08/26/2009 11:00PM

Jackson Bend goes for four in a row

Jim Lisa
Jackson Bend, winner of the Dr. Fager and Frank Gomez Memorial, brings a three-race winning streak to Saturday's Affirmed Stakes at Calder.

MIAMI - Jackson Bend is best known around south Florida as the leader of the local 2-year-old division and the winner of the Dr. Fager Stakes, the first leg of the open division of the Florida Stallion Stakes. He may be even better known around the rest of the country as the only horse to have defeated D' Funnybone, runaway winner of the Grade 2 Saratoga Special earlier this month.

Jackson Bend's accomplishments have certainly not been lost on his peers around Calder, the majority of whom obviously felt it wise to duck him in Saturday's $150,000 Affirmed Stakes. The seven-furlong Affirmed, the second leg of the Stallion series, drew a field of only five 2-year-olds, including Jackson Bend's chief rival Mr. Green.

The Affirmed will share top billing on Calder's Juvenile Showcase card along with its filly counterpart, the $150,000 Susan's Girl Stakes. The Juvenile Showcase, which consists of 13 races exclusively for 2-year-olds, also features four other stakes, including a pair scheduled to be run on the turf.

Jackson Bend suffered his only setback in four starts in his career debut, when he rallied belatedly to finish second, beaten a half-length by Sendme Mario, in a 4 1/2-furlong race May 9. Stanley Gold, who trains the homebred Jackson Bend for the Jacks or Better Farm, added Lasix for Jackson Bend's next start, and the son of Hear No Evil has been unbeatable ever since. He followed his 2 1/4-length maiden win with narrow victories in the Frank Gomez Memorial and Dr. Fager. In the Frank Gomez, Jackson Bend outfinished D' Funnybone by a half-length after the latter made the lead between calls near midstretch.

Mr. Green was purchased privately by trainer Marty Wolfson for the partnership of the Farnsworth Stables LLC and Kramer Stables after winning his maiden under a $50,000 claiming tag by more than four lengths on June 6. A son of Proud Accolade, Mr. Green chased Jackson Bend home in his next two starts, finishing third while beaten two lengths after an extended pace duel in the Gomez and second by three-quarters of a length after again being pressured on the front end in the Dr. Fager.

Mr. Green, who raced against the grain of the track bias in the Dr. Fager, figures to have an easier time making the lead Saturday and has a big chance of reversing those last two decisions, despite stretching out an additional furlong for the Affirmed.

Completing the lineup are Bim Bam, who rallied from the rear of the pack to finish a well-beaten third in the Dr. Fager, recent maiden winner Lucas Brady, and first-time starter Legendary Storm.

While the field for the Susan's Girl is not nearly as strong as the Affirmed, the race looms a much more attractive betting proposition. The race features a rematch among the first three finishers in the first leg of the series, the Desert Vixen Stakes, won by Sweetlalabye on Aug. 8. Joanie's Catch, who finished full of run to end up less than a length behind the winner despite a very slow start, and Myakka City who set the pace over the tiring track before finishing third as the 4-5 favorite, are both eligible to avenge their most recent setbacks with better racing luck.

Completing the field are Impressive debut winner Tillie the Tigress, recent maiden winner Rosebud's Ridge, and maidens All Drama and Winsockie.