08/29/2009 12:00AM

Jackson Bend takes second leg of Stallion Stakes


Jackson Bend is unquestionably the leader of the local 2-year-old division at Calder. But not by much.

Jackson Bend solidified his position as the best juvenile in south Florida by virtue of his hard-fought 1 1/2-length victory over Mr. Green in Saturday's at Calder. The Affirmed, middle leg of the open division of the Florida Stallion series, highlighted Saturday's 13-race, all 2-year-old Juvenile Showcase at Calder.

Jackson Bend survived a stretch-long battle with Mr. Green to post his fourth straight victory and second in the Stallion Stakes. He also outgamed Mr. Green by less than a length to capture the six-furlong Dr. Fager on Aug. 8. Jackson Bend will attempt to sweep the series in the 1 1/16-mile In Reality on Oct. 17.

Jackson Bend was a little closer to the early pace than usual in the seven-furlong Affirmed, easing off Mr. Green and Bim Bam midway down the backstretch. Jackson Bend made a quick run to engage Mr. Green nearing the quarter pole, stuck his head in front near the eighth pole, and edged clear approaching the wire. Bim Bam finished a distant third followed by the slow-starting Lucas Brady and first-time starter Legendary Storm.

Mr. Green has now finished behind Jackson Bend in each of their three meetings, with the combined losing margin in those three races just four lengths.

Jackson Bend paid $3.40 as the favorite after covering the distance in 1:25.19 over a fast but very cuppy racetrack under regular rider Jeffrey Sanchez.

"He'll give you a cardiac attack sometimes the way he makes the big move up to the leader then just inches away like he knows where the finish line is," said Jackson Bend's trainer, Stanley Gold. "The first two legs of the series are a little close, so we'll probably just train him up to the final."

Susan's Girl: Rosebud's Ridge hangs on

There will be no sweep in the filly division of the Stallion Stakes after outsider Rosebud's Ridge led throughout and outlasted Desert Vixen winner Sweet Lalabye by a neck to capture the Winsockie finished another 4 1/2 lengths farther back in third.

Rosebud's Ridge ran seven furlongs in a slow 1:26.53 and paid $37.40. She was ridden to victory by Cecilio Penalba for trainer-breeder Herman Wilensky.

"I didn't expect her to be on the lead," said Wilensky who sold Rosebud's Ridge to current owner Angel Quiroz earlier this year. "She's just gotten better and better since her last race."

Rosebud's Ridge had won her maiden by a neck in her previous start. Wilensky said he's uncertain whether Rosebud's Ridge would return for the 1 1/16-mile My Dear Girl Stakes on Oct. 17.

"None of the mare's previous foals went a distance but we'll make that decision down the road," said Wilensky.

* Wave Me By rallied to an easy 4 3/4-length victory in the $100,000 Seacliff Stakes. Eduardo Nunez rode the winner, who returned $17.20, for trainer Kathleen O'Connell. Christophers'image finished second, with Bernie the Maestro checking home a distant third. Jackson Bend's stablemate Hear Ye Hear Ye tired badly and finished a well-beaten fourth as the odds-on favorite.

Wave Me By completed a mile in 1:43.21.

* Gator Brew was a maiden entering the $85,500 Lindsay Frolic for 2-year-old fillies but came out a stakes winner after outfinishing The Isabella Angel by a nose in the afternoon's most exciting race. Roma's Gal checked home just another head back in third.

Gator Brew, who had made just one previous start, survived a claim of foul by the rider of The Isabella Angel before the result became official. She returned $14.20 after racing one mile in 1:43.14. The win was the third on the card for former Calder riding champion Paco Lopez.

* Miss Delite ($8.60) ran down the previously undefeated Winey Taylor to capture the $100,000 Catcharisingstar Stakes on the turf, while the recently claimed Retired to What registered a $93.40 shocker over the odds-on favorite Girl Bar in the $100,000 Fasig-Tipton Turf Dash.