08/19/2010 3:19PM

Path to gate key for Jet Propulsion

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Barbara D. Livingtson
Jet Propulsion will try to snap a four-race losing streak in Saturday's The Vid Stakes at Calder.

That advice refers specifically to Jet Propulsion, the horse to beat in the 1 1/16-mile overnight stakes, assuming he doesn’t give his rider and handlers too much trouble making his way from the main track onto the grass course. Pre-race antics crossing over to the grass wreaked havoc on Jet Propulsion’s performances on a couple of occasions earlier this year.

“He didn’t want to go on the turf course in New York,” trainer Marty Wolfson said, referring to Jet Propulsion’s last start, an 11th-place finish in the Grade 1 Manhattan Handicap. “The same thing happened before the Muniz at the Fair Grounds. He didn’t want to go onto the course that day either. He’s just a very quirky horse. It all depends on his mental state, but he’s been doing well since he came back here from New York, and if he behaves himself and breaks on the lead against this field, I don’t think they’ll catch him.”

Jet Propulsion will try to snap a four-race losing streak in The Vid. His only victory this season came in his 2010 debut when he led throughout to capture the Sunshine Millions Turf at Gulfstream Park.

Jet Propulsion will break from the extreme outside in a full field of 12 horses. His uncoupled stablemate, Causeway’s Kin, winner of the Band Is Passing overnight stakes four weeks earlier, will replace Jet Propulsion and be favored should the race be taken off the grass.

The Vid drew the usual suspects from the local older turf division, a familiar group topped by Mean Sax and Grand Cash, winners of the Mecke and Blazing Sword stakes, respectively, earlier this spring.

The lineup also includes promising 3-year-olds such as Bim Bam, Bernie the Maestro, and El Kingdom.

Bim Bam returns home off a disappointing seventh-place finish in the Oliver Stakes on June 30 at Indiana Downs. The versatile homebred captured the Lord Juban over the local turf here three weeks earlier.

Bernie the Maestro and El Kingdom finished first and second, respectively, in the American Dreamer going a mile over the main track last month. El Kingdom became a stakes winner in his previous start when upsetting the Donthelumbertrader in the slop.