Updated on 10/11/2012 2:23PM

Jackson Bend, multiple Grade 1 winner, retired at 5

Barbara D. Livingston
Owner-breeder Fred Brei said Jackson Bend was unable to mentally recover from a training accident at Saratoga on Aug. 18.

The multiple Grade 1 winner Jackson Bend, who developed a reputation as a small horse with a big heart, has been retired from racing, trainer Nick Zito confirmed Thursday.

Fred Brei, the breeder and co-owner of Jackson Bend, said the horse did not appear to mentally recover from a training accident at Saratoga on Aug. 18 when a horse barreled into him on the Oklahoma training track, Zito said.

Brei said that Jackson Bend would join the stallion roster of Journeyman Stud in Ocala, Fla., where he will stand for a fee of $5,000.

Shortly after running last in the Grade 1 Forego at Saratoga on Sept. 1, Jackson Bend was sent to Brei’s Jacks or Better Farm in Reddick, Fla. for a vacation. Zito said that Brei called him on Wednesday and said that he didn’t feel Jackson Bend’s mental attitude was where it needed to be to return to racing.

“It’s an emotional thing for me,” Zito said by phone from Saratoga. “You can’t put a price on what that horse has given us over the years, all the big races he’s taken us too. He would have been right there in the Forego if that accident didn’t happen. I guess it took its toll mentally. Fred said it’s like a concussion for an athlete. He knows the horse pretty good.”

Brei and trainer Stanley Gold campaigned him to five wins from six starts as a 2-year-old, including a sweep of the Florida Stallion Stakes series at Calder.

Prior to Jackson Bend’s 3-year-old season, Brei sold half-interest to Robert LaPenta and the horse was transferred to Zito. Though he was winless at 3, Jackson Bend finished second in the Holy Bull, Fountain of Youth and Wood Memorial and finished third, beaten less than a length, in the Preakness.

After starting 2011 with Gold, Jackson Bend was returned to Zito for the summer, and he won the James Marvin and Grade 1 Forego at Saratoga. He ended the year with a third in the Breeders’ Cup Sprint.

This year, Jackson Bend won the Grade 3 Hal’s Hope at Gulfstream and the Grade 1 Carter at Aqueduct by a nose over Caleb’s Posse.

A 5-year-old horse by Hear No Evil, Jackson Bend retires with a record of 9-6-4 and won eight stakes from 28 starts, and he earned $1,613,450.

“I thought he’d always be around,” Zito said. “For a trainer, I thought he was a luxury, a gift from God, a blessing. You can’t put a price on Jackson Bend for me.”

Laura Smith More than 1 year ago
Ever since I moved to the Saratoga area and have become a horse racing fan Jackson Bend has been my favorite of them all. From the time I bet on him in the Kentucky Derby to his last race this summer in Saratoga I've always looked forward to watching that gutsy, classy little guy race. Enjoy your retirement and will look forward to welcoming your offspring in the future. Love you!
FMeatball More than 1 year ago
After ALL these years of enjoying the horses , it's so great to see that some of the trainers and owners do the right thing !!! God Bless you Jackson Bend !!
Jeffrey More than 1 year ago
Horses like Jackson Bend are the reason even jaded old handicappers like myself love this game. Well done JB. Chalk Eating Weasel
Vicki Dwight More than 1 year ago
Good things come in small packages
Thomas Cook More than 1 year ago
Not the size of the dog in the fight it's the size of fight in ths dog..that was JB. Sad he got steamrolled into early retirement. Courageous colt will be missed.
ALEJANDRO ANZA More than 1 year ago
what a horse,fun to watch i wish him the best!!!!!
Molly Sanchez More than 1 year ago
Good Luck Jackson Bend and thanks for giving racing fans much to cheer about during your career. Can't wait to see your foals hit the track!
JoyJackson21 More than 1 year ago
Yes, Mr. Zito, you are absolutely right. Mighty little Jackson Bend is a gift, a blessing to all of us. He has the heart of a giant. That he is -today is a miracle in an of itself after his harrowing and truly death-defying accident at Saratoga. Jackson Bend has had an inspiring career, he was very talented. And he did his job with plenty of pluck. To say I admire the spirit of Jackson Bend is an understatement. Jackson Bend can now be rewarded for his heroics with a well-earned retirement. He has lots o f fans out there who will love to come and visit him to say "hello". I wish Jackson Bend endless good luck and good fortune in the future, and my prayers and good thoughts go with him that he recovers happily and fully from the trauma he endured at Saratoga. Jackson Bend is another mighty warrior. I hope he has lots and lots of fun in his retirement and romances some very pretty mares along the way. Thank you, Jackson Bend. Very well done, buddy! Have lots of fun and happiness in your new life. You deserve it!
richard montgomery More than 1 year ago
If more owners cared about what the horses state of mind was we wouldnt even have racing. Something else is up with Jackson...fun horse, always tried hard, wish him the best.
Don Reed More than 1 year ago
God bless Jackson Bend - and also, Nick Zito, whose transformation from track cynic in the 1980s to, today, someone quite admirable.