09/30/2010 3:58PM

Jackson Bend returns in Star of Cozzene

Barbara D. Livingston
Jackson Bend will make his return to the races in Saturday's Star of Cozzene Stakes at Belmont Park.

ELMONT, N.Y. – Before the five Grade 1 stakes are run here Saturday, Jackson Bend, a familiar name from the 3-year-old division, returns to the races in the $70,000 Star of Cozzene Stakes at 1 1/16 miles.

A five-time winner at 2, but winless in six starts this year, Jackson Bend finished third, beaten less than a length by Lookin At Lucky in the Preakness. Before that, he had second-place finishes in the Holy Bull and twice ran second to Eskendereya in the Fountain of Youth at Gulfstream and Wood Memorial at Aqueduct. He also finished 12th in the Kentucky Derby.

Jackson Bend injured a hind ankle when he finished fifth as the favorite to Afleet Express in the Grade 3 Pegasus at Monmouth in June.

“I wanted to get a race where he had a chance to do well,” said trainer Nick Zito, who also has Our Dark Knight entered in this field. “I feel like this is it. His energy level is very high, he’s so competitive. He could have won the Preakness with a little luck; he’s a gamer.”

This will be Jackson Bend’s first race around one turn since he finished second to Winslow Homer in the Holy Bull. As a 2-year-old, Jackson Bend won 4 of 5 starts around one turn.

The Star of Cozzene field includes Brother Bird, the half-brother to Kentucky Derby winner Mine that Bird who has won 2 of his last 3 starts; and Stormy’s Majesty, the New York-bred who is 4 for 5, including a victory in the Albany last out at Saratoga.

Regal Ransom heads competitive Kelso

Regal Ransom will try to convince his connections that he belongs in the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile when he heads an eight-horse field entered for Sunday’s Grade 2, $250,000 Kelso Handicap, which is scheduled for the dirt for the first time.

Regal Ransom is best known as the last horse to beat Blame – Saturday’s Jockey Club Gold Cup favorite – in last year’s Super Derby at Louisiana Downs. Regal Ransom was winless in his next two starts but did win a stakes-caliber allowance race at Saratoga going 1 1/8 miles on Sept. 1. He defeated Cool Coal Man, who is back in this field.

Regal Ransom breaks from post 8 under Alan Garcia, while Cool Coal Man leaves from the rail under Julien Leparoux. Others entered include Jersey Town, Convocation, Tizway, Le Grand Cru, Caixa Eletronica, and Mythical Power, who was cross-entered in the Jockey Club.

Sunday’s card also includes a pair of $150,000 stakes for 2-year-olds scheduled to be run on the turf. Both races are part of the Breeders’ Cup Win and You’re In program.

The Pilgrim, a prep for the Juvenile Turf at Churchill on Nov. 6, is led by Soldat, who won the Grade 3 With Anticipation at Saratoga by three lengths in his turf debut. Powhatan County and Air Support, second and fourth, respectively, in the With Anticipation, also are in the eight-horse field.

Fancy Point, winner of the P.G. Johnson Stakes at Saratoga as a maiden, heads a 12-horse field entered in the Miss Grillo, with the winner earning a spot in the Juvenile Fillies Turf on Nov. 5.

Maiden winner Winter Memories and Junior Champion Stakes winner A Brilliant Idea top the contenders.

Sunday’s card also includes the $70,000 Belle Cherie Stakes, a one-turn mile on dirt that was brought back from Thursday’s canceled card. Only eight of the original 11 horses came back in, led by Beautician.