09/10/2009 12:00AM

J P Jammer can close on dirt

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POMONA, Calif. - The late-running 3-year-old J P Jammer never had a chance last month in the Real Good Deal Stakes on Del Mar's Polytrack racing surface. A severe speed bias negated his closing kick, J P Jammer struggled, and he finished a distant third.

Friday at Fairplex Park, J P Jammer switches to dirt in the $50,000 Jim Kostoff Stakes, a seven-furlong stakes for 3-year-olds that drew a field of eight.

J P Jammer, trained by Rafael Becerra, has won just 1 of 12, but he placed in three stakes while bubbling just below the division leaders. In the money in four of six allowance starts, J P Jammer enters the Kostoff as a deserving favorite.

Martin Pedroza rides J P Jammer, whose closing style should be effective on a dirt surface that generally plays fair. Last fall during the 2008 Los Angeles County Fair meet, there were 12 races at seven furlongs - four were won by the pacesetter, four by horses that rallied from more than five lengths back, and the other four somewhere in between.

Judi Partridge owns J P Jammer, listed as the 2-1 program favorite prior to scratches. His main rivals are Mr. Monkey Jones and Tudor Blue. Mr. Monkey Jones won a fast $62,500 claimer July 25 at Del Mar, earning an 88 Beyer Speed Figure that was validated when the runner-up, Point Attended, returned to win Sept. 3. Mr. Monkey Jones has won 3 of 7.

Mr. Monkey Jones, trained by Bob Hess Jr., will be ridden by David Flores. Ed Moger trains Tudor Blue, who will be ridden by Kyle Kaenel. Tudor Blue has won 4 of 17, and was similarly compromised by the Del Mar speed bias when he finished fifth in the Ral Good Deal while 3 1/4 lengths behind J P Jammer.

Trainer Doug O'Neill starts two former stakes-caliber 3-year-olds, but neither Flashmans Papers nor Escalon appears in particularly good form. Flashmans Papers has tailed off since the winter meet at Santa Anita; Escalon finished sixth in his recent comeback.

While J P Jammer might be considered the most probable winner on the card, Eclipse Syrah in race 1 should race gate to wire at close to even money.