10/01/2016 3:38PM

One Mean Man shows versatility with Jefferson Cup win

Coady Photography
One Mean Man notched his fourth stakes victory of the season with his win in the Jefferson Cup on Saturday.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. - A last-minute surface change was no problem for One Mean Man, as the well-traveled colt scored his fourth stakes victory of the season on his fourth different track, taking the $100,000 Jefferson Cup on Saturday afternoon at Churchill Downs.

The Jefferson Cup was originally carded for the turf course, but was moved to the main track after rain the previous day and earlier Saturday. The track was officially rated wet-fast by post time.

"He needs absolutely nothing," trainer Bernie Flint said of One Mean Man. "He's automatic, he ships well, he goes out of town, any track, anywhere. I wasn't worried about Churchill Downs, because it drains so well here. When I came out and saw it was good [earlier in the day], I knew it would be fast by the afternoon."

In a field that scratched down to five after the surface switch, One Mean Man ($5.20) had a straightforward trip under Robby Albarado, sitting in third and never more than a length back as Barahona ticked off moderate opening fractions of 24.20 and 49.06. Zapperini, who had been racing in second, put Baharona away around the far turn, but One Mean Man ranged up on his outside and was on even terms turning for home. From there, One Mean Man simply wore his challenger down, putting him away by 1 1/2 lengths at the wire. The final time for the 1 1/8 miles was 1:50.23.

One Mean Man has now won 6 of 16 career starts, and added the Jefferson Cup to victories earlier this year in the Grade 3 American Derby at Arlington, the Mystic Lake Derby at Canterbury, and the Keith Gee Memorial at Fair Grounds. This was his first stakes victory on dirt, opening some new doors for the son of Mizzen Mast – although Flint said a long-term target will be next year’s Grade 1 Arlington Million, back on the turf.

“I wasn't planning on this happening,” Flint said. “Now we've got a new dimension, we can [win on] dirt. A good horse can do a lot of things.”