05/06/2013 2:51PM

Multiple Grade 1 winner Jackson Bend returns to training

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Coady Photography / Laura Villasana
Multiple Grade 1 winner Jackson Bend. retired last fall, returned to training with his first official workout on Sunday at Calder.

Multiple Grade 1 winner Jackson Bend, who was scheduled to enter stud this year but had his breeding career put on hold due to lingering discomfort from an injury suffered last summer, has returned to training.

The 6-year-old Hear No Evil horse breezed five furlongs from the gate in 1:03.40 Sunday at Calder under the supervision of Stanley Gold, who has alternated training duties with Nick Zito throughout the horse's career. It was the first recorded work for Jackson Bend, but Gold says the horse has been galloping at a farm in Ocala, Fla., for several weeks.

Jackson Bend was involved in a training accident in August during a routine morning gallop on Saratoga’s Oklahoma training track when another horse collided with him and knocked him to the ground. Jackson Bend suffered swelling and back soreness and was believed to have suffered a concussion, although he was never officially diagnosed with any health issues.

Jackson Bend finished seventh in the Grade 1 Forego Stakes two weeks later, and owners Robert LaPenta and Fred Brei retired him to Brent Fernung’s Journeyman Stud in Ocala in October. After showing signs of discomfort while mounting and dismounting during test breedings in January, the decision was made to bypass the 2013 breeding season and send the horse to a farm in Ocala for further rehabilitation.

“At that time, I wasn’t asking any questions and was just reading the stories like everyone else,” Gold said. “I knew that he was on the farm rehabbing with light exercise, and with each thing he was asked to do, he showed that he wanted to do more.

“So one thing led to another, and he went from jogging the wrong way, to jogging further the wrong way, to galloping, and all the time, he was progressing and wanting more,” Gold added. “And at some point, it was decided that the horse wanted to come back and would come back.”
Gold mentioned the Grade 2 Smile Sprint Handicap July 6 at Calder as a target for Jackson Bend, with a possible prep in the Ponche Stakes on June 8.