10/26/2009 12:00AM

Interest sold in Jackson Bend


MIAMI - Owner-breeder Fred Brei confirmed Monday that he has sold a controlling interest in Jackson Bend, the top-rated 2-year-old on Daily Racing Form's , to Robert La Penta for an undisclosed sum. Jackson Bend will be turned over to trainer Nick Zito and shipped to his barn at Churchill Downs later in the week. He will not run in the Breeders' Cup.

Under trainer Stanley Gold, Jackson Bend completed a sweep of Calder's Florida Stallion series with a three-length victory in the 1 1/16-mile In Reality Stakes on Oct. 17. He won despite stumbling very badly leaving the starting gate. Jackson Bend earned a 100 Beyer Speed Figure for that performance, making him the only 2-year-old to post a triple-digit Beyer around two turns in 2009.

The In Reality was the fifth win in a row for Jackson Bend, a homebred son of Hear No Evil who earned his first stakes victory by defeating D' Funnybone in the Frank Gomez Memorial. D' Funnybone has since won a pair of Grade 2 races in New York and is among the favorites for the Breeders' Cup Juvenile.

"Bob La Penta and I are of the same mind regarding where we want this horse to get to, which is the first Saturday in May," said Brei, who races as Jacks or Better Farm. "That made us a good fit and the reason why I chose not to go with any of the other offers I had for the horse. I didn't want to go it alone and I also didn't want him going to the Breeders' Cup, or to race in California or Dubai."

Zito said he's looking forward to having Jackson Bend join his stable this week.

"He's an incredible 2-year-old and we're hopeful he can really move forward and develop into something even more special next year," said Zito. "Obviously he's a terrific horse, but what I really like about him is the courage he's displayed."

Zito said it's unlikely Jackson Bend would race again this year.

"I won't rule anything out, but right now we're in no hurry with him," said Zito. "The main goal is to develop him for next year."