Updated on 09/15/2011 12:50PM

Jump Start wins Special for Lukas

Michael J. Marten/Horsephotos
Trainer D. Wayne Lukas is now 11 for 28 at the meet after Jump Start's win in the $150,000 Saratoga Special.

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - Even running in races he doesn't want to run in, trainer D. Wayne Lukas can't help but find the Saratoga winner's circle.

Lukas was hoping to run Jump Start in a preliminary allowance race earlier this meet to use as a prep for the Grade 1 Hopeful on Sept. 1. But when that race didn't fill, Lukas decided to run Jump Start in Wednesday's Grade 2 Saratoga Special instead.

As has most everything else at this meet, it worked out well for Lukas. Jump Start ran down the pacesetting Heavyweight Champ in the final 20 yards to win the $150,000 Saratoga Special by three-quarters of a length. Heavyweight Champ finished second, 5 1/4 lengths ahead of Booklet. Deputy Connor, Lunar Bounty, and Seeking the Money completed the order of finish.

For Lukas, it was his 29th juvenile stakes win at Saratoga, his third in the Saratoga Special.

Jump Start, a son of A.P. Indy, won his maiden at first asking at Churchill Downs on June 23. Although he hadn't run since, he showed a steady work tab leading up to the race. Still, Lukas questioned his colt's fitness level.

"I didn't think he was real sharp," said Lukas, who is now 11 for 28 at the meet. "I told Pat [Day] don't give him too much to do, but don't abuse him either."

Jump Start raced in third position early while Heavyweight Champ roared out of the gate and set fractions of 21.57 seconds and 44.52 while being chased by Booklet. Around the turn, Day swung Jump Start four wide turning for home and he was able to nip Heavyweight Champ at the wire. Jump Start, the 3-2 favorite, covered the 6 1/2 furlongs in 1:17.35 and returned $5.10.

"I think this one could take us to the promised land," Lukas said, referring to next year's Kentucky Derby.

Heavyweight Champ, who finished third in the Grade 2 Sanford on July 26, got out of the gate much better than he did in the Sanford, but may have gone just a tick too fast for his own good.

"He's a horse that's got tremendous speed," trainer John Terranova said. "It seems like as he gets the experience he'll learn to relax a little bit more out there. At this point in time, speed is his asset, so you got to let him use it a little bit."

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