08/02/2014 9:59AM

Jet Again carries local hopes in Manitoba Derby


Jet Again will try to become the first Manitoba-bred to win the Manitoba Derby since Royal Frolic captured the most prestigious race at Assiniboia Downs in 1993. The only other locally bred horse to win the race was Merry’s Jay in 1976.

The $75,000 race for 3-year-olds going 1 1/8 miles headlines a strong nine-race card that includes the $30,000 Graduation Stakes for 2-year-olds, the $50,000 Assiniboia Oaks, and the $30,000 R.J. Speers Stakes for 3-year-olds and up. The seven horses entered in the Manitoba Derby will carry 124 pounds.

Trainer Jim Meyaard likes the way Jet Again is coming into the race. The son of Going Commando is coming off a narrow loss to the heavily favored Edison in the $30,000 Harry Jeffrey on July 16.

“It was a really good race for him,” Meyaard said. “He didn’t have to work very hard winning his first three races this year, and he got a lot out of having to run hard.”



Jet Again (Last 3 Beyers: 72-75-70)

* The local hope proved he can run with open company when he gave Edison all he could handle in the Jeffrey. He has good tactical speed and figures to get a nice trip sitting just off what should be an honest and contested pace. Jockey Christopher Husbands retains the mount.

Master Lightning (Last 3 Beyers: 60-76-82)

* The morning-line favorite was haltered for $75,000 out of a first-level optional-claiming race at Belmont on July 9 by owner-trainer Danny Gargan. Gargan has since transferred Master Lightning to local trainer Shelley Brown.

* He hasn’t won this year but has been facing tougher company while running mostly in stakes in the United States. His best finish since he won a $75,000 optional claimer at Aqueduct in December for trainer Todd Pletcher was a third going one mile on turf in the $73,000 Mr. Light at Gulfstream Park on April 5.

Formulator Fact: Since 2012, Brown has a 42 percent strike rate when running back newly claimed horses.

Street Prancer (Last 3 Beyers: 71-60-67)

* The $360,000 purchase will be the first horse trainer Steve Asmussen has started in Canada outside of Ontario.

* He looked good in winning a first-level allowance race going one mile at Indiana Grand on July 19 and could be ready for a peak effort in the third start of his current form cycle.

* The son of Street Sense is a half-brother to Grade 3-placed multiple stakes winner Shopton Lane, so there could be plenty of upside to him.