song.

Claimed out of her first start on Nov. 26, 2004, the filly made a clear lead in each of the final 18 races of her career. She won nearly $300,000, including a pair of two-furlong stakes at Calder, the Fast N Furious and the Rocket Man. She nearly won the Rocket Man again in her penultimate race before being run down by Caller One.

Then, last summer, Lake sent out Jax and Jill at Parx Racing. She was so fast out of the gate in her first race that another trainer with a horse in the race looked at the replay certain that the gate must have malfunctioned. It did not. The daughter of Rain Song was just that fast.

“Her mother was unbelievably fast, and I swore I would probably never have a horse as fast as her and she was faster,” Lake said.

Jax and Jill won a 4 1/2-furlong race in her debut when you could have gotten 5-1. She followed that with a four-furlong win at Timonium at 1-10. She ran twice at Charles Town, winning 4 1/2 furlong races by a combined margin of nearly 14 lengths, which does not happen in those dashes. No horse ever got close to her at any stage.

“The first time [Gerald] Almodovar rode her for me at Charles Town, I said, ‘Look, she’s the fastest horse I’ve ever had’ and he looked at me and kind of made a face,” Lake said.

Then Lake told him: “If you’re not holding on to her mane when you break, you’ll be standing on the ground behind her looking at her because you’ll roll right off the back of her. She’s that fast.”

When the rider came back after the race, he told Lake: “I am so glad you said that because she threw me so far back in the saddle I had a handful of mane holding on for dear life.”

Just two weeks after Jax and Jill’s last Charles Town race, owner Robert Cole wanted to run the West Virginia-bred in a six-furlong stakes at Laurel Park in early November.

The trainer was stunned when Jax and Jill was actually beaten to the lead that day at Laurel. But it was not like she got outrun by a slow horse. The pacesetter, Baby J, had a clear lead in her four career races. Each finished far back that day, fifth and sixth, a length apart.

“We threw a lot at her in a short period of time to get her to run three-quarters and just kind of fried her,” Lake said.

Lake sent Jax and Jill to Florida to unwind. She is just now back in training, pointing to an April 25 West Virginia-bred stakes at Charles Town. Don’t blink.

Big day planned at Parx

Parx came out with its 2013 stakes schedule last week. For the second straight year, the track has bundled its two major stakes into one all-star card.

The Grade 2, $1 million Pennsylvania Derby and Grade 1, $1 million Cotillion will both be run Sept. 21, six weeks prior to the Breeders’ Cup at Santa Anita. Other than those Breeders’ Cup cards, this will be the only card in America with two million-dollar races. The supporting feature will once again be the $300,000 Gallant Bob for 3-year-olds sprinters.

Great January at Penn

Penn National set a monthly handle record in January, averaging $1,260,173 per card. The old record was $1,237,341 in April 2009.

The first month of the new year continued a trend established in 2012 when the track handled an average of $1,013,422 for 197 racing days, a 20.6 percent increase over the $840,461 handled for 199 days in 2011.

Those Maryland apprentices

Maryland-based apprentice jockeys, including Hall of Famers Chris McCarron (1974) and Kent Desormeaux (1989), have accounted for nine of the 42 Eclipse Awards for champion apprentice. There could be a dead heat between two Maryland riders in 2013.

Yomar Ortiz, 21, and Trevor McCarthy, 18, are not just the top apprentices at Laurel. They are one-two in the overall rider standings.

Ortiz, a native of Puerto Rico, has already had four three-win days. McCarthy, the son of former jockey Mike McCarthy, has had two four-win days.

Jay More than 1 year ago
jax and jill is a monster, when she lost the rider appeared to try and rate her to no success that day. good luck to the connections, who should of been voted top owner for an eclipse award.
Bill Kaup More than 1 year ago
Reminds me of a horse the King had about 30 some years ago: Scam. Like a rocket out of the gate, but life and death to hold on down the lane. For a quarter or half mile the horse had unreal speed and would have been a wonderful CT horse had the purses been better in those days..
nysteve27 More than 1 year ago
Why did I just spend time reading about these dog tracks? Ok, next article.....
Amy Hurley More than 1 year ago
Yes, Steve, why did you? If you're not interested, there's a very simple solution - don't read it! Some of us are very interested in our local "dog tracks." And BTW, the purses put up at Parx, as mentioned in the article, suggest that it does have quality racing. Did you happen to catch the stretch duel between My Miss Aurelia and Questing in last year's Grade 1 Cotillion at Parx? 'Nuff said.
Rob More than 1 year ago
Hey NYsteve where do you think the best handicapp horse in the country "game on dude" will make his next start? Aquaduct,Belmont? nope in Charlestown West Virginia on April 20th. So keep saying bad things about CT and keep beating those non winners of NY breed races that are 30 lenths from 1st to last. CT is 1 of those tracks that is needed a track that runs at night with full fields. Bob in PA
Robert Clayton More than 1 year ago
Yeah that winter inner track claim em for 30,000 and run em for 7,500 is some good racing
Bill Opalka More than 1 year ago
With Mountaineer giving up its winter dates, that certainly cleared out the simulcast competition. But PennNat slots tanked in February, so that's got to show up in lower purses soon. Either the market or some unknown benevolent dictator is going to have to instill some discipline on the Mid-Atlantic calendar, or we're in for a long summer of five-horse fields everywhere. And it's probably too late to salvage 2013.
Robert Clayton More than 1 year ago
I couldnt agree more...Why Philly Park and Penn Nat race year round is mind boggling...They could both run 6 months....Have 12 horse fields and go for twice the money and the tracks could save a fortune
edb More than 1 year ago
Gee Perl, Did you happen to see Big Red in person? I did. Enjoy the story for the story and don't stick your nose up in the air to lose by 5. Always enjoy your input, DJ
Perl More than 1 year ago
I did enjoy the story. Much better than the efforts to defend the Bsf "methodology. Dick is a true racing fan.
Perl More than 1 year ago
She won by four furlongs at Timotium? Dang, forget about Secretariat's Belmont! That's amazing. 1-10 was a bargain!